Travis Dotson, village administrator, said the trees treated are not infested by the Asian longhorned beetle, however they are considered host trees that have a higher risk of become infested.
Dotson said they are still waiting to receive the second environmental assessment from the United States Department of Agriculture Plant and Animal Health Inspection Service, which will reveal the organization’s research on treatment options for the high risk host trees.
“In advance of that we wanted to do a demonstration on how easy the chemical treatment was,” Dotson said.
Dotson said the village decided to treat the trees in Burke Park as a demonstration, and they are looking into chemically treating all of the trees in the park.
“ArborJet is one of the main players as far as the chemical treatment nation wide,” Dotson said. “They donated a liter (of treatment) and Back Tree Services donated their labor to treat five trees.”
Dotson said the chemical in the treatment is called Imidacloprid. He said the chemicals are non-toxic, safe substances.
“It was impressive to see how quickly the tree absorbed it up into the trunk,” Dotson said about the treatment. “And impressive to see how quickly the process goes.”
Dotson said after the crew was finished treating the trees there were no obvious signs of treatment because the chemicals were absorbed into the tree. He said trees treated with the chemicals were each marked with a silver medallion.
“We want to protect the host trees,” Dotson said about deciding to chemically treat the trees. “We are looking at treating maple trees, which are the prime host trees, and some ash trees. The treatment should be effective against the ALB and the (Emerald) Ash Borer.”
Dotson said if the result of the environmental assessment and the decision of the USDA-APHIS goes their way, the government organization would allow for chemical treatment on host trees for three consecutive years.
“At any point at that time if the tree became infected, it would be cut down,” Dotson said.
Since the trees were treated in Burke Park May 3, USDA-APHIS released their second environmental assessment, which highlights alternatives for continuing eradication in Ohio.
Once the public has had an opportunity to review and comment about the assessment, USDA-APHIS officials will decide on an alternative for continuing the eradication process.
For more information about the environmental assessment visit www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/ea/alb.shtml.