Asian beetle de­stroy­ing North Amer­ica’s ash trees

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESS in Chicago

Over the next two years, grounds crews in St. Louis will cut down nearly one out of ev­ery five trees, al­ter­ing the US city’s leafy land­scape for at least a gen­er­a­tion.

St. Louis is the lat­est vic­tim of the Emer­ald Ash Borer, an Asian beetle smaller than a penny, which em­i­grated from China via ship­ping ma­te­ri­als and is de­stroy­ing mil­lions of trees in North Amer­ica.

The in­sect tar­gets the Ash tree — a com­mon va­ri­ety in Mid­west­ern cities, where the tree can sur­vive cramped side­walks, harsh win­ters and road salts used to keep streets clear of ice and snow.

In St. Louis, city forestry com­mis­sioner Skip Kin­caid is tasked with

Sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered a pes­ti­cide treat­ment that can keep the in­sect from killing trees. But Kin­caid said that wasn’t an eco­nom­i­cally fea­si­ble so­lu­tion, as it must be re­peat­edly ap­plied ev­ery other year.

Only 1,000 made the cut. The rest will be re­moved and re­placed with a va­ri­ety of species, but it will be years be­fore they reach the size of the Ash trees.

“This is some­thing where quite hon­estly, we re­ally have no other choice,” Kin­caid said.

Sci­en­tists es­ti­mate that about 30 mil­lion trees have al­ready suc­cumbed to the beetle.

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