Invasive beetle killing trees in New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Much of Connecticut has already seen the effects, but not until about a month ago was it a problem in New Haven. Now, the Emerald ash borer has invaded New Haven, leaving an entire block of trees dead and soon to be cut down.

It’s been a hot summer, and now there’s a lot less shade to cool off inside New Haven’s Wooster Square Park. The fear is that more large trees could soon be lost.

“Merely losing trees might cause us to lose other trees,” said Cortalie Benoit, a UConn certified master Gardener who lives in the Wooster Square neighborhood. She said nearby trees accustomed to the shade of the removed tree could wither under the penetrating sun rays.

The Emerald ash borer is now in New Haven. The invasive beetle already killed one large ash tree that was removed in Wooster Square. Concerned residents worry that a decades-old ash tree could be next.

“This is probably our biggest tree in the park,” Benoit said of the tree.

Nowhere in the city has been hit harder than Artizan Street. A small street in Wooster Square, lined with Ash trees. A few blocks from the park, all but one tree on the street is dying. Victims of the Emerald ash borer, that are now marked for removal.

“This is evidence of the bore feeding inside the tree,” said New Haven Parks & Recreation Director Rebecca Bombero.

There are about 1,500 ash trees in New Haven. All of them are now in danger. Bombero said you can spray an ash tree with insecticide to protect it, but she said even that is only a temporary fix.

“People can adopt trees and contract with an arborist to spray them,” Bombero said. The city asks anyone who does to contact them so they can document it.

In Wooster Square, neighborhood groups have already decided to put up more than $500 to try and save the remaining three Ash trees in the park.

“Rather than let these three trees die, we’re going to do what we can to save these three trees,” said Elsie Chapman, president of the Historic Wooster Square Association.

If you’re interested in adopting a tree in your area, click here to find out how.

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