Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Likely Challenge

I recently had the opportunity to attend a symposium with Carley and Alan, our two tree experts.  The symposium was hosted by the University of Illinois in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Agriculture and spent six hours covering the topic of the Emerald Ash Borer.

The Emerald Ash Borer (or EAB) is an exotic pest that was brought in from China.  It, like many borers, attacks a specific type of tree. Unlike native borers however, the EAB tends to attack healthy trees and causes a 100% mortality rate on trees it infects.  To date, the EAB has destroyed tens of millions of Ash trees in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois and is on the move.  Currently, EAB has claimed trees as close to us as Bloomington, IL.  Some experts predicts that the EAB will eventually eliminate Ash trees alltogether.

Here at CCC, we have reason to be concerned.  With around 50 Ash trees, many of which are quite mature, the EAB will certainly make its mark.  We will be making regular inspections of our Ash trees, looking for the tell-tail "D-shaped" exit holes, and will be peeling bark on any Ash tree taken down due to poor health.  As part of our ever-evolving tree plan, we will look to diversify our tree population with species that are native to our area and are not yet well represented at CCC.