Trees are being destroyed throughout the Shenandoah Valley due to a tiny green bug.
The emerald ash borer is a wood-boring beetle with a metallic green body. The bug feeds on the layer of the tree just under the bark, which moves life-sustaining sugar, water and nutrients through the tree.
Emerald ash borers, or EAB, go after one tree in particular — ash trees. The emerald ash borer eggs are laid on the outside of the bark, where they burrow into the bark and in the outer sapwood, making them hard to find. They create galleries or tunnels in the outer sapwood and disrupt the flow of water and nutrients for the ash tree, thus killing the tree.
Now, landowners across Northern Virginia and Northwest Virginia are seeing damage to the bark of the ash trees and coming to the Virginia Department of Forestry for help. Bark on these trees is being stripped off by woodpeckers hunting for EAB larvae – a process called “blonding,” according to the VDOF.
The little bug has also made its way down to Augusta County, according to the VDOF and the Shenandoah National Park.