Imagine the Hocking Hills area without any hemlock trees, northeast Ohio without any sugar maples, and Ohio without any buckeyes. All this might happen if a growing foreign threat has its way. From the emerald ash borer (EAB) to the Asian longhorned beetle to the hemlock woolly adelgid and others, “Ohio is under assault from invasive tree pests,” said Dan Herms, a scientist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “Their potential impact is staggering.” His mission and that of his colleagues is to track the new pests, which have come here by accident from Asia, Europe, and elsewhere, and to try to find ways to control them.
OARDC is specially suited to the task, Herms said. As Ohio’s agricultural experiment station, “There’s a critical mass of expertise, resources, and facilities here, including new tools in molecular biology, that is unique and allows this work to be done,” he said.