Infestation of Emerald Ash Borer in Buffalo

June 16, 2011 Updated Jun 16, 2011 at 6:28 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

June 16, 2011 Updated Jun 16, 2011 at 6:28 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - An infestation of Emerald Ash Borer was discovered in the Queen City this week. Experts say about a dozen trees within Buffalo's South Park have been infested with the beetle. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the beetle tunnels just below the tree's bark and disrupts water and nutrient transport which eventually kills the tree. It's still unclear how far the insect spread within Erie County or how it got here. The Emerald Ash Borer specifically kills North American ash tree species. In 2009, the D.E.C. discovered an infestation of the beetle in Randolph and are still treating trees down in the Southern Tier.

"It will continue to feed on the ash tree until it's dead, then move to another one and lay their eggs it and kill that tree," said Mark Whitmore with the Department of Natural Resources for Cornell University.

8 counties within New York State are now infested. To help slow down the insect from spreading, The Department of Environmental Conservation has implemented the Slow Ash Mortality Program
which is aimed at researching insecticides, removing infested trees, and defining infestation boundaries. Authorities are urging residents, especially campers, not to transport firewood since it aids in spreading the damaging beetle..