Invasive beetle threatens Tulsa's 200,000 ash trees

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Since the emerald ash borer was first found in Oklahoma nearly three months ago in a trap near Grove, a few sightings from private land owners in that area—one verified—also have been reported.

The pest is of particular concern for Tulsa, given the city’s proximity to Delaware County and use of ash trees in streetscapes and parks.

The ash borer is a beetle not native to North America that attacks all types of ashes, with the potential to kill small trees in a year or two and large ones in three to four years.

Oklahoma State Forester George Geissler said he isn’t surprised his agency hasn’t received more sightings after the ash borer was first found Oct. 12 in Delaware County. He said the pest’s life cycle slows in colder weather, and it isn’t reproducing this time of year.

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