The Roundup -

Traps Are Set To Determine If EAB Has Reached Sidney


Twelve Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) traps have been set in Sidney parks and at the golf course, given to the city by APHIS; the traps are bated with pheromones, which sit in a white cup at the bottom of the green cylindrical traps.

EAB is a very small destructive beetle that is responsible for the decline of tens of millions of ash trees around the United States and Canada, including Minnesota, and Colorado, and City Parks Superintendent Steph Ridl feels that it isn't a matter of if they invade Montana, but when. The tiny metallic beetle is most destructive in its larvae stage, tunneling under the bark and disrupting the nutrient flow to the tree.

EAB is moving in on us from the east as well as the south, Sidney is likely to be on the front lines of detection for the state, and with the population influx and the amount of firewood and pallets being shipped in from infected areas due to recent oil activity, Ridl wants to be proactive.

"It's very hard to detect; experts suspect that Michigan had EAB for twelve years prior to identifying it and with 29% of Sidney's canopy made up of mature ash trees, it would be another devastating loss following Dutch Elm Disease," said Ridl, who's overall goal is to diversify the canopy so that no more than 10% is made up of any one species to prevent situations like this. "Dutch Elm Disease was specific in that it primarily affected American Elms, EAB is not, it affects all Ash trees."

Lower Yellowstone REC contacted Ridl in the fall of 2015 because they wanted to volunteer their time to the community, so when it came time to set traps, LYREC was instrumental in helping get them into the trees. LYREC volunteers, Tanner Roth and Rich Gorde, helped Ridl set traps with the use of their bucket truck, which saved an incredible amount of time, and the City of Sidney thanks them for all of their help.

"It's great to be optimistic," said Ridl, "but it is a very real situation and something that people should consider when selecting trees to plant. Establishing different tree species to replace those that are at risk is also something that can be done in preparation."

For more information, contact Richland County Extension Agent Tim Fine at 406-433-1206.


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