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posted: 8/8/2011 8:50 AM

Tree-killing beetle extends range into NW Indiana

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Associated Press

MERRILLVILLE -- A tree expert says he believes the infestation of a beetle that kills ash trees is widespread in northwestern Indiana.

Russell Hodge is the area's member of the Indiana Emerald Ash Borer Coalition and says he's surprised the beetle wasn't confirmed in Lake County until this year after first being spotted in the Fort Wayne area in 2004.

Hodge tells the Post-Tribune of Merrillville ( ) that several areas of northwestern Indiana have large concentrations of ash trees. He says one subdivision in Valparaiso has about 800 of the trees that are killed by the beetles.

Crown Point Tree Board president Matt Lake says that city and nearby communities are taking inventory of their ash trees and deciding whether to treat the trees or remove them