It’s hard to know the potential damage of the Emerald Ash Borer until you see it. This morning, I saw it.
My artillery battery took part in a small Civil War demonstration for school kids this morning in Marietta, just over the Ohio River from us. This is an annual event, held at the same park each year. It’s a beautiful park, but it looks different now.
The Emerald Ash Borer was first found in Ohio in 2003. In 2007 Marietta implemented a plan of action for when the EAB arrived locally which, based on map projections, was expected in 2016. It came early, as I discussed a year and a half ago.
About 60 ash trees have been infected and subsequently cut down as of last fall. Of course, the disappearance of trees is most noticeable when they’re fully leafed out, so any trees destroyed since the leaves fell haven’t really been that apparent over the colder months.
Oh, but it was today. Seasonally speaking, this part of the country is fully leafed out right now, and my trip to that park this morning was the first time I’d been there this year.
It was quite a shock.
The park is still lovely, but there’s a lot more open space now with several EAB-infected trees having been cut down since last fall. One beautiful tree in particular – we always placed our cannon near it every year – was most noticeably gone.
When I last wrote about this I noted that it was beginning to look like the battle against this thing might not be won. I ended by saying that I hoped I was wrong.
It’s looking ever more likely that I wasn’t.