from ground zero...
14, 2007 11:19 PST
in Ypsilanti, MI we still have a few struggling survivor Green
trees standing, but most of the trees are gone and many have yet
removed. It is very disheartening to me to hear
the same stories over and
over again coming from state sponsored experts who continue to
recommendations which do not work. Here in
Michigan, the state didn't come
forward with money until the only thing we had left was a tree
removal problem rather than an issue of containment and spread
The organizations designed to use machines to remove trees seem
to know how
to get money from "the system" but those of us
speaking for approaches to
prevention and containment could not convince legislators to do
until it is too late. When funding for the testing and
evaluation of EAB
treatments became available here, evaluations of the sites we
use all came back, "everything is too far gone" or
"we need urban areas for
the testing because those are the only areas where spending the
of money we are talking about can be justified." It never
ceases to amaze
me how easily and smoothly the political process blunts and
rational scientific discourse and science based action
Maybe we need to splice a gene for insecticide producing and/or
inhibiting cells into a whole range of different tree species?
seems to be working to produce crops we now use to feed billions
maybe the same approach might save some Eastern Native Tree
extinction? Anyone know about promising experiments?
E. Daniel Ayres, AKA ZundapMan
Ash Borer might be fought with fungus, too
19, 2007 17:24 PDT
Fungus Eyed as Stopper of Ash-Killing Beetle
By Luis Pons
April 13, 2007
Beauveria bassiana, a soilborne fungus already used for keeping
pests in check, is being eyed as a possible control for an
that has already killed more than 20 million ash trees in
Indiana, and Ontario.
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist John Vandenberg
colleagues want to know how well a commercial strain of B.
up to the emerald ash borer after repeated applications. They
seeing if this strain-called GHA-will work better if used with
commercial insecticide imidacloprid.
B. bassiana spores kill insects by attaching to them,
penetrating their hosts' bodies. The spores can survive to
infect later pest
generations. B. bassiana is used against a variety of insects,
termites and whiteflies.
The emerald ash borer is thought to have entered North America
1990s in solid woodpacking material from Asia. Its immature
larvae feed on
the vascular-system tissue of ash trees.
First spotted here in 2002 near Detroit, the destructive beetle
cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and
industries tens of millions of dollars, according to the U.S.
(USFS). Infestations were recently found in the Chicago area.
According to Vandenberg, of the ARS Plant Protection Research
Ithaca, N.Y., preliminary studies led by USFS scientist Leah
shown that the beetle is susceptible to B. bassiana. However,
effectiveness in larger field trials has not yet been proven.
At a commercial tree nursery near Jackson, Mich., Vandenberg,
entomologist Michael Griggs, Cornell University scientist Louela
and Michigan State University researcher Houping Liu are
performance of the fungus on about 400 ash trees in three
A possible strategy against the beetle would entail spraying the
trees before the pests' spring mating season, according to
ARS and the U.S. Forest Service are agencies within the U.S.
Agriculture. ARS is USDA's chief in-house scientific research