TJ GERHARDT — The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a type of beetle, originated in Asia, that’s made its way to the United States through transported wood packaging. When full grown, the EAB does little to no damage on trees – however, when the beetles are still larvae they feed on the insides of ash trees, specifically the inner bark. This larvae stage is commonly known as the immature stage of EAB. While feeding off the inner bark of ash trees, the Emerald Ash Borer interrupts the tree’s ability to filter essential nutrients and water it needs to survive – therefore killing the tree. In North America alone, the EAB population has killed hundreds of millions of American ash trees. Now the EAB population has migrated into our very own Bio Reserve.
The Bio Reserve is a precious resource on Denison’s campus. It provides a hands-on learning experience for our Denison students and faculty. The Biological Reserve holds a lot of historical meaning and symbolism to not only the university itself but to the entire village of Granville as well. The EAB population has extinguished about 20% of 350 acres in the Bio Reserve. That is roughly 70 acres of land in our priceless Bio Reserve. These beetles are not only hurting our ability to learn, but they’re impacting other organisms that reside in the Bio Reserve. This will cause a disruption in the food chain. The beetles are killing organisms that live in the ash trees, which then lead to an under-population of these organisms. One of Denison’s goals for the Bio Reserve is to maximize the number of habitats and species in the area, in order to help students and faculty learn even more about the precious resource.
Due to the loss of many of our ash trees in the Bio Reserve, Denison and its community must take action to stop this infestation. The most commonly used method for the removal of EAB in urban areas is to use insecticides, which typically last around one to three years. The beetles have infested nearly a fifth and counting of the total acreage. The use of insecticide may not be a viable option due to the fact that the beetles have consumed so many of our beloved trees. Another option that Denison has is to quarantine the trees and remove them from the area. This option would not only reduce the total EAB population, but it would also help to prevent the spread of the species.
The Emerald Ash Borer is destroying more and more ash trees every day and there needs to be a feasible option that Denison can use before it’s too late.