WARREN COUNTY — The emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that can have an dire impact on ash trees, has been found for the first time in the Adirondacks, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said.
“While not unexpected given the EAB’s spread, this marks the first confirmed case of EAB within the Adirondack Park,” DEC officials said Wednesday.
The affected trees were identified by state Department of Transportation personnel at the Warren County Canoe Launch on the Schroon River in the town of Chester.
“New York State is at the forefront of invasive species monitoring and prevention and this latest find of EAB, while concerning, also hardens our determination to do all we can to protect our natural resources from their destructive effects,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.
The emerald ash borer is a small but destructive beetle that infests and kills North American native ash species. Adults insects are roughly 3/8 to 5/8 inches long with metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen. While they may be present from late May through early September, they are most common in June and July.
Ash represents approximately seven percent of all trees in New York State, with a smaller percentage present in the Adirondacks. DEC officials said locating infested sites early can significantly delay the loss of ash trees and decrease the subsequent costs for their removal and replacement.
“It’s very sad to hear that the emerald ash borer has reached Warren County,” said Stony Creek Supervisor Frank Thomas, chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors. “The spread of this invasive will be absolutely devastating to our ash trees and substantially degrade our beautiful forests.”
Occurrences of any invasive species should be reported to the DEC’s Forest Health Diagnostic Laboratory by emailing photographs to [email protected].