Salem ready to do battle with emerald ash borer
Although the beetle has yet to infect any trees in Salem, state forestry officials are tracking the potential spread of the invasive species and preparing the local community for potential management of the destructive pest.
“We are really on the lookout on the southern boundary of New Hampshire,” said Molly Heuss of the state’s Division of Forestry and Lands. “We organized a survey of ash trees in the southeastern portion of Salem closest to the North Andover tree, but we did not find any conclusive evidence of the emerald ash borer.”
“It eats all the ash trees that grow in the United States, but does not attack any other species,” said Heuss. “There is no known way to eradicate the beetle or its population in the United States. Our goal is to slow the spread of ash mortality as it spreads throughout the landscape.”
Presently, there are several methods used to slow the spread of the ash borer once infected trees are found. One method involves attracting the beetles to a small, concentrated stand of ash trees, and then destroying those trees and the beetle larvae that has been laid in the trees.
Although the ash borer can fly, Heuss said it is mainly spread through the delivery of infected trees from nurseries or through ash firewood. She said Merrimack County has already enacted a quarantine on ash firewood and added that the quarantine could include Rockingham County if infected ash trees are found in the county.
“Once they appear, it will be a matter of keeping the population very low,” she said.
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