Massachusetts: Destructive Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Suffolk County

A beetle that kills ash trees has been found in another Massachusetts county. Suffolk County is the third in the Bay State to have infestations of the Emerald Ash Borer.

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation confirms the Emerald Ash Borer was detected two weeks ago at Boston’s Arnold Arboretum. The invasive green beetle, which is native to Asia, was first discovered in the U.S. in Michigan in 2002 and has quickly spread eastward.

“Emerald Ash Borer is a very rapid tree killer,” says the DCR’s Ken Gooch. “In two to three years, it can kill a tree.”

Gooch says the beetle was first detected in Massachusetts two years ago in Berkshire County, and then in Essex County last year. He says quarantines were issued banning the movement of firewood outside both counties. But Gooch says the infestation continues to spread by people that have not heeded the message.

“Buy local, burn local. So get your firewood from a local source and burn it where you buy it from,” says Gooch.

A decision on imposing a quarantine in the greater-Boston area is still under discussion. Gooch says two species of predatory wasps have been introduced in Berkshire and Essex counties to help reduce the beetle’s population.