Over 400 traps were set out last September to catch Emerald Ash Borer.
Researchers from Michigan Tech say for the past four years, the project has shown some progress in slowing down the rate of dying ash trees. Now a team of 26 research technicians are injecting the trees with insecticide which kills the ash borersâ?? larvae and keeps them from tunneling into the tree.
â??Part of the strategy for slowing the mortality rate is to try and create areas where itâ??s difficult for Emerald Ash Borer to move through certain areas, and so on the edge of where we know the insect is, weâ??re injecting some of the trees with insecticide to protect them,â?? said Andrew Storer, professor of forest and insect ecology at Michigan Tech.
The infested trees originated in the Calumet-Laurium area, and over the last couple of years, the infestation has spread as far as the Keweenaw County line.
Each tree is identified with an orange flag. The field technicians measure the diameter of the tree, which determines how many injections of insecticide will go into the living part of the bark.
â??We also use injected trees in areas where weâ??ve tried to create some attractive trees by girdling them to try and bring in a low-density population of Emerald Ash Borer and then remove them by cutting the trees and peeling them,â?? Storer said.
Insecticides are also used to protect the trees in the surrounding area.
The next step in this project is to start hanging around 200 purple traps in the ash trees.