Tree-destroying beetle causing concern in Longmeadow

Town trying to see whether there's a large infestation of the emerald ash borer

emerald ash borer trap
This is a close-up picture of one of the purple traps that have been set up around the town of Longmeadow to determine the extent of the emerald ash borer infestation.

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Longmeadow’s many ash trees may be in jeopardy from an insect known to destroy them. Some tree damage has already been spotted on some conservation land near the Connecticut River. The hope is that they have not spread beyond that.

For the next month, Tree Warden Geoffrey McAlmond and his citizens’ tree committee will be checking traps placed on ash trees around town.

“Traps are to monitor the existence of emerald ash borers in town. They’re sticky traps to track the beetles; they get stuck inside the trap,” Peter Bouvier of the Longmeadow Tree Committee said.

Emerald Ash Borer

Adult beetles lay their eggs on ash trees, and once those hatch, the larvae attack the trees- ultimately causing the trees to die within a number of years.

If the worst-case scenario develops- that the dreaded beetles are infesting Longmeadow’s ash trees, there could be serious consequences.

“There’s little doubt that all the ash trees in Longmeadow would eventually succumb to the emerald ash borer; some in the next couple of years, and some may last as much as 10 years,” David Marinelli of the tree committee said.

With this early-warning trap system, however, the town can take preventative measures. McAlmond told 22News that they can start with pesticide spray and import a type of wasp that feeds on the tree-killing beetles.

Within a few weeks, the town will know whether its ash trees are targeted for a devastating beetle invasion. Then, they can take action to prevent it from happening.