Destruction disguised as pretty

By Carol / January 7, 2011 /

“Oh, what a pretty thing!’ I know I’ll think that when I see the first one.

The Emerald Ash Borer has a regal name and it does look stunning in it’s jewel-toned, green shell. But we can not be deceived by its beauty. This little insect is destructive to ash trees. And it’s coming our way.

Within the last two years, I’ve heard horticulturalists say we don’t have to act too quickly. The invaders haven’t been spotted in Iowa yet. Though they were just across the Mississippi.  Then the pests were in northeast Iowan. All of a sudden, a couple of weeks ago, they were cutting down ash trees on the Iowa State campus. Now, today, the Registertrumpets the preemptive removal of ash trees in Des Moines.

I looked up as I walked down our drive this morning. Ten ash trees line the south side. In the heat of the summer, I enjoy walks to the mailbox in their cool shade.  In the winter, frosted with snow, they add to the winter wonderland effect of our yard. Another ash tree stands right outside my office window. Two other huge ash trees shelter our house from afternoon sun. Thirteen ash trees in all.

We haven’t seen Emerald Ash Borers on our property. The trees are healthy. We are continually advised not to act precipitously. The insects may not come to our trees anytime soon. Even if they do, it could take years to kill our trees. Replace them? We could start the process but no doubt not see the result in our lifetime.

We wonder. We wait. We look up. I know I’ll think the first one is pretty. But its beauty will make me sad. It can not be as pretty as all our trees.

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1 Comment

  1. Carol Bodensteiner on November 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Thank you, Marlys.

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