Thursday, March 18, 2010

City Forester Jackson Bird in Beetle Battle to Save Trees; Bismarck, ND

Forestry Officials Fight to Save Trees on KFYR-TV North Dakota's NBC News Leader:
Two tree pests are threatening thousands of trees in Bismarck. And the city is paying close attention to both fights. One pest, Dutch Elm disease, is a fungus that is carried by a beetle. It`s already been found in the state. Another beetle problem is yet to come. And forestry officials are waging an all-out war to save the trees.

Bismarck City Forester Jackson Bird hopes the emerald ash borer on is desk is one of the only ones in all of North Dakota. That`s because it`s safely encased in rubbing alcohol, and not about to cause any damage to city trees.

'We know here in Bismarck we have 36 percent of our street trees as ash, so we know that it`s going to be a devastating thing when it gets here,' Bird says.

That`s a when, not an if. The beetle spreads through infested firewood, so forestry officials are charged with the difficult task of keeping every piece of wood from out of state out of North Dakota.

'It`s amazing what a couple beetles could do once they emerge and start populating the area,' Bird says.

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