AUSTIN (KXAN) — An invasive species of beetle from Asia has arrived in Texas and is wreaking havoc on ash trees in the state.
The Emerald Ash Borer has recently been found in Tarrant County near Eagle Mountain Lake. The beetle, which only attacks ash trees, bores its way beneath the bark of a tree and hijacks its water supply — eventually killing it.
Treatment options exist to save a tree, although trees often don’t show symptoms of infection for years. After it’s too late.
According to the City of Austin’s Urban Health Coordinator April Rose, Texas A&M has several traps set up to detect if the beetles have made it to Travis County. There are about 1.4 million ash trees in Austin, according to Rose, and pre-exposure treatments for healthy trees and removal of dead trees could cost into the thousands.
Texas A&M’s Trees of Texas tool can help you identify ash trees on your property.