GENESEO – The Village Board of Trustees are weighing the pros and cons of removing ash trees from public land to prevent the spread of emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive beetle known to already be present in some privately owned trees in Geneseo.
EAB is a little bug with a big target on its back for destroying some 50 million ash trees in the U.S. Though nothing is final, Mayor Richard Hatheway said that the Village Board will continue to talk about applying for a grant from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to help remove 50 to 60 trees from public land before the beetles can get to them, and replace them with another species of tree.
“(EAB) was found in Caledonia, and we have something like 50 to 60 odd ash trees on public land,” said Hatheway. “We thought that we could apply for a grant to cull some of them out before they get infected.”
Statewide EAB management plans have been in effect since 2010 to curb the spread of the insects, which mean strict regulations for moving firewood, logs, and woodchips from infected zones. See the full list of DEC regulations and quarantines here.
Caledonia and parts of Avon and Lima are part of a ‘Severe Risk Area’ for EAB designated by the DEC. Parts of Geneseo lie within the EAB quarantine boundary, which have extremely tough restrictions for transporting any kind of ash wood or wood chips from the area.
It is up to local municipalities to enact EAB control or management actions, as overseen by the Livingston County Planning Department.