Thursday, October 30, 2014

Emerald Ash Borers

Earlier this week, I partook in a ghost tour event here on Transylvania's campus. Using the bench in front of the Kissing Tree — a very old ash tree, and a very striking local landmark — as a stage, I told the one-hundred-percent true story of how the attempted murder of Constantine Rafinesque took place under that very tree. Seriously, though; it happened.

The scene of the crime, now the potential scene of another.

Anyway...

Soon afterward I learned that yet another invasive insect, the Emerald Ash Borer, has recently infiltrated Kentucky. Already I've grown rather fond of the Killing Kissing Tree, and so I've been doing some research on how to preserve it. The results have not been promising...

According to a 2005 tree survey cited by UK's College of Agriculture, EAB activity remains confined to certain "hotspots," yet those hotspots include the streets of Lexington, Kentucky! Though I haven't seen much of an effect on downtown trees — apart from the unrelated bacterial blight of Triangle Park's Bradford Pear trees — the recent announcement that all of Kentucky is now a regulated area for EAB infestation has me worried. If the entire state is now at risk, one can only conclude that the "hotspot" EAB populations have expanded, yes? And if they expanded, they must be reproducing more effectively — which suggests to me that these spots are even "hotter" than before. 

Is my reasoning sound? Is this just conjecture?

At any rate, we should take the time to learn the signs of EAB infestation, for the betterment of our dear tree. If everyone is looking out for the tree, even casually or halfheartedly, we should be able to catch any ash borer activity before it's too late. Don't let them distribute their filthy Communist literature in our neighborhood! Better dead than Red — er, Emerald.

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No suggested literature today. If you haven't been able to find some appropriate seasonal literature by this time, I'm sorely disappointed in you.

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