Ad Spot

June 15, 2021

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Humans aren’t the only species receiving preventative shots during the pandemic.

This week, city officials are using a statewide grant to inject 20 local ash trees with an insecticide meant to protect them against the invasive emerald ash borer beetle.

In 2018, the city received a grant from the North Carolina Forest Service’s Ash Protection Program and the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to protect ash trees against the insect. The city reapplied for the same grant and has been awarded $7,491 to treat 20 local ash trees across its more than 300 acres of park space.

The emerald ash borer beetle is native to northeastern Asia. Salisbury arborist Stephen Brown said they’re an invasive species introduced to North America in the 1990s. The insects have since destroyed thousands of acres of ash trees in northern states like Michigan. Like its name, the beetle is green in color and measures about a quarter of an inch.

The insects feed on the inner bark by making a “D-shaped” hole near the top of the tree, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. Emerald ash borers are capable of destroying ash trees within two to three years.

The city contracted Bryan Fisher of Charlotte-based Arborguard to use the insecticide this week to protect 20 of the city’s largest ash trees across Hurley Park, Kelsey Scott Park, Forest Hills Park and Chestnut Hill Cemetery. Brown said his predecessor, former city arborist Mark Martin, surveyed ash trees around the city in 2018, and the clusters of trees currently receiving the treatment were chosen due to their proximity to the greenway.

The spray is applied systematically via an injection system into the tree’s vascular system. Brown said the tree absorbs the insecticide and transports it throughout the tree, cutting off the supply of water and nutrient where the insects feed under the bark.

After measuring the tree’s diameter at about chest height, Fisher is able to use a calculation to determine how many sites on the tree will receive the treatment. Holes are then drilled into the tree, adapters are placed and the insecticide is injected.

Injecting the insecticide via the tree’s vascular system, Brown said, prevents chemicals from splashing onto the ground or drifting into the air and potentially harming animals or other plants.

Though this week’s injections are preventative measures, Brown said last year the county discovered an ash tree in Cleveland had been infested with the emerald ash borer, noting its threat in Rowan County.

Brown said the injection method is often used against other insects in other trees. For example, a similar procedure could be followed for protection against pine borer insects, which can destroy pine trees.

“As far as taking care of our trees in North Carolina … you look around and it just adds to the beauty of our county, our city and our state,” Brown said. “So to lose our trees, eventually it will affect us. It’s just a natural resource that we just can’t do without.”

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

Comments

Local

Council to vote on budget, consider permit for child care center near downtown

Landis

Landis adopts budget with reduction in residential electric rates, no tax increases

Local

Political Notebook: Budd campaign touts boost in voter support after Trump endorsement

Local

Seventh Dragon Boat Festival scheduled July 24

News

NC rights groups say GOP bills impede voting access

Local

Sgt. Shane Karriker’s funeral procession travels through downtown Salisbury

Crime

Blotter: June 14

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will front entrance to courthouse reopen?

Coronavirus

As COVID-19 cases wane, vaccine-lagging areas still at risk

Crime

Blotter: Man faces litany of charges for fleeing sheriff’s deputies

Granite Quarry

‘Race to the Dan’ brings Revolutionary War back to Rowan

Local

‘Unity in the Community’ event brings together Salisbury Police, NAACP

Crime

One killed, two others shot on South Jackson Street in Salisbury

Crime

State examining Davidson County emergency alert received in Rowan, other counties

Local

Cleveland Rodeo packs house for 10th year

News

Salisbury’s Jacques Belliveau talks mental health, filming during premiere of ‘Reggie: A Millennial Depression Comedy’

News

Sen. Ford backs new set of election-related bills

Business

Downtown Salisbury bullish on potential for more residential space

Business

Biz Roundup: Wine about Winter set for June 18

Business

Local artists draw in adventurous travelers with eclectic Airbnb rental downtown

Education

Commissioners discussing reviving joint capital project committee with school board

Business

Beech-Nut Stage One cereal recalled

Lifestyle

‘All Critters Big and Small’ program coming to library

Kannapolis

Area Sports Briefs: Former A.L. Brown standout Cambrea Sturgis wins two sprint events