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Invasive species threatening trees at IBM Glen

(WBNG) — Hundreds of trees at the IBM Glen nature area need to be cut down due to a destructive insect.

The area covers about 200 acres of land in the Town of Union.

“The emerald ash borer arrived in the United States in the early 2000s,” said Fred L. Waterman Conservation Education Center Executive Director Christopher Audette. “It’s been prevalent in this area more in recent years.”

The Fred L. Waterman Conservation Education Center in Apalachin owns the IBM Glen property.

Audette says the insect has created major issues over the years.

“They’re causing havoc in the area’s forest,” he said.

He says the insects larvae can prevent ash trees from getting moisture from the ground into the leaves, which in turn causes trees to die.

“They dry out extremely fast and then become very brittle, causing branches and in some cases causing entire sections of a tree to come down, unpredictably.”

In the next two months, his goal is to cut down hundreds of trees that have been impacted by the ash borer.

“We want to start this initiative before the trees really become dangerous,” he added.

It’s a process that will come with a price.

“It’s unfortunately really going to change the landscape there,” Audette said. “But this really is in the interest of public safety and we’re only going to be removing the trees that we have to.”

The nature area is still open to the public. Once the project begins, community members will know.

“There will be signs posted, the areas where work is taking place will be closed off,” said Audette.

He also says he plans to cut down ash trees in other preserves in Tioga County in the future.

Esperanza Gutierrez

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