PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Hundreds of ash trees in Western Pennsylvania have been especially hard-hit by invasive beetles.

According to a Tribune-Review report, about 1,500 trees damaged by Emerald Ash Borer beetles will have to be cut down by the end of the year.

The trees are being removed as part of a West Penn Power program, which identifies weakened trees that are growing near power lines, and are in danger of falling over.

Ash trees are especially unstable, and usually heavily damaged by that particular type of beetle.

The Emerald Ash Borer was first identified in Pennsylvania in 2007.

The bugs have destroyed more than 40 million ash trees since they were first detected in the United States.

The beetles destroy the trees by laying their eggs between the layers of the bark on ash trees. The larvae then borough into the trees.

Trees will be removed in Westmoreland, Fayette, Allegheny, Butler and Washington counties.

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