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Some trees being killed to help save others as Emerald Ash Borer spreads

The Emerald Ash Borer has already killed millions and millions of trees across the country and is as close as Monroe County. Some Ash trees are being killed in Onondaga County before the pest even.
Brewerton (WSYR-TV) - The Emerald Ash Borer has already killed millions and millions of trees across the country and is as close as Monroe County. Some Ash trees are being killed in Onondaga County before the pest even.

Oneida Shores is now part of a plan to help with early detection and how to manage Emerald Ash Borer.

A task force of local agencies and municipalities has formed just to deal with EAB.

One technique is something called girdling. A ring is cut around the tree, stopping nutrients from following up it, and stressing the tree, something very attractive to the pest to come feed on.

David Coburn, Onondaga County Environmental Director, says, “It’s challenging to figure out where the beetle will show up, so we wanted to come into areas that have a higher probability of having the beetle, in this case it's a campground where people might be bringing firewood from areas where the beetle was earlier."

Once a tree is girdled, it will stand, essentially dying, until autumn. Crews will come back, take it down and then strip off all the bark to see if they can find any evidence of the Emerald Ash Borer.

The goal is to girdle a tree in about 20 different strategically selected areas around Onondaga County.

With one in every nine trees in the county Ash, the task force knows the only way to deal with something that could be as destructive as EAB is to be prepared, even if it means killing some trees to do it.

People transporting firewood infected with Emerald Ash Borer helps it move the fastest from place to place which is why as of May 1, the DEC expanded its Ash tree quarantine area to include areas south of the Thruway.

The DEC does make stops and checkpoints to make sure wood isn't being taken from quarantined areas into areas non-quarantined areas. Those who are caught will face a fine.

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