Avon Lake

To prevent the attack of the emerald ash borer, the city of Avon Lake is pursuing a state grant to remove ash trees.

Service Director and Municipal Arborist Tom Lescher said the beetles are not in Avon Lake, at least not according to the state of Ohio. The ash borers will come to this area, he said, and the city needs to act fast.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) 2010 Western Lake Erie Basin Emerald Ash Borer Grant would reimburse the city for half of the $20,000 it pays to remove the ash trees and plant new trees. Though the city will not replant ash trees, Lescher said the plan calls for planting a quarter of the number of trees cut down. The city would most likely choose a large caliper tree, like an oak or a maple, that will have a large crown on it when it matures, he said.

The purpose of this plan is to prevent the ash borers from spreading through ash trees in Avon Lake.

City Council approved the application for the grant at Monday night’s meeting.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry Web site lists Lorain County as one of the target areas for its Western Lake Erie Basin Emerald Ash Borer Community and Woodlands Assistance Program.

The emerald ash borer’s presence in Lorain County has been confirmed at multiple sites, ODNR Service Forester Brian Riley said. Those areas follow the I-80 corridor from Toledo, he said, which show how the emerald ash borer has spread through illegally transported firewood and unregulated ash material.

Lorain County is included in the quarantine against moving tree material and hardwood firewood.

According to the ODNR Web site, the emerald ash borer’s larvae feed on the living portion of the tree beneath the bark, restricting the ash tree’s ability to move water and nutrients throughout the tree.

The city will also experiment with an insecticide injected into the trees, he said, but it’s not a guaranteed solution. Though some areas have had success with the insecticide, the state is not convinced it’s the best way to stop the beetle.

Visit the ODNR Web site, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture Web site.

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