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The Time Has Come – Emerald Ash Borer

By the Site Ecology Team (SET) and Wildlife and Industry Together (WAIT)

Drilling & preparing for injection
Drilling and preparing for injection.
Photo courtesy of Bill Willis
Injection points in a tree
Three or four injection points around the base.
Photo courtesy of Bill Willis

The moment we were anticipating and dreading has come to the whole State of North Carolina. The emerald ash borer (EAB) population in our state is now considered to be widespread with all counties threatened. NIEHS hired a professional tree service to inject some of our ash trees with the product TREE-äge@Arborjet, (Emamectin Benzoate 4%). This systemic pesticide, when injected into the active conductive vessels of the tree, circulates throughout the tree and begins the process that should protect it from beetle attacks. A subset of twenty-one NIEHS trees should survive the invasion, so that one day, these trees might help repopulate the Piedmont. The next round of injections will be in the spring of 2017, then every other year thereafter until the threat is over.

Injection ports in a tree
Injection ports delivering TREE-age from a pressured reservoir.
Photo courtesy of Bill Willis
Tree ID tags
Tree ID tags.
Photo courtesy of Bill Willis

Both a control and treatment group has been identified. Each group will be monitored on the same frequency to determine when effects of the EAB are first seen and then to monitor the progression. Each treated ash tree will be photographed, labeled with a metal ID tag and receive a map coordinate.

We would like to encourage all employees to take the time to learn how to identify ash trees (2MB), the EAB, and the symptoms of infection, thus becoming knowledgeable and able to discuss this ecological crisis with friends and neighbors.

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