Greenwood Furnace State Park Workshop Targets Emerald Ash Borer in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa., May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will be pooling its varied expertise Wednesday in a workshop targeting the emerald ash borer at Greenwood Furnace State Park in Huntingdon County, where the invasive insect is endangering more than 100 ash trees.
“This exercise will see entomologists and foresters from our Bureau of Forestry working closely with our Bureau of State Parks’ managers and biologists to combat the emerald ash borer, not just at Greenwood Furnace, but in woodlands across the state,” said DCNR Secretary Richard Allan. “This state park was picked because of the severity of its insect infestation.”
“These infected trees now are being inventoried and eventually many will have to be removed,” Allan said. “We are mounting a public information effort to explain why some trees must be felled and removed to help protect others.”
A Bureau of Forestry inventory of the state park shows at least 104 ash trees identified on its 423 acres, with 75 percent affected by “high” emerald ash borer infestation, and 25 percent showing “light” infestation or none at all.
“Removal of state park trees never is taken lightly but some of these infested trees present a hazard and must come down,” Allan said. “Tree removal will be concentrated in Greenwood Furnace’s day-use, picnic and beach areas. Infested trees in forested settings are not targeted for removal at this time.”
Planned from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the workshop will be offered to state park and forestry bureau employees on park grounds off Route 305, north of Belleville, Huntingdon County.
Beside infected tree removal, control and containment measures to be addressed will include formation of management plans to address infestation, with strong emphasis on inventorying ash trees and possible infestation sites; placement of purple panel traps to aid in detection; release of parasitoid wasps; application of systemic insecticides; and distribution of outreach and education materials to parks across the state.
Since the emerald ash borer first was detected in June 2007 in Cranberry Township, Butler County, DCNR entomologists, foresters and state park managers have worked cooperatively with the state Department of Agriculture to track and contain the beetle’s spread.
Most recently, the emerald ash borer surfaced in March in Bucks County and now is reported in 23 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.
Ash species compose less than four percent of Pennsylvania’s forests, or about 308 million trees, and most are located in the state’s northern tier counties. It especially is valued in the manufacture of baseball bats.
Native to Asia, the emerald ash borer first was detected in the United States in Michigan in 2002. Beetle larvae bore through ash trees, feeding on the inner bark and phloem, disrupting flow of water and nutrients through the tree, and causing their eventual death.
Tree owners fearing infestation should be alert for the May and early June emergence of adult insects through D-shaped exit holes in the bark. Others signs include dieback, woodpecker damage, and frequent, irregular branching from the main trunk.
Information on the emerald ash borer and other Pennsylvania forest pests can be found at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/insectsdisease/index.htm.
Details on Greenwood Furnace and Pennsylvania’s other 119 state parks can be found at www.dcnr.state.pa.us (select “Find a Park”).
Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources