By Leo Kelly
As the tree warden of West Haven, I would like to advise the public about the presence of emerald ash borer and its effect on our ash tree population.
The ash tree is a native hardwood deciduous tree found throughout Connecticut. The most common and abundant species are green ash and white ash.
The ash tree was popular to plant and maintain along streets or parks because of its useful and adaptable urban tolerances and resistance to numerous environmental stressors. Ash tree wood makes for great firewood, baseball bats and furniture and has been in Yankee life for decades as a commonly available and useful timber tree.
West Haven’s ash tree cover citywide constitutes about 2 to 3 percent of all trees in our entire forest, slightly less on city roads and parks.
The emerald ash borer, or EAB, is a non-native beetle that made its way from China to Michigan. First discovered in Detroit in 2002, EAB has since spread east to Connecticut and New England and is now fully verified in 35 states and five Canadian provinces.
By most accounts, the introduction of EAB occurred through shipping containers in green pallet wood from China. Recent campaigns by the U.S. Forest Service have instructed people to minimize the movement of firewood, which has become a large contribution to EAB’s spread.
EAB will destroy an ash tree in three to five years and continue to infest and re-infest an ash tree until it collapses and dies while moving on to new hosts as the lifecycle continues.
Details at https://www.dontmovefirewood.org.