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Our dear little ant friends from South America don't have to be lonesome. They have plenty of company. If you don't like trees don't bother reading this because trees are what it's about - our trees right here in Arkansas.

The Emerald Ash tree borer is really doing a number (killing) on Ash trees in the Great Lakes States. It was first discovered around Detroit about 2002 and most likely came over from Asia in wood pallets. There is no defense against the insect at the present except for quarantined movement of firewood. Many cities in the affected states have already lost ALL of their Ash trees to this pest. Could it spread here? You bet.

Our habit of lining city boulevards and residential yards with only one species of tree has always proved disasterous. They used to be lined with American Elms until the Dutch Elm blight killed most of them. You can still find survivors in woods away from cities. I have several on our place and you probably do too if you live in the country. Now its the Ashes. Lead was not the only plague sent to us from the "Kings of the East." As of yet the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB the people in the know call it) has not been found in the state of Arkansas or in Missouri.

The states it has taken up residence in so far as I researched are:
Maryland
Michigan
Illinois
Indiana
Ohio

I sure that there are more. So far it has not been found in Wisconsin according to the blogs I read.

http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/emeraldashborer/

Ontario, Canada is also having to deal with them.

In June 2007, it was reported that emerald ash borers have been found in Cranberry Township, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

In October 2007, an emerald ash borer larva was discovered in a West Virginia Department of Agriculture "detection tree" located in Fayette County. This detection tree was located in a recreational site, with camping, mountain biking, and white water rafting. It is believed that the pest arrived in firewood that was illegally transported by tourists visiting the New River Gorge area, a popular site for white water rafting (USDA-APHIS-PPQ).[6]

This is only one of many plant & insect pests that are invading our environment. All the terrorists don't carry explosives. This insect doesn't just damage Ash trees - it kills them dead.

Related articles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarantine http://ohioline.osu.edu/for-fact/0059.html http://www.dnr.state.md.us/dnrnews/infocus/emerald_ash_borer.asp



I love Ash trees and would hate to see them gone forever, as the American Chestnut is pretty much gone. We'll never get to see "June snow" as the oldtimers called it when the white summer blooms of the Chestnut covered the forest floor. Chestnut trees were estimated to make up 25% of the Eastern forest before the Chestnut blight destroyed them. It made some of the finest lumber and was used for everything. A research program of crossing with the Chinese chestnut (it is resistant to the blight) until a resistant variation of tree that is 99+% American Chestnut has been under way for years and some of the crosses are now being planted.

Every Ash tree species is affected by this Oriental varmint. Adults just nibble on the greenery I understand, its the larvae under the tree bark that do the real killing. I've downloaded many articles on Ash trees, and you can't pull up one internet page without seeing "EAB " over and over and over.

Anyone interested in our forests and hardwoods will take note of this. One estimate I read was that at least 25 million trees have been killed just in the Great lakes region. Under the Ash bark of an infected tree looks like this.



More than 400 non-native insects and plant diseases are now permanently established and wrecking havoc in North American forests, which are defenseless against the attacks. Site below (Nature Conservancy, has some good information on some of these "habitat terrorists")

http://www.nature.org/initiatives/forests/news/invasivespecies.html
 

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Member<br>'07/'08 Bowhunting Contest Team Winner
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If they move into south Ark. they don't stand a chance against the fire ant.
 

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A doctor that my dad knows has a large tract of land in Alabama that the forestry commission has planted with the "new" Chestnut trees. I haven't asked about it lately, but last I heard they were doing well.
 

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A doctor that my dad knows has a large tract of land in Alabama that the forestry commission has planted with the "new" Chestnut trees. I haven't asked about it lately, but last I heard they were doing well.
I've been following this development for several years and really hope that it is a success.

Some things can turn around for the better if there are people dedicated enough to invest the time and money. Whitetail deer & eastern wild turkey comebacks all over the country are due to dedicated people. Everything doesn't have to end up like the passenger pigeon and just disappear. :thumb:

If the group of folks here in Arkansas hadn't stood up to the Federal Govt., the Corp of Engineers would have dammed the Buffalo River and every other free flowing stream we had left.

It got so bad for awhile you couldn't pee off the front porch without a guy in a pith helmet from the corp showing up to measure the flow and determine how much damage was being done and plan the best way to hem up the water and provide an econimic benefit from it! :smack:
 

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The worst part about the fireant, is that they will turn a pond levee into swiss cheese....not only that, but they've discovered warmth and protection by digging in under the edges of the highways....when they leave, the edges of the road cave off into their empty nests. Billions of $$$$$ are gonna be lost if the highway dept and the Ag. don't get their heads out from their butts and stop the ants in their tracks. Having got that off my chest, I have seen my elms die off, seen borers in red oaks...and pecan trees too!:eek: These are little creatures that thrive on drouth weakened trees....and drouth follows erradication of the Rain Forest....ergo the migration from South America of the fire ant!! Now, TJMHO!!~john:wink:
 

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Fire ants tend to get into and eat some electrical insulations too. I've seen some sizable industrial equip. damaged by them.

Tommy
 

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Fire ants tend to get into and eat some electrical insulations too. I've seen some sizable industrial equip. damaged by them.

Tommy
Not to mention the light switches in your tractor shed and shop..........:mad:
 
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