There are over five billion ash trees in the state of Ohio, and all of them are in danger due to the Asian beetle, known as the emerald ash borer.
To raise awareness of this threat, council members at the May 19 Grove City Council meeting declared that the week of May 18-25 as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week.
"This is a very serious problem," said Grove City Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage.
Since its discovery in Southeastern Michigan in 2002, the emerald ash borer has killed more than 30 million ash trees in that part of the state alone, with tens of millions more lost in Ohio and Indiana.
The emerald ash borers fly from Mid-May to September, but it is their larvae that they leave behind that makes a lasting impression.
In the immature stage of the larvae’s life, they feed on the inner bark of the ash tree, which disrupts the trees’ ability to transpond nutrients and water. The larvae feed on the phloem and the outer sapwood for several weeks, making S-shaped marks on the tree, which is the most common sign that the borer has infected the ash tree.
"The city has spent at least $60,000 in the removal and the replacement of these trees," said Darryl Hughes, service director for the city of Grove City.
According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Emerald Ash Borer Response Plan, when the bug is discovered in Ohio, a quarantine is placed on the county in question to limit the movement of materials that can harbor the insect.
"There is not a lot to do in terms of prevention, but you can help by not transferring firewood in or out of the county," Hughes said.
As of April 1, 40 counties in the state of Ohio are under the emerald ash borer quarantine, and that includes Franklin County.
In other news
•Kim Conrad, director of the Grove City Parks and Recreation Department, was on hand to talk about the upcoming city events. On June 7, the Big Splash will open for the season at 10:30 a.m. with the official dedication of the new slide around 11 a.m. The Big Splash is located at 2831 Southwest Blvd., behind Brookpark Middle School
•Stage said that the Grove City Memorial Day Parade will take place on May 26 at 11 a.m. The parade will commence at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, proceed to the Town Center for a short event, and then end at the Grove City Cemetery.
•An ordinance to rezone 3.9 acres of land located at the Southwest corner of Killdeer Road and Thistlewood Drive was postponed until the June 16 council meeting.
An ordinance to accept the annexation of 1.125 acres located at 2517 London-Groveport Road was postponed until the June 2 meeting.