Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announced today that a non-native invasive beetle from Asia, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been detected in the county and is wreaking havoc on ash trees. The beetle feeds on the trees causing them to die within 1 – 3 years. While only 2 percent of the trees in Montgomery County are ash trees, they make up an estimated 20 percent of trees located on parkland.
“Montgomery Parks is the largest holder of ash trees in Montgomery County,” said Holly Thomas, Horticulture and Urban Forestry Manager. “The Emerald Ash Borer is an extremely destructive bug and we are expecting large quantities of standing dead trees in Montgomery Parks.”
Parks staff is developing a plan to address problems created by the Emerald Ash Borer. The plan will feature several phases including inventory and monitoring, removal and treatment and planting. The Parks Department is seeking funding to address the issue over the next several years. Public support will also make a huge difference.
“We are asking park patrons to help by continuing to report dead, dying and hazardous trees to the Montgomery Park Service Center,” said David Vismara, Division Chief, Horticulture, Forestry Environmental Education Division of Montgomery Parks.
By Melissa Chotiner, Montgomery Parks
About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 417 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high-quality parks and recreation services, and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. http://www.MontgomeryParks.org