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News : Emerald ash borer found in northern Marion County

Emerald ash borer found in northern Marion County
by Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp Indystar
Tagged ash tree

The dreaded emerald ash borer has been found along the Monon Trail in Nora, in Sahm Park and at Castleton Square Mall.

This bug from China, discovered in Michigan in 2002, has felled millions of ash trees, with the highest concentration in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Ontario. The bug kills any species of native ash trees within three to five years of infestation.

Forty-seven million ash trees are at risk in our forests and woodlands and millions more on our streets and backyards, said Jodie Ellis, exotic insects education coordinator at Purdue University.

To emphasize the number of trees that could be killed by the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire), residents in Lafayette and West Lafayette have begun tagging ash trees in their communities with purple ribbons. The exercise serves a couple of purposes:

It marks which trees neighborhoods and other communities may want to protect with regular pesticide treatments. These might be large, old healthy specimens and those that offer significant benefits, such as shade.

And it marks which trees should be monitored, so if evidence of emerald ash borers is spotted, action can be taken immediately.

The Purdue program, called Neighbors Against Bad Bugs, or NABB, will be rolled out as communities, neighborhoods and other groups express interest, said Cliff Sadof, a professor of entomology at Purdue.

Many of Indiana's certified arborists have said they'd provide group rates for treatments where neighbors are working together.

Sadof and other experts also have revised their recommendation about treating ash trees. For details and to learn more about the insect and the NABB program, please visit Emerald Ash Borer in Indiana at