BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) - Ash trees in Western New York are on the clock.
"In 20 years time, all of them will be dead except for the ones that will be treated," says Jeremy Sayers, President of The Tree Doctor.
That's because the Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB's are continuing to bury their way into local trees, and the problem is only getting worse.
Several years ago the invasive insect was found in the southern tier. But overtime the pests spread. Most recently they've been found in East Amherst, Williamsville, Clarence, West Seneca and Lancaster.
According to the DEC, the biggest problem is trying to kill off the insects before they get into the trees.
"It comes to us without any known predators and it's highly destructive. It's capable of killing Ash trees throughout the region. There's some 900 million ash trees in New York State. All of which are at risk," explains DEC Forester, Patrick Marren.
If you have ash trees in your yard or on your property, there's a good chance they're already infected. However you wouldn't notice a change for about two years. Signs include a tree looking thinner or truck damage from woodpeckers trying to eat the bugs.
But there is a way to rid the EABs and prevent them from killing your trees through chemical injections. According Sayers, the chemicals won't hurt the tree, your water or surrounding plants, but the injection will kill the bugs.
"The tree moves that product throughout the canopy of the tree and then it kills any of the insects that try to feed on the tree or enter into the tree; including the Emerald Ash Borer," said Sayers.
Sayers says all ash trees in the area will be infected soon. They have already been devastating in other areas, like Michigan, where the bugs have been for 15 or so years.
"Streets that were once lined with ash trees are now lined with stumps,"
On average the treatment of a tree runs around $100. It also lasts for about 3 years. Arborists and foresters believe they will have a 12 to 15 year fight on their hands trying to get rid of the borers.
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