Temperature: 53° F
After yesterday’s long walk, my leg muscles were a bit sore, so I just took a short walk around my neighborhood today. Whenever I walk about my neighborhood these days, I am struck by the loss of all of the big, beautiful ash trees to the emerald ash borer beetle.
Over the past few years, the Midwest, East, and parts of Eastern Canada have lost tens of millions of ash trees to this invasive species from Asia (more ash borer information). The first emerald ash borer was spotted in the Detroit area in 2002, and it has been spreading from there and leaving dead ash trees in its wake. This past summer and fall, it really seemed to peak here in our part of Illinois. From June to October, I heard the din of chainsaws and wood-chippers going just about every weekday as the village-hired tree removal company went through town and removed parkway trees. I’m sure there will be more removed next summer as many trees are unhealthy and showing signs of infestation. Despite how busy this insect has been in our area, I have never seen an emerald ash borer. A few ash tree owners have treated their young, healthy ash trees with pesticides, and it seems to be working so far–some good news at least.
Homeowners are responsible for removing their non-parkway dead ash trees; we removed a large one ourselves in May. Our kids spent their childhood on swings hung from.a low branch on that ash tree. I hated to see it go.