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    Smaller Mulch May Deter Ash Borer Spread

    For anyone who works in or around arboriculture, the emerald ash borer is fast becoming enemy No. 1.

    Due largely to the popularity of ash trees in urban and landscaped settings, there is an abundance of habitats available for emerald ash borer dispersion. In a study published in Ecological Economics, an estimated 20 percent of trees planted in municipalities in the United States were ash trees.

    Here's how you can help.

    Mulch can be an easy conduit for the spread of the emerald ash borer, which is why it is important to be knowledgeable about your mulch supplier and stay up to date on emerald data. Mulch chips should be 1 inch by 1 inch in size to prevent the larvae from feeding and thriving. Any ash log, branch or even mulch chip above this size can promote the spread of the insect and further damage more trees. Once the emerald ash borer is transported to a new area — even in mulch — it can be destructive, and the effort to eradicate it will be far more challenging.