All day long we heard the buzz of the chainsaw in the neighborhood. As it turned out, over 20 trees were being cut down on the streets around us. The emerald ash borer has been wreaking its havoc.
Especially sad for us was, and is, the loss of the Autumn Purple white ash trees on our street. This graceful tree created a beautiful leafy arbor of deep lavender over the street every Fall.
The late G. Wm. Longenecker, professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, introduced this cultivar in the 1960s. At some point in recent years, the emerald ash borer found its way to the United States — likely on loading pallets from China. In this country, the borer was first noted in the city of Detroit, and from there it has been gradually spreading in all directions.
In the past decades in the United States, we had Dutch Elm Disease, which nearly wiped out the American elm trees. Next came the gypsy moths which attacked our white oaks with a vengeance (the moths were really ugly creatures, too). And now it’s the emerald ash borer.
Daunting to think of what might be next.