CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- The emerald ash borer has already forced the removal of hundreds of trees on the grounds of the Gateway Arch. The invasive insect is now causing worries in the St. Louis suburbs.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that suburban towns are working to preserve their green space. Chesterfield, Richmond Heights, Ballwin and St. Peters are among the places with large numbers of ash trees, making them susceptible to a potential economic problem if the insects invade, and eventually kill, trees.
A gradual schedule of culling the ash trees has prevented some cities from the financial hit.
The emerald ash borer is native to China and eastern Asia. The half-inch-long, emerald green-colored beetle was first detected in the U.S. in 2002, and in Missouri, in Wayne County, in 2008.