Bay County treating trees from invasive beetle - WNEM TV 5

Bay County treating trees from invasive beetle

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Specialists are working throughout Bay County to protect hundreds of trees from an invasive species.

The emerald ash borer is a beetle that thrives on wood.

Experts say the bugs have killed more than 30 million trees in Michigan alone.

More than five million ash trees are either dead or dying across the state because of the beetle.

The invasive beetle from Asia infests and eats ash trees.

“Comparing it to a human, it would be like eating our blood vessels,” said Alicia Wallace, coordinator for Bay County’s Gypsy Moth Suppression Program.

Wallace is working to prevent Bay City’s ash trees from disappearing.

She said there are only about 3,500 left in the county. They hired tree experts to kill the ash borers by injecting a chemical directly into the base of the trees.

“And they’re all publicly owned trees. And they’re treated on a cyclical basis. So, they’re not all treated in the same year because the product that we use will actually protect the tree for two to three years. Sometimes even up to four years,” Wallace said.

However, for those with ash trees on private property, it is recommended to check them before it’s too late.

“You’re looking for something called tree and shrub insect control,” Wallace said.

She said if you can’t hire professionals, you can still protect ash trees through over the counter products.

Most of which can kill up to 65 percent of emerald ash borers and prevent the birth of more from inside the tree.

“They will continue to grow and thrive and be protected from the emerald ash borer,” Wallace said.

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