Emerald Ash Borer…a nasty little bug


I just got in from my morning walk, and I feel very lucky that I have a nice place to walk through. There’s a little dead-end street not far from my house called Arbor Ave, which is aptly named as the houses on that street are nestled into an almost woods like setting. You don’t see places like this in Western North Dakota very often, and it makes for a nice place to walk and relax. The nice thing about trees is that they provide shade and beauty. In many cases they provide food and a place to hang your hammock.

Sometimes they also provide danger.

The valley I live in is full of Siberian Elm, Ash and Cottonwoods. There are also Oak trees, but mostly only down by the river. We even have a very few American Elms that survived the Dutch Elm Disease that wiped them out in the 80’s across the country. The Siberian Elms (like the one I just chopped down) have a tendency to commit suicide and just die, but they are prolific in their reproduction.  The tree of primary concern these days is the Ash. The Emerald Ash Borer is on its way, and will devastate my little valley once it gets here. I’m lucky in that I got rid of the last of my trees. They were old and dying, so I don’t have anything to worry about, but the rest of my community will have an interesting fight on their hands. This parasite has been detected in Minnesota in 2009, so it’s only a matter of time before it spreads West.

In many cases, the houses here are packed in tight together, and there’s little room for cheap tree removal. In a lot of cases, these large old trees hang over power lines. It’s going to be a mess. It’s also going to be ugly and dangerous.  Now you can look down into the valley and see a nice lush blanket of green, and after the Emerald Ash Borer gets done with us, it will not be so pretty any more. I know that will change with time, as people replace these trees with something else, but it will be hard to watch them die. There will be a lot of people who won’t be able to pay to get these trees removed, and there will be a lot of dead trees standing around for a while, unless the City pitches in.  It’s my hope that these dying trees get replaced with hearty fruit and nut bearing trees, and then an element of permaculture can be implemented in our little valley.

So, why are these dead trees going to be dangerous? We have pretty high winds a lot of days here in North Dakota, and it’s not going to take much to blow down some of these very tall, very dead trees, and they will land on power lines and homes. Did I mention I was glad I don’t have to deal with that issue any more?! Down the street I see one of my neighbors has a very tall tree hanging over the power line that provides service to the whole side of our street. It would be just our luck that it fell down in the winter time, but that’s just the frightened little pessimist in me talking.

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About Sparrow
I am a 47 years young and the mother of two amazing young men, who've grown up and left me mostly an Empty-Nester. I write about what's going on in my little corner of the High Plains, or what happens to be crawling across my brain on a given day. Thank you so much for stopping by. Make yourself at home...through the magic of the internet, the coffee's always free and the doughnuts are fresh!

One Response to Emerald Ash Borer…a nasty little bug

  1. Liz Erickson says:

    Thanks for the concern about Emerald Ash Borer. It certainly is a nasty little bug, and the informed opinions about EAB are almost always welcome. Thanks for posting about it, and contact me if you would like any additional information (ex. how it spreads, and what to do to plan for the coming of EAB–for your neighbors that is).

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