Howard County crews are removing ash trees along various county-owned roadways as a way to combat an infestation of emerald ash borers.
The county's Department of Public Works announced last week that the tree removal was underway in Clarksville, Columbia, Cooksville, Dayton, Elkridge, Ellicott City, Glenelg and Glenwood. Officials said that, weather permitting, the trees and stumps will be removed by the end of winter. Tree will be replaced, where appropriate, by spring or fall, officials said in a news release.
The county will not remove trees on private property, officials said.
According to the county, ash trees are the most common type of landscaping tree in the United States. The emerald ash borer is an invasive insect that feeds on and can cause significant damage to ash trees, including death, particularly in one to three years after infestation. The insect is not harmful to humans.
Officials said signs of the ash borer infestation include death of twigs and branches at the treetops, discolored leaves, water sprouts and D-shaped holes in the bark where the larvae emerge. The public works department recommends that if residents believe they have infestation on their ash trees, they should call Maryland Department of Agriculture at 410-841-5920.
Additional information on the emerald ash borer is available at mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/eab.aspx. The website notes that the ash borer is “native to Asia and thought to have arrived in the United States in solid wood packing material from its native Asia. It was first detected... in July 2002. Because of [the ask borer], millions of ash trees have died in the central and northeastern United States.”
In Howard County, the roadways where tree removal is occurring include: