Forester says millions of metro trees could die because of emerald ash borer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If you own an ash tree and you live in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area, a forestry expert says time is running out to protect your tree from a beetle bug.

The bug has been in the metro for at least a couple of years now and some ash trees are starting to show the damage and could soon die.

Kevin Lapointe, forester with the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department, has been warning homeowners for months.

"It's almost too late," he said. "By the time people see, the damage is done and chemically treating the tree will not help."

The beetle only targets Ash trees. It bores deep into the tree blocking nutrients from the root system from getting to the rest of the tree. The tree eventually dies.

"We're expecting hundreds of thousands of trees in the four-county area of Kansas City to die," Lapointe said.

He said there are some ash trees that have not been attacked yet. He recommends homeowners call in the experts and get their trees treated. The treatment cost around $27.

Because so many ash trees are expected to die, Lapointe is also asking homeowners and neighborhood groups to plant trees that will help the environment once the affected trees are gone.

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