What are those purple bags hanging in Hocking Hills trees?

With the recent warm weather, but while the trees are still missing their foliage, visitors to the Hocking Hills often leave asking,

"What are those purple bags hanging from the trees?"

While they are still able to be seen once the leaves return, this time of year allows ample opportunity to spot a peculiar purple bag hanging from some of the trees through out the Hocking Hills.

The bags are not special to Hocking County. They can be found in other wooded rural county forests as well, but those visiting the cave areas are sure to spot them.

So, what are they?

These pretty little "gift bags" in the trees are actually a sticky trap for the Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer is a very small insect native to Asia. They are so small that 5 ash borers could fit on a penny with room to spare. They are metallic green in colour and cause nearly 1 billion dollars in damage in Ohio every year.

I suppose the Emerald Ash is attracted to "purple presents" for some reason. Personally, I'm attracted to the "purple presents" in the trees since they're helping to protect the "presence" of our trees. Okay, so how corny was that line?

And as Paul Harvey would say, "Now you know the rest of the story...."

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