Morgan's Grove Park is the home to 85 ash trees now facing the danger of damage from the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that threatens the lives of the trees. The Shepherdstown Community Club, owners of the park, are waging a war on the parasite to save the trees.
Included in the trees, according to club member Art Wineburg, is the third largest green ash tree in the state of West Virginia.
According to literature produced by the Community Club, the emerald ash borer was first discovered in Michigan in 2002, although it could have arrived as much as a decade earlier on pallets from its native China. The beetle's larvae feed on the inner bark of thr tree, killing it in as little as two to three years unless the leaves are treated. Infestations have been found locally at Cacapon State Park and as close as Charles Town.
To save the trees, a certified treatment by a licensed arborist is needed to protect from the borer. That initial treatment comes with a hefty price tag of approximately $17,000.
The Club is aggressively seeking funds to cover the cost of the needed treatment by offering an "Adopt a Tree" fundraiser. For a donation of $200, individuals or groups may adopt a tree in the park. To acknowledge contributions and adoptions, donors' names will be inscribed at the park in recognition of efforts to save the ash trees.
For more information on adopting a tree, or making any monetary donation to help save the ash trees, visit the Club's website at www.shepherdstowncc.org. Donations may be mailed in to the Club at P.O. Box 463, Shepherdstown, WV 25443.