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Destructive Pest Hits Wabash Valley

The Emerald Ash Borer first arrived in the United States in Michigan in 2002, but it quickly spread. Experts say they've spotted this year's first signs of it in the Wabash Valley.

"It's a voracious killer, it's really different than the ash borers that we know of because within about three years of infection it'll kill large ash trees," said Lindy Miller, Purdue Ag Extension Office.

Trees on the Knox-Daviess county line are infected. Officials in Vincennes worry it could quickly spread to the city. Around 70 ash trees line the streets, but those could soon be gone. Crews are going to start cutting down the trees to save them from the Emerald Ash Borer invasion.

"We're looking probably anywhere from $18,000-$30,000 to get those done and get those removed but if you think about what it's going to cost to tear them down, shred them up on site, move them to a specific location, and do all of that we're talking at least three to four times that," said Ryan Laugh, Vincennes Tree Board.

The insect spreads mainly through firewood. Once the invasion begins, the area is quarantined, the tree is cut down, shredded up, left to sit and disposed of in a safe location. 

"There's an emergence hole of the adults when they come from the trees the first year it's a D shaped hole, those aren't always easy to detect but if you catch those early. The second year you'll start to see thinning of the foliage and damage of the first year where teh borere has gone through and damaged the cambium," said Miller.

According to the Purdue Ag Office there are over 149 million ash trees around Indiana.

For information on how to save your own ash trees, click here.
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