In the next decade, all of the ash trees in Evansville could die if they aren't treated.
Officials say the Emerald Ash Borer has caused widespread destruction across the northern half of the state. And the tiny beetles are coming here. It's only a matter of time.
“The Emerald Ash Borer is everywhere in Indiana now with the exception of Vanderburgh and Gibson counties,” said Shawn Dickerson, City Arborist.
“Once it’s found in an area, typically all of the ash trees will be dead in 10 years,” he added. “Ash trees take up about 6 to 7 percent of all of our trees. That means we are going to lose 6 to 7 percent of all of our trees except the ones that are treated.”
The tiny green beetles, less than a penny in length, feed on ash trees by eating the cambium layer. That's the growing portion of a tree trunk.
“The native ash borer holes are round,” said Dickerson. “The Emerald Ash Borer holes are smaller and D-shaped.”
Dickerson said Southwest Indiana has been fortunate thus far. But he believes an infestation is inevitable.