A few years after Emerald Ash Borer was first reported in Tippecanoe County noticeable damage is becoming widespread. Prior to this year, there were isolated damaged trees. Now the effects on the landscape are readily apparent. The image below was taken on August 27, 2014 in a strip mall parking lot near US 52 and Salisbury Street in West Lafayette. All of the ash trees are dead or dying. The trunks and branches are riddled with D-shaped exit holes (Inset). Most of the trees in this lot are tagged for removal.
Emerald Ash Borer imposes economic costs and aesthetic costs. Shoppers like to park in the shade in summer. Now the shade is gone. The trees in this lot are not the only ones affected. Many of the ash trees on US 52 are starting to show decline. Cities throughout Indiana must decide whether to treat and save some ash trees or remove and replace. West Lafayette has a program to replace the ash trees on city property with other tree species over a five year period. Perhaps a solution to EAB will be found. For West Lafayette, the hour is late.