Ash trees in some Montgomery County boroughs are sporting purple boxes. But the brightly colored additions are for testing, not decorative purposes.
The boxes trap Emerald Ash Borers — destructive beetles that can kill ash trees. They showed up here from Asia nearly 10 years (though they could have gone undetected for more than a decade before that), likely though wood packaging material imported here.
Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch reports the traps can help detect the presence of beetles, since early detection is hard. Once a tree has been infested, death is inevitable. Only removing the infected tree can stop the beetles from spreading.