Volunteers Work to Save Ash Trees

7.5 billion ash trees are endangered in the United States. (Photo credit Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune)

The culprit is the well-known emerald ash borer, an invasive Asian beetle that first arrived in Michigan seven years ago.  The infestation has spread to Ohio, Canada, and now Minnesota, threatening to do a log power more damage than the famous Dutch Elm Disease.  Federal and state authorities have responded to the emerald ash borer by limiting transportation of timber and wood products, but have been unable to quarantine the disease.

Now volunteers in are spreading out across Minnesota and several other states, collecting seeds which may be needed to restore the white, green, and black ash species if the current epidemic destroys the currently standing trees.  Some of the seeds will be stored in the National Plant Germplasm System, a depository maintained by the Agriculture Department and at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation.  Others will be retained by Native American tribal authorities.

A map showing states and Canadian provinces at risk, with links to sources of local assistance, is available at the Emerald Ash Borer website.

Further details on seed preservation are available in a story written by Bill McAuliffe for the Star Tribune. 

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So then you can't get upset when people ask you if you know "Steve from Canada" then, right? ;)

Something to ponder: When Journey sings "born and raised in South Detroit" do they mean Windsor, ON? I love all-dressed chips, but I have no idea what flavour that is.

graymccarty, that video is really funny. But I have to defend George W. Bush and John Engler (for the first and probably last time ever for both) - "Chretien" and "poutine" sound enough alike in a noisy hallway that I can see why they'd make that mistake. Especially since we don't have poutine in the US.

I'm unclear as to how this insect "landed" in Michigan first. If it came in on a ship, wouldn't it have had to stop somewhere else on it's journey through the Great Lakes? Is there a customs station for freighters? I do know as of about 8 years ago, there aren't many ash trees left in SE Michigan.
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The funny thing about the phrase is that it sounds like Canada is between Ohio and Minnesota. My understanding was that the ash borer was travelling east. It was in Michigan and just reaching Ontario a couple of years ago. Now they're tracking it in West Viriginia, according to what I saw this summer.

And there are Canadians who do identify themselves by province: people from Quebec.
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I have to agree with graymcarty, it just makes it easier to say "I'm from Canada". If the person inquiring would like to know where exactly, then I tell them, otherwise they seem to be content with Canada.
Anyhoo, does this article call an insect a disease?
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DRob, sadly your wisdom and sensitivity are few and far between in Americans in my experience. Canadians are used to dealing with Americans who have no knowledge of the areas surrounding their own borders - so we've made it easy on them over the years by generalizing and simplifying our geography. It sounds weird - but it's true. For a true example of this in the flesh just watch Rick Mercer's Talking With Americans (if you're familiar with Canada and its people, as you seem to be, you'll find it hilarious) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seYUbVa7L7w
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