Most of the invasive species in the James River Park are of the flora kind. We can battle those with pulling and pruning. But a more nefarious kind has emerged. The Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed in the Park. This little beetle can destroy our hundreds of ash trees while still a larva.

This pesky bug has been found across Virginia, particularly through the Shenandoah Valley and along Skyline Drive. Once they get a toe-hold, experts say trees have a 95% mortality rate. But folks have learned better methods for identifying the pest, and treatments for trees have been vastly improved. In 2003, it was considered eradicated in Virginia, but reappeared in 2008.

Fortunately, the Department of Forestry helped create a “quick response” group that will undergo a day of training on Thursday, June 26th. Volunteers with the Richmond Tree Stewards and Invasive Plant Task Force will work with the Richmond Park and Urban Forestry Staff to identify infected trees, evaluate the damage, and pursue treatment techniques.

You can help with your support of our Invasive Plant Task Force.