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A Look at the Invasive Species Attacking Ash Trees

An invasive species has found its way into trees in three more counties in the state. We got an up-close look at what they are, and why they need to stay put.
An adult Emerald Ash Borer beetle.
An adult Emerald Ash Borer beetle.
CAMDEN, AR - The Emerald Ash Borer is eating it's way through ash trees across the state.

Multiple state agencies are on the hunt Friday (8/29). They're looking for the invasive species killing our trees in the Natural State.

Cory Bostic, Arkansas Forestry Commission County Forester, peels back the bark to find the Emerald Ash Borer larvae and the scarring they leave behind on a plot of trees near Camden.

"It's basically in every tree out here," he pointed out. "This stand of ash is pretty much dead."

Ouachita County is the latest affected along with Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring, and Nevada.

The Arkansas Plant Board wants to propose a quarantine for these and 19 more counties in south Arkansas.

Alongside Bostick, State Survey Coordinator with the Arkansas State Plant Board, Sam Kim sets out to trap the bug responsible for laying the larvae.

"Basic goal right now is to slow the spread," he explained. "It can spread from one end of the state to the other fairly quickly."

However, they say it's up to you to keep them from spreading.

The main culprit is transportation of firewood. If you were to chop down infected trees for firewood and take them home somewhere else in the state but don't use them, the problem could spread exponentially considering the rate the Emerald Ash Borer lays eggs.

"[It's] about a 100-200 eggs," Kim added. "They're legacy in the hundreds live on."

It's why these state agencies are working and proposing the quarantine.

To make sure the Ash Borers that have made it to those trees stay where they are, the State Plant Board will propose and likely make a decision on an emergency quarantine on the movement of firewood from the listed counties. If enacted, it would last three months.
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