Forestry officials confirm invasive beetle found in Henrico County

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- State forestry officials say an invasive beetle has been confirmed in Henrico County, which is endangering many trees.

The Virginia Department of Forestry says many emerald ash borer beetles were caught in traps along the nature trails at Crump Park and Three Lakes Park.

Officials say this means the population of the insect in the area is already high.

Forestry officials call EAB one of the most destructive forest pests to ever invade North America, and the species has already caused millions of dollars in damage due to the loss of hundreds of millions of ash trees.

DOF reports all ash species that are native to North America are susceptible to attack by the beetle and trees are likely to die within one to five years of being infested.

Ash trees are commonly found in yards and along country roads, and if they are not treated or removed, they may fall or unexpectedly drop limbs and pose a risk to public safety.

Landowners are advised to consider treating their ash trees or having an arborist remove them.

In the spring, DOF will be offering a 50 percent cost-share program to offset the treatment of specimen ash trees via trunk injection.

The state agency says landowners or organizations with healthy ash trees that are at least 12 inches in diameter can apply for the program.

Such landowners will need to assess the health of their tree(s) soon and then begin talking about the viability of treating the tree or trees with a certified Pesticide Applicator.

For those who will cut down ash trees for firewood, DOF officials remind people to not transport the wood across state and county lines.

For more information, DOF suggests contacting its EAB Coordinator at (434) 220-9034 or a local VDOF forester or click on the links in the Related Links box.

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