Friday, June 17, 2011

Emerald Ash Borer

Perhaps in your travels around Sullivan County you have seen these purple triangle contraptions hanging from various trees. Every time I would see one, I would tell myself that I had to do some research and find out what they were, but then life got in the way, and I kept forgetting. Well when I finally remembered I was surprised that I had not read something on it sooner, because it was covered quite extensively by the local media. (There was an article in the Democrat, Record and River Reporter. In Sullivan County that is as extensive as it gets.)

So some may know about our latest infestation threat, but for those of you who don’t, I will tell you. The Emerald Ash Borer, indigenous to Central Asia, at some point hitched a ride over the Pacific, and showed up in Michigan in ’02. Apparently these little insects have a fondness for our Ash trees. The adults nibble on the leaves, with little damage, but the larvae love to bore holes in them until they are dead. Tens of millions of trees have been lost in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and recently New York.

Surrounding counties have confirmed reports of these little buggers, but as of yet, none in Sullivan County. However it is only a matter of time before they show up. Quarantine procedures have been set up by the D.E.C to limit firewood and nursery tree transportation, but most experts agree that it is a losing battle.

Well these purple boxes have a bunch of sweet smelling sap inside that the bugs find irresistible. (Apparently they are also fond of purple.) They work along the same lines as a lobster trap. Once inside the insects are not smart enough to find their way out.

How effective will this be in stopping the beetles? I am going to guess not very. But I suppose every little bit helps.

This is just another example of how our world is getting smaller, and the repercussions it has on our environment. Last year we had an outbreak of “Rock Snot” (Didymosphenia geminata) an algae that was originally from Africa. Earliest reporting of this plant was in the ‘80’s. Although not a significant threat, it is a slimy weed that covered the bottom of the Delaware River for the month of July. Environmentalists report that it is a health risk for the local fish population. Also the bamboo that is prevalent along the banks of the Delaware is not indigenous to this region. Sometime in the mid 1980’s it began appearing, and now it is everywhere, and has choked out a lot of the natural growth along the river banks.

Nature is an opportunist I suppose, and if these species can hitch a ride on our carelessness, they will. Makes you wonder what was on Darwin’s shoe when he first stepped onto the Galapagos.

There were ten properties sold in Sullivan County this week as reported by the Sullivan County MLS.

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  1. Great just what Sullivan County needs more ASH HOLES!

  2. Couple of pretty expensive solds this week huh? Nice place on Tennanah. Pretty unusual to have that many above 500K in one week.

  3. Love the pun, son. Hey John what do you think about the Catskill Farms house on Crawford? Originally listed for 549K, they now have it down to 399K. It was bought for $360,000 in '07. Nice return on investment huh?

  4. I think that if someone in today's market gets what they paid for a property in '07, they are doing good. I doubt whoever bought that house thought of it as an "investment."