Emerald ash borers are destroying ash trees in the Triad

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The emerald ash borer is destroying ash trees in the Triad.

“It's really ramped up here in Greensboro over the last three years,” said Judson Clinton, city arborist for the City of Greensboro.

Environmental agencies started preparing for the beetle’s potential destruction in 2015, but agricultural specialists in both Greensboro and Guilford County say the destruction is more apparent now than previous years.

The City of Greensboro has treated a little more than 100 ash trees in city parks and downtown along Elm Street.

“We're inserting insecticides into the trunk to try to treat any kind of insects that may be underneath the bark and that's done every two to three years,” Clinton said.

NC Forest Service Guilford County Ranger Jimmy Holt says the damage is extensive.

“We're seeing significant mortality and dieback this year,” Holt said.

However, Holt also says that homeowners still have options through pesticide treatments if the tree is in a certain stage.

Holt believes that 50 to 60 percent of isolated ash trees in the county are salvageable.

“To the individual landowners, they can treat those trees in their yard if it's less than a 50 percent dieback … or hire a company to come in and do the advanced treatment methods, or otherwise we're going to lose all the ash trees as a result.”

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