ONEIDA – The emerald ash borer infests ash trees in Oneida, and the city is working to cut down and replace them.
Parks and Recreation Director Luke Griff inspected several stumps at Lincoln Park in Oneida and a dead ash tree died in dismay on Tuesday.
“There was nothing wrong with these trees last year,” Griff said. “We went out in April of this year and they looked dead. Whatever they do, the [emerald ash borers] kill trees quickly.
About 46 ash trees have already been felled, and more than 30 still need attention.
“We have a handful of them at Veteran’s Field that have to come down,” Griff said.
And these are just trees owned by the city, city officials said, adding that the invasive beetle was also rampant in a number of private trees in city neighborhoods.
They An employee of the Department of Public Works was able to choose a tree in a resident’s yard at a glance.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the emerald ash borer is an invasive Asian beetle that infests and kills North American ash trees. The beetle has four life stages: adult, egg, larva and pupa.
New York’s invasive species information indicates that the emerald ash borer has a one-year life cycle, emerging from ash trees in late May or early June. They plant their eggs in the crevice of the bark.
After hatching, the larvae gnaw the outer bark and feed on the inner part of the tree. Ash is a resinous wood, which makes it perfect for the larva.
As they feed, they leave sinuous patterns in the wood. When mature, the emerald ash borer makes its way out of the tree, leaving D-shaped exit holes and begins its life cycle anew.
The emerald ash borer has infested ash trees across Oneida. As a result, residents can find infested trees and stumps all around Oneida – and they have to go.
“It’s a safety hazard with the trees once they die and the limbs start to fall,” Griff said.
Oneida has the Tree City USA designation and has held it for 31 years. To maintain this designation, Oneida must plant a new tree each year. They have no obligation to replace the trees they cut, but Griff has said he wants to replace what they can.
“You can’t do them all, but a place like Lincoln Park needs it,” he said.
“Cutting down those trees really opened up the park. We felled seven mature trees. And by taking them apart, you want to put them back in place, so that people have shade, ”added the city’s director of parks and recreation.
To avoid any problems with the emerald ash borer in the future, the city has planted new oak and maple trees in Lincoln Park.