DURHAM, New Hampshire — Scientists in the northeast are asking hikers, hunters and others to watch for telltale signs of a beetle that has killed millions of ash trees.
Colleen Teerling, a Maine Forest Service entomologist, says heavy woodpecker activity is a good sign that the emerald ash borer is present. It has destroyed trees in 22 states — including several in the northeast and New England — and two Canadian provinces since it emerged in Michigan in 2002.
Kyle Lombard, New Hampshire's forest health manager, says with the leaves off the trees in autumn, people can easily spot the cream-colored bark revealed when woodpeckers strip off chunks of outer bark.
People who see woodpecker activity should contact their state forest health manager.
Ash trees have deeply furrowed bark with a distinctive, diamond-shaped pattern.