Tree-killing emerald ash borer found in Tompkins, Schuyler counties

Cornell University confirmed it has found an emerald ash borer – an invasive beetle that has destroyed ash trees across the country – in its largest teaching and research forest.

The pest was located in Schuyler and Tompkins counties in the Arnot Teaching and Research Forest, according to Cornell University. Roughly one out of every six trees in the forest is an ash tree.

Emerald ash borers have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Adults fly and have metallic emerald green bodies and coppery red or purple abdomens.

Adult females lay their eggs in bark crevasses. The larvae burrow and feed on the inner bark and disrupt water and nutrient flow in the tree, killing it in two to three years.

The pest was previously located near Cortland, according to the Cornell University Media Relations Office. It also was located in Schuyler County about 20 miles west of the Arnot Forest and about 20 miles south near Waverly on Route 17 in Chemung County.

The discovery of the invasive insect was not a surprise to entomologists and those working at the Arnot Forest, a Cornell University press release stated. Forest land managers anticipated the beetle's spread and have been actively managing the forest's ash trees for a decade.

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