- Associated Press - Thursday, May 1, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - There are signs of a second infestation of a destructive beetle targeting ash trees in New Hampshire.

The Concord Monitor reports (http://bit.ly/1rRUJYj) state forestry officials say the presence of the emerald ash borer in Merrimack County appears to be unrelated to one discovered in Concord last spring.

The beetle has been detected on the border between Canterbury and Loudon in an area about 3 miles long by 2 miles wide.

The emerald ash borer, a native of China, was first discovered in Michigan in 2002. It has been found in 22 states.

When the beetle was first was spotted in Concord last year, scientists pounced, working quickly to try to protect the state’s 25 million ash trees - about 6 percent of New Hampshire’s forests - including white, green and black ash varieties.

“We will be dealing with the emerald ash borer for the rest of our careers,” said Kyle Lombard, forest health specialist with the Division of Forests and Lands. “There’s no getting rid of it where it is, but we’re working to slow the spread.”

There’s been no report of ash borer damage outside of Merrimack County, but officials said landowners should check their trees for excessive woodpecker activity. The birds strip the outer layer of bark off ash trees in their attempts to get at the bugs’ eggs and larvae. The damage is most visible at this time, before leaves show.

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Information from: Concord Monitor, http://www.cmonitor.com

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