My name is Harold and I’m an Emerald Ash Borer. There, I said it. Just like the guy on the AndroGel ad. Traditionally at 12-step meetings, after one has bared one’s soul and come clean by publicly exclaiming that introduction, all present say ‘Welcome Harold’. But I’ve never really been made to feel very welcome by humans so I won’t take a dim view of your decision to turn your cold shoulders to me.
Before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight right off the bat, and believe me, I do love a good ash Louisville Slugger to gnaw on now and then. I’ve never been accused of being politically correct, but the silly little anti-gay joke that is a play on my name really isn’t all that funny. It’s ash borer, not ass! I’ve heard them all, face it, when your real name is Agrilus planipennis, and you look very much like a piece of okra, you get used to off-color jokes!
Lately we EABs have become public enemy number one simply because a mainstay of our diet is your beloved ash tree. We just love these big trees. We tried boring into maple trees only to get a face full of sticky sap, we turned our attention to birch trees but found that there really isn’t much to them, we even had a go at fir trees but many of us, having settled in for a good nosh and nap, found ourselves waking up on a pile of gift-wrapped Christmas gifts scaring the bejaysus out of both bug and child.
When it became clear that we were destined to stuff ourselves with ash trees, in good faith we tried to come up with other ways of boring the trees. We tried reading to the trees from tax law manuals, we subjected them to hours of watching C-SPAN, but nothing seemed to bore them. So we went back to Plan A, which works for us, but irks you.
As you can understand, our fantastic green garments, for which you have named us, require a certain amount of nourishment to maintain their lovely metallic sheen. So here’s one suggestion that may solve our problem. If, in an attempt to keep us from spreading and chewing through your trees, you start to hack down ash trees, you might want to consider keeping those logs, placing them away from ash trees, and opening an EAB friendly zone in which we would be welcomed, thus leaving your standing trees alone. A variation of this option has been successful in getting skateboarders off the streets and into skate parks, so why not ash borer parks?
Alas if the state of your roads is any indication, with potholes the size of basketballs (who’s boring those babies), I won’t be holding my breath or expecting to see an Emerald Ash Borer Park any time soon. Until I do, sorry but I’m going to continue to be a pain in the ash!