The Department of Natural Resources and the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service will host open houses about Indiana's emerald ash borer infestation at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Beeson Community Center on Dec. 6. The Beeson Center is located at 900 Beeson Drive, Winchester, Ind. The open houses are free and open to the public.
The emerald ash borer is an exotic species of beetle that destroys ash trees. In order to stop the spread of this beetle the DNR must remove ash trees around the infested area in Randolph County. DNR personnel are completing surveys to determine how many trees are involved.
"This is a chance for residents of areas in and around the quarantine zone to learn what the state is doing and find out more about the emerald ash borer," said Dr. Robert Waltz, Indiana state entomologist.
Representatives from the DNR and Purdue Extension will be on hand to discuss what the state is doing to stop the spread of emerald ash borer, the ash quarantine zone and where trees will be cut down.
"We’re using an open house format for the emerald ash borer meeting," said Jodie Ellis, the exotic species education coordinator at Purdue. "This format allows residents to focus on topics that interest them and speak directly to an expert."
There will be stations about the insect, symptoms of EAB, how to report possible EAB sites, the quarantine, compliance agreements, legal issues, woodlot management and tree replacement.
The adult emerald ash borer is slender and a bright, metallic, coppery-green color. It is about one-third of an inch long, making it difficult to spot in tree leaves. The larval, or immature, form of the pest destroys live ash trees by eating the vascular tissue that supplies nutrients to the tree, Ellis said. The tree starves to death three years after the vascular tissue is destroyed.
The beetle has already killed more than 15 million trees ash trees in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio since it was first found in the United States in June 2002.