Last week an Emerald ash borer was spotted in Bucks County. This is bad news for trees and for baseball.
Louisville Slugger, maker of 60 percent of bats used in major league baseball, could be devastated if the emerald ash borer beetle infects their forests in Southeaster Pennsylvania. The company has been following the beetles’ movement for years since it arrived in Ohio. Beetles have been found just 20 miles from their forests prompting the company to start the search for alternative sources for bat making.
According to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, the Emerald ash beetle’s larvae burrow into ash trees where they cut off nutrients ultimately leading to the death of the tree. Individual trees can be treated, but infestations are expected to kill nearly all the ash trees in Southeaster Pennsylvania. Though only four percent of the state’s forests are ash, the trees tend to be more populous in urban areas.
Since their discovery in Detroit twenty years ago, the Emerald ash beetle has killed more than 50 million trees nationwide.