July 3, 2017 /

Invasive Bug Found on Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Park, a wooded island in the Potomac River is under attack by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) – a small green beetle from East Asia that is a real threat to the tree from which is gets part of its name: the ash. The National Park Service has closed the park and is removing the infected trees along the island’s many trails. The park will remain closed for up to three weeks.

Around 200 trees have been found to be infected with Emerald Ash Borer – a type of beetle which brings a near 100% mortality rate to trees which it invades.

The adult beetles themselves don’t cause harm – but their offspring burrow through the layers of bark which disrupts the flow of nutrients throughout the tree.  In its nutrient-deprived and weakened state, the tree’s branches and large limbs may fall suddenly. The Island will remain closed while National Park Service works to remove the affected trees so that the marked trails will be safe.

It has been over 10 years since EAB was first found in the District and has decreased the number of white ash trees found in the National Capital Region by a quarter.

If you would like to learn more about how you can advocate for tree health and protection in your community, sign up to attend our upcoming Stand Up for Trees class on July 8.