Salt cedar beetles exceeding expectations - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Salt cedar beetles exceeding expectations

A program to rid the area of trees drying up our land has made a huge impact this year. Salt cedar beetles that were released by Texas AgriLIFE researchers in 2010 have made a large impact this year alone on salt cedar trees. Those non-native trees have been sucking up water and killing off other vegetation in the panhandle.

"It could take two to three years to kill this tree, but it will eventually do that," Jerry Michels, PhD., Texas A&M AgriLIFE Research said.

Larva from the salt cedar beetle cover this tree. They've already created a noticeable amount of damage to it. If you look out across the river bed of Lake Meredith you'll see lots of brown patches where they've done their job.

"This year they've exploded all over the old lake bed. Almost every place that you look that you have salt cedar you can find the beetles now, and they're causing just a huge amount of defoliation to the trees," Michels said.

And it's not just Lake Meredith seeing those results. Just last summer this area of the Canadian River was all green with salt cedar. As you can see now, it's all brown.

"We had did a similar flight last summer and all of that salt cedar was green, and now it's 75 percent brown or reddish orange," Michels said.

Michels was not expecting such great results, especially with the late freezes this year.

"If they keep going the way they're going right now, I'd say within four to five years salt cedar is going to be relatively rare," Michels said.

He says the beetles however won't completely eradicate the trees. There will still be a few salt cedars and beetles to go along with them.

"So it will become more of the natural ecosystem that was here before salt cedar came in," Michels said.

The beetles are specific to salt cedar trees only. They won't move on to anything else once the salt cedars have diminished.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Many OK seniors “will not get fed” due to mobile meal program budget cuts

    Many OK seniors “will not get fed” due to mobile meal program budget cuts

    Friday, July 28 2017 12:44 PM EDT2017-07-28 16:44:57 GMT
    (Source AAA)(Source AAA)

    Budget cuts have left many state agencies in crisis mode, including those who provide meals for many elderly people in Oklahoma county. The director of the non-profit Areawide Aging Agency says that before, they were able to absorb those cuts through furloughs, job cuts, fundraisers and even planting a garden with donated labor and materials. But now they say there's simply nothing left to cut except who gets food and who doesn't. 

    Budget cuts have left many state agencies in crisis mode, including those who provide meals for many elderly people in Oklahoma county. The director of the non-profit Areawide Aging Agency says that before, they were able to absorb those cuts through furloughs, job cuts, fundraisers and even planting a garden with donated labor and materials. But now they say there's simply nothing left to cut except who gets food and who doesn't. 

  • EPA’s Scott Pruitt attends town hall in Guymon

    EPA’s Scott Pruitt attends town hall in Guymon

    Friday, July 28 2017 12:33 PM EDT2017-07-28 16:33:32 GMT
    (Source Oklahoma Forestry Service)(Source Oklahoma Forestry Service)

    EPA chief and former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is speaking with residents in the state about the repeal of the 2015 Waters of the United States Rule. He visited with local farmers at a town hall meeting in Guymon, where he clarified the rule. More than 90 local farmers and ranchers attended.

    EPA chief and former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is speaking with residents in the state about the repeal of the 2015 Waters of the United States Rule. He visited with local farmers at a town hall meeting in Guymon, where he clarified the rule. More than 90 local farmers and ranchers attended.

  • LANES CLOSED: Semi involved in rollover near Snyder on HWY 62

    LANES CLOSED: Semi involved in rollover near Snyder on HWY 62

    Friday, July 28 2017 12:04 PM EDT2017-07-28 16:04:58 GMT
    Source Janell Rouse HolmesSource Janell Rouse Holmes

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol closed one lane in both directions temporarily on Highway 62 after a semi rolled over near Snyder. The highway is still closed at this time. 7News viewers David Navarro and Janell Rouse Holmes sent us these photos. OHP says this is happening between mile marker 65 and 66 about five miles east of Snyder. Right now, it's not clear why the truck rolled, if anybody was hurt or what the driver was hauling. 

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol closed one lane in both directions temporarily on Highway 62 after a semi rolled over near Snyder. The highway is still closed at this time. 7News viewers David Navarro and Janell Rouse Holmes sent us these photos. OHP says this is happening between mile marker 65 and 66 about five miles east of Snyder. Right now, it's not clear why the truck rolled, if anybody was hurt or what the driver was hauling. 

Powered by Frankly