Highland staying one step ahead of the Emerald Ash Borer

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — More than 100 trees are being treated at James Monroe's Highland this week to help protect them from the invasive species known as the emerald ash borer.

Officials at the property say they performed the same style treatment two years ago.

So far, there have not been any signs of EAB infestation on the iconic white ash trees.

"The treatment seems to be working. We will continue the treatment until the threat passes," said Jason Woodle, of James Monroe's Highland.

Tree experts from Bartlett Tree Experts have been giving a root flare injection of emamectin benzoate, a chemical that kills the larval form of the emerald ash borer.

"When the larvae hatch and they start feeding on the tree, it's already in the tissues of the tree and it kills them," said Gabe Wilkins, of Bartlett Tree Experts.

The city of Harrisonburg has had to remove a number of ash trees in recent years due to the invasive insect, as has Waynesboro.

The insect’s larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, which disrupts the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. Once the larvae are adults, they will fly to another ash tree to lay their eggs, thus repeating the cycle.

But getting ash trees checked by foresters and treated ahead of time can prevent it from spreading.

The borer has been in our area for around five to eight years, but there have been more of them in the past two years. he Shenandoah National Park considers the insect one of its biggest threats.

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