Boston Urban Forest Council: Invasives and Grants!

September 25, 2012

The latest Boston Urban Forest Council meeting had both good news and bads news for tree lovers in Boston.

Unfortunately, despite efforts at many levels, the Emerald Ash Borer was found in Massachusetts for the first time this month. This tiny invasive beetle, which was accidentally introduced to the US from Asia sometime in the 1990s, was found in Berkshire County in early September.

Emerald Ash Borer insect with tell-tale lines in the tree bark where the larvae have burrowed in the wood.

Since it was first found in Michigan in 2002, the borers have devastated Ash tree populations in the 18 states to which it has spread.

Though it is difficult to stop the beetles’ spread, because they are so small and they tend to live near the tops of trees, MA officials are urging citizens to start looking for tell-tale signs of Emerald Ash Borer infections, including decline in health of Ash trees, especially from the top down. More woodpeckers than usual at Ash trees are also a good indicator!

Follow this link for more information: http://massnrc.org/pests/blog/2012/09/emerald-ash-borer-found-in-massachusetts.html

In happier news, the Boston Urban Forest Council has been successfully continuing its campaign to increase the tree canopy cover of Boston by planting more trees, including a tree planting event at Neponset Park on September 29 as part of the Odwalla Plant A Tree Program grant won by Boston Natural Areas Network (contact info@bostonnatural.org for more details – all are welcome to come and help).

The Council is also working to identify areas in the city that are good candidates for a large number of new trees, including Faneuil Gardens in Allston-Brighton and Melnea Cass Recreation Center in Roxbury. If anyone knows of any place in Boston that is a good candidate for tree plantings, please contact the Boston Urban Forest Council.

Lastly, the Council is putting together its fall round of Grow Boston Greener grants for the fall. Though the process has been somewhat delayed, the Council encourages anyone interested in applying for money to plant trees to start planning and writing out an outline for an application. The Grow Boston Greener grants apply for fruit tree plantings as well, so if you have any interest in creating or expanding an urban orchard in Boston, consider applying for one of these wonderful grants!

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