Bethlehem Press

Friday, May 25, 2018

Hanover warned and The Green Menace

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 by Bernie O’Hare Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

You won’t see the Green Menace in the next round of superhero movies making their way through the theaters. You may not see it at all. But it’s here. And it’s a killer.

The Green Menace is a nickname the US Department of Agriculture has given to the emerald ash borer, a tiny illegal immigrant that made its way here from China and eastern Asia. First identified in Michigan in 2002, this insect is responsible for the death or decline of tens of millions of ash trees in 13 states, including Pennsylvania. In the Keystone State, over 308 million trees providing 3.6 percent of the forest cover are at risk. The insects,which are metallic green and only about a half inch long, are active from May until August. They only infest ash trees.

A Green Menace infestation is always ash trees, which decline from top to bottom and are dead in three years.

The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recommends community management plans that include tree inventories, removal of infected trees and preventive treatment. Lancaster and West Chester are two municipalities with management plans that include selective removal of damaged ash trees.

Bates asked supervisors to make Hanover residents of the danger to ash trees posed by the emerald ash borer, and to discourage residents from planting them. He also suggested that the township notify each resident who owns an ash tree.

Homeowners with high-value ash trees can purchase insecticides, which need to be applied regularly. In addition, the Department of Agriculture has the following recommendations: (1) Don’t move firewood; (2) Visually inspect your trees for signs of decline; (3) Spread the word; and (4) Report infestations to the Pa Department of Agriculture at 866-253-7189 or by email to

In other business, Supervisor Jack Nagle discussed a possible invasive bamboo ordinance to protect homeowners against a type of grass that actually can ruin a home’s foundation. A similar ordinance is in place in Bethlehem Township.