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Ask 13: Is damage to local ash tree the work of the emerald ash borer?

"Could this be damage from the emerald ash borer?" Floyd Guy wrote to Ask 13. (Photo credit: Floyd Guy)

Tiny holes in a News 13 viewer's tree has him wondering what is causing the damage.

Floyd Guy thinks the culprit may be a destructive beetle that's popping up across the state.

"Could this be damage from the emerald ash borer?" Guy wrote to Ask 13.

RELATED | Emerald ash borer found in trees on Craftsman Circle in Asheville

Photos show multiple holes about the size of a pencil in his ash tree at his home in Clyde.

Ask 13 took Floyd's question to Brian Heath, a forest health specialist with the North Carolina Forest Service. Heath said the damage was actually done by a similar insect called a clearwing borer.

"The clearwing borer can kill and does kill ash trees just very similar to the emerald ash borer, but it's just a different insect doing the damage," Heath said.

Heath said the clearwing borer is an insect native to North Carolina, so it has natural predators in this area.

The emerald ash borer is originally from Asia and has no natural predators in our area. It has been found in western counties including Buncombe, Mitchell and Yancey.

RELATED | Emerald ash borer found in another WNC county

Officials said our area may now start to see a combination of attacks by emerald ash and clearwing borers.

They say you can help prevent the emerald ash borer's spread by using only local firewood.

If you have a question you'd like answered, write to Ask13@WLOS.com.

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