Chenango ash trees at risk

NORWICH – This time around, it’s going to be the ash tree. Like Dutch Elm Disease and the Chestnut blight during the middle of the last century, experts say an exotic beetle from Asia is expected to completely obliterate the state’s forest of ash.

“In all likelihood, there’s a good chance ash will be banished from the state’s forest,” Rich Taber, a Cornell Cooperative Extension forester for Broome and Chenango counties, told members of the Chenango County Agriculture, Buildings and Grounds Committee Tuesday.

There is no natural predator or cure, he added.

Taber said forestry management experts have quarantined the distribution of firewood in New York’s neighboring states, hoping to contain what’s called the Emerald Ash Borer. However, it could take just one load of infested firewood to transport the deadly pest into New York. The borer has been moving throughout the Great Lakes states, and is only 150 miles from New York’s boarder.

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