Emerald Ash Borer beetles invading trees in Hartford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Emerald Ash Borer beetles invading trees in Hartford

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The Emerald Ash Borer are eating dozens of ash trees. (WFSB) The Emerald Ash Borer are eating dozens of ash trees. (WFSB)

City officials are worried that beetles are eating at some trees, but finding the money to treat the issue could be challenging.

The Emerald Ash Borer are eating dozens of ash trees. Now, there is a push to treat them.

“What we know about the Emerald Ash Borer is that, once you see it in town, it's all over the place,” Jack Hale, who is the chairman of the Hartford Tree Advisory Commission, said.  

Hale said once a beetle infects the tree, it will die between two and five years.

“It lays eggs on the bark of the ash tree and when the eggs hatch the larvae burrows into the bark and begins to chew tunnels through the living tissue of the tree,” Hale said.

There are about 10,000 ash trees in Hartford. The best thing to do is to treat healthy ash trees with pesticides.

“You can either spray it so that when the adult gets on the tree, it will kill it or you can do a pesticide in the soil that soaks up through the tree,” Hale said.

Hartford said they are treating a few trees, but it's expensive. The city said it costs a few hundred dollars per tree. With a tight city budget, they might not be able to treat all the healthy ones.

“You have to treat it every year or two in order to prevent it so if you got 10,000 trees, it's a big deal,” Hale said.

Eyewitness News reached out to the leadership in Hartford, but officials did not return calls.

Hale said he hopes the city can find some money to treat the healthy ones as trees have multiple benefits. They are providing shade for energy costs, taking dust out of the air and catching rainwater which helps the sewer system. 

“There are a lot of trees that provide real value,” Hale said. “These street trees along Washington Street here really make the street, it's they weren't here this would feel like the airport.”

The emerald ash borer isn't rare. Many local towns and other states are dealing with the infestation. It depends on their budgets, whether the trees will be treated.

If you have ash trees, you can report them so the group can keep track. For more information about the Emerald Ash Borers, click here.

The group wants to keep track of ash trees. To report them in your neighborhood, call 311 from a landline or 860-757-9311

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