BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A destructive creature has now creeped its way into Buffalo. The emerald ash borer has now been detected near the Botanical Gardens.
For two years now, we've reported how this little beetle has killed hundreds of trees down in Randolph. It was just a matter of time before it came to Buffalo.
DEC Regional Director Abby Snyder said, "At least a dozen trees in South Park show signs of infestation."
The announcement was made inside the Botanical Gardens because right outside happens to be the first discovery of the emerald ash borer in Erie County. A dozen trees bear the signature swirly gouges of the bugs larvae that burrough under the bark, killing ash trees.
The little pest has been in the southern tier for two years, but now that it's in Buffalo, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy has already started injecting the other hundred ash trees in South Park.
Joe Territo of the conservancy said, "We inject into the camium layer."
The conservancy can inject each ash tree with a chemical that should keep the bug away for two years. It beats the cost of cutting each one down after it's killed by the bug. But for private landowners to protect a favorite tree in the yard, the cost would be about $100 a year to have an arborist do it.
Just in the town of Amherst alone, there are more than 9,000 ash trees, and many are in Getzville or in the Ransom Oaks neighborhood. The town is working on a plan to fight it. Amherst officials have decided it's not cost effective to start injecting trees until it's actually discovered in town, and the experts agree.
Mark Whitmore of Cornell University said, "If I live more than a mile away, you would probably be wasting your money because if there's no bugs around there, there's no need to treat your tree."
To slow down the spread, the DEC is continuing the rule that you can only move firewood within 50 miles of its origin.
"And as you move forward, you need to have some sort of receipt or label that states where the source is coming from," said Snyder.
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