County taking steps against Emerald Ash Borer

Published 02/27 2014 04:21PM

Updated 02/27 2014 06:29PM

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – On your next trip through Onondaga Lake Park, you’re going to notice something a little different.

About 125 ash trees are in the process of being taken down by the county because of the Emerald Ash Borer.

Onondaga County is trying to get ahead of the ash borer’s spread by taking down trees that have already been compromised, which the beetle loves to feast on.

The move is a preemptive effort to avoid the trees falling on their own.

"We'll be somewhere between 40 and 50,000 ash trees on county owned property where they're what we refer to as targets in the drop zone, where it's trails or utilities or some other asset,” said Onondaga County Environmental Director Dave Coburn.

Now that the trees are cut down, even though they don't suspect they have the Emerald Ash Borer in them, they have to be chipped up and taken to a facility that's approved by the State Department of Agriculture and Markets that can handle trees that may be infested.

“The beetle is here, the clock is ticking, it's time to make decisions. Just as the county is having to deal with ash trees on county owned, residents are going to have to deal with ash trees on their property,” Coburn said.

Treatment is an option for some trees. Coburn says they haven’t treated any county-owned trees yet, however.

He says people should start talking with certified people in the area to determine how they should handle ash trees on their own property.

More information on the Emerald Ash Borer is available on the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s webpage.

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