On the Radio: Emerald Ash Borer


Photo by USDAgov; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers the emerald ash borer, and the predictions for Iowa’s ash trees. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

Iowa’s ash trees are predicted to die off within 20 years.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

State Forester Paul Tauke recently addressed the issue of emerald ash borers in Iowa. Tauke predicated that almost all ash trees will die off in the infestation.

Like the name suggests, the emerald ash borer is a green beetle that slowly kills ash trees by boring tunnels just below the bark.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources estimates that there 52 million woodland ash trees and 3.1 million urban ash trees. The early prediction for removing the dead trees in urban areas is expected to rise to over $3 billion.

The Iowa Legislature has appropriated funds to help pay for monitoring the spread of the pest, but nothing yet to defray the cost of local governments in removing and replacing ash trees.

Signs and symptoms of an emerald ash borer infestation include canopy dieback, bark splitting, serpentine galleries, D-shaped exit holes, and increased woodpecker activity.

To learn more about the emerald ash borer, visit iowaenvironmentalfocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.

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