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Posted By Eric Johnson,
May 31, 2006 at 3:59 PM
If you live or play in the Midwest, be careful how you handle ash firewood.
Yup, Emerald Ash borer is a nasty little critter. Pretty much killed off every ash tree in SE Michigan before anyone knew what was happening. Local constabulary has pretty much shut down any transport of any firewood out of infected areas.
Here in Southeastern Michigan the Emerald Ash Borer is killing all Ash Trees.
There is no stopping this bug yet, in areas out side yet near the Quarantine, harvesting all valuable Ash trees has been suggested before the EAB moves in and the Quarantine is extended. All 700 million Ash trees in Michigan and 8 billion Ash trees in the United States are at risk . If the spread of EAB is not controlled, it could eliminate ash trees as a species from North America.
More than 3000 square miles in southeast Michigan are infested and more than 5 million Ash trees are dead or dying from this pest with no end in sight.
I can not move any logs, branches, ash nursery stock, chips or other wood to minimize any potential movement of the EAB. into or out of the county I live in. We are under a Federal USDA Quarantine. I do not usually scrounge wood more the a few miles from home so it is not affecting me yet.
I could be burning tons of Ash in the future as property owners clear these standing dead Ash.
I don't think the Ash borer has reached Eastern Ontario yet, although we certainly hear about it. What I have noticed is all the Butternut trees dying, what's it called - canker or something? I'm noticing butternut trees that I hadn't before, precisely because they're dying.
Another thing: I keep reading about people burning elm (how difficult it is to split, etc), but around here there are hardly any elm trees left of a size worth burning. Have they got that Dutch elm disease figured out down there?
How about Asian Longhorned Beetle? Yeesh! Will there be any trees left in a few more generations? Mind you, I don't think any species have been killed off by Gypsy moths, and they seem to be under control somehow.
We've got a nice forest tent caterpillar infestation going on now in the New York/Pennsylvania area. They don't kill trees initially, but if they persist for more than a few years in succession, the defoliation takes its toll, killing the weaker individuals. Apparently we're in the peak of the current attack.
From what I hear, butternut is pretty much of a goner in this part of the world. Get it while you can.
Elm is an interesting case. There are still American Elms growing all around here (central NY) and in other states as well. And they generally all succumb to the Dutch Elm disease eventually. But you can get a pretty good tree out of the deal before that happens. The ones in my yard that have died over the past couple of years were all about 18 to 24 inches on the stump. Plenty of saplings shooting up to fill the voids left by the dead parents. They grow fast, too. The most recent one I cut was putting on 2 inches in diameter annually (I swear). They're beautiful trees, and I hate to lose them.
A forester told me the other day that elm trees are either male or female. One of them (I forget which) is virtually impossible to split, he said, while the other gender can be split. I wouldn't know how to sex an elm tree, but I do know that some can be split by hand, while other trees simply will not yield to my demands. And that pisses me off.
I'll bet the female is the tough one to crack
My Elms only get to around 6" before they die
Last year the Gypsy Moths cats. were so bad I thought of packing up and going away for a week, YEEEEESH! it was NASTY. Worse I have ever seen, this year is not nearly as bad.
I was going to spray but after reading up on it I decided it is best to let nature take its course. If they get over populated they contract a virus that kills most of them off, spraying only extends their cycles.