Emerald Ash Borer

Onondaga Emerald Ash Borer Task Force

Onondaga County’s Emerald Ash Borer Task Force is trying to take a more regional approach as it tries to corral the spread of the invasive insect.

The task force has been on the trail of the Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, for three years now, so when it showed up in parts of Syracuse and DeWitt last summer, local governments started an aggressive campaign to take down or treat infested ash trees.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Onondaga County expects to spend more than $15 million over the next 25 years to deal with the Emerald Ash Borer infestation. The plan targets almost 47,000 ash trees on county land that pose a danger if they fall over.

The invasive bug was discovered in Onondaga County last summer, and if left alone can kill an ash tree in two to seven years. County Environmental Director David Coburn says the county is proposing an ash tree management strategy that is a balanced approach.

USDAgov Flickr

Homeowners in parts of Onondaga County with ash trees on their property, need to take action sooner than expected to deal with the Emerald Ash Borer. 

Jesse Lyons of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Onondaga County says there’s evidence that the invasive insect has spread to almost  the eastern border of Onondaga County.

Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State University / Flickr

For years, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies have been trying to reduce the impact of invasive species like the Emerald Ash Borer and Asian carp. Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Invasive Species Prevention Act, requiring the DEC and state Department of Agriculture and Markets to come up with a plan to reduce the impact non-native plants and animals have on the state.

The agencies are now proposing regulations that prohibit knowingly selling, traveling with or introducing certain species into the state.

USDAgov / Flickr

Now that the Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed in Onondaga County, local governments are trying to find the best strategy to deal with the invasive pests that will ultimately kill all the ash trees in the area. One of the county's biggest challenges lies in one of the busiest public green spaces in central New York, at Onondaga Lake Park.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Now that the Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, has been discovered in Onondaga County a special task force will begin making decisions about the future of ash trees, which account for 13 percent of the trees in central New York.

The EAB can kill an ash tree in as little as two years. Central New York Emerald Ash Borer Task Force member David Coburn says the result is that many trees will either be treated with pesticide or chopped down.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

On a muggy morning next to the American Steel and Aluminum Company in Liverpool, four people clad in orange vests look through binoculars at the vegetation that surrounds the warehouse.
         

Cornell University Cooperate Extension Onondaga County

The emerald ash borer is getting closer to Onondaga County. The Asian beetle infests and kills North American ash trees, and are as close to central New York as Rochester.  Now, Cornell Cooperative Extension is recruiting volunteers for a program in Onondaga County that could  let wasps sound the alarm that the devastating bugs are here.

So how does a wasp tell us that the Emerald Ash Borer is in town?  Simple. They eat them.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Flickr

It's only a matter of time before the ash tree population in central New York is decimated by the Emerald Ash Borer. A task force is at work getting ready for the invasion of the deadly insects, that are now in massive numbers only two counties away from Onondaga County.

A particular kind of  Yellow leaf you see amidst the fall foliage in New York State might not be part of the fall splash of color much longer.  Many  of the yellow leaves are ash trees, and an invasive insect is slowly munching across New York State. 

It's called the Emerald Ash Borer, and it's wiping out all ashes everywhere an infestation occurs.

Don Leopold is a tree expert at the SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry and says Ash trees, which are native to New York, are prized for more than there color.