Park confirms emerald ash borer infestation in backcountry
Park officials recently confirmed the Smokies' first backcountry emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation.
Glenn Taylor, Great Smoky Mountains National Park biologist, said the emerald ash borer is a 1/2 inch-long metallic green beetle that lays eggs on the bark on all species of ash trees. After hatching, the EAB larvae burrow under the bark, and create feeding tunnels that cut off nutrient and water flow to the tree. The tree can die in three to five years.
Accidentally introduced to North America from Asia, EAB was first discovered in southeast Michigan in 2002, and has spread to 16 states and two Canadian provinces killing tens of millions of ash trees.
Since 2009, officials have been monitoring for the presence of EAB. Front country infestations were confirmed in June 2012 at Sugarlands ...