Ohio Ash Trees in Danger

Tulsi Patel

     A little green beetle is killing trees. The emerald ash border beetle was first spotted in Michigan. If an ash tree is infested with beetles, the ash tree can become dangerous as the branches fall off and the tree becomes brittle.

     The beetles are spreading very quickly through the Midwest region. The pest has spread to many Ohio counties, including Medina, Portage, Wayne and Cuyahoga, as well as parts of Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Ontario. It has killed millions of trees. The beetle originated from Asia, and was brought here by cargo ships.

      In Akron, Ohio, a project has been researched and is in the works by many officials. The officials want to cut down 1000 ash trees, so the lives of residents in Ohio are safer.

      There is an estimated total of $762,000 to cut down the ash trees. This project has been in the works since May 2009. The trees are still being cut down and replaced with other trees such as American yellowwood, elm, linden and crab apple. This project will take place for about five years.

      Akron arborist, Bill Hahn said city officials don’t want to see a repeat of what happened in the 1960s, when Dutch elm disease claimed many elms.

      “‘They were dead and falling down all over town and they were huge,” Hahn said.

      It was pointed out that 1000 trees is not an abundant amount, as it is only one percent of the trees in the city.

      “Once you start the treatments, you basically have to keep it going. You can’t just treat it one year and then stop,” said Pat Neville, a forester for Shaker Heights, which also is seeking federal funds to speed up its removal program.

     Something else that Akron is participating in is applying for nearly $700,000 in federal stimulus money for a tree survey that would identify damaged trees and new locations to plant new trees. This money would cover the cost of the trees. 


 Photo courtesy of treeplantgarden.net.

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