Salt cedar beetles exceeding expectations - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

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>>

  • White House: No plans by Trump to fire Mueller, Rosenstein

    White House: No plans by Trump to fire Mueller, Rosenstein

    Sunday, April 22 2018 2:05 PM EDT2018-04-22 18:05:12 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 10:57 AM EDT2018-04-23 14:57:56 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2016, file photo, then-President-elect Donald Trump, right, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani pose for photographs as Giuliani arrives at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse i...(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2016, file photo, then-President-elect Donald Trump, right, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani pose for photographs as Giuliani arrives at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse i...

    The White House says President Donald Trump has no intention of firing special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

    The White House says President Donald Trump has no intention of firing special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

  • Macron to push Trump on Iran deal, says there's no 'Plan B'

    Macron to push Trump on Iran deal, says there's no 'Plan B'

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:04 AM EDT2018-04-22 15:04:45 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 10:57 AM EDT2018-04-23 14:57:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Michel Euler). France's President Emmanuel Macron walks out of the lobby of the Elysee Palace in Paris, Friday, April 20, 2018, to welcome Senegalese President Macky Sall. Senegalese President Macky Sall is in France for a five-day visit.(AP Photo/Michel Euler). France's President Emmanuel Macron walks out of the lobby of the Elysee Palace in Paris, Friday, April 20, 2018, to welcome Senegalese President Macky Sall. Senegalese President Macky Sall is in France for a five-day visit.

    French President Emmanuel Macron is urging U.S. President Donald Trump to stick with the Iranian nuclear accord, arguing that there's no "Plan B".

    French President Emmanuel Macron is urging U.S. President Donald Trump to stick with the Iranian nuclear accord, arguing that there's no "Plan B".

  • Mom: Preschool's ban of the term 'best friend' is silly

    Mom: Preschool's ban of the term 'best friend' is silly

    Friday, April 20 2018 10:28 AM EDT2018-04-20 14:28:07 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 10:49 AM EDT2018-04-23 14:49:59 GMT
    (Source: Pixabay)(Source: Pixabay)

    A Massachusetts family is looking for a new preschool for their 4-year-old daughter because her current school has barred use of the term 'best friend.'.

    A Massachusetts family is looking for a new preschool for their 4-year-old daughter because her current school has barred use of the term 'best friend.'.

Powered by Frankly