March 4, 2014 -
Less than 1 percent of Knoxville's trees are ash trees - and to make sure those numbers don't dwindle, the City of Knoxville will be working with Cortese Tree Specialists Inc. to protect some city-owned ash trees.
The City and Cortese Tree Specialists in the coming weeks will be treating 13 ash trees in West Hills Park, Chilhowee Park and Morningside Park and along Neyland Greenway to combat the Emerald Ash Borer, said City Urban Forester Kasey Krouse.
The Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus Planipennis), also known as EAB, is an invasive beetle native to Asia. The ash borer was first discovered in Knoxville in July 2010, having found its way here through transported non-local firewood.
The EAB lays eggs under the bark of the tree and, as the larvae grow, they feed on the cambium just underneath the bark. This will eventually kill the ash tree; an estimated 17 million ash trees across 25 states are threatened, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Low numbers of trees, such as ashes, is a factor in deciding what new trees to plant. Krouse, who is overseeing a comprehensive inventory of the city's trees, neighborhood by neighborhood, is a firm believer in diversifying the species inventory within communities.
Meanwhile, if homeowners have ash trees on their private property, they may contact a local tree care professional to see about getting their trees treated. A list of local tree care professionals can be found at www.treesaregood.org.