November 28, 2013

NH scientists ask for help to ID deadly beetle

The Associated Press

DURHAM, N.H. — Scientists in the northeast are asking hikers, hunters and others to watch for telltale signs of a beetle that has killed millions of ash trees.

click image to enlarge

Forest entomologist Kyle Lombard cuts on an ash tree in the forest along the Merrimack River in Concord, N.H. Lombard is working to minimize the destruction of the ash hardwood from the recently discovered emerald ash borer beetle which destroys ash trees. The beetle has been sighted along a six-mile stretch of the river.

AP Photo/Jim Cole

Colleen Teerling, a Maine Forest Service entomologist, says heavy woodpecker activity is a good sign that the emerald ash borer is present. It has destroyed trees in 22 states — including several in the northeast and New England — and two Canadian provinces since it emerged in Michigan in 2002.

Kyle Lombard, New Hampshire's forest health manager, says with the leaves off the trees in autumn, people can easily spot the cream-colored bark revealed when woodpeckers strip off chunks of outer bark.

People who see woodpecker activity should contact their state forest health manager.

Ash trees have deeply furrowed bark with a distinctive, diamond-shaped pattern.

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