Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ash Trees in Peril

Life in Christian County, Kentucky... More About Trees and Plants...

Green ash treeAsh Tree

When I went out the door with Isaac this morning to take him to school, the sun was shining on and through the ash tree. It's a handsome tree, but I think it has a hollow in its trunk with a yellow-jacket nest in it. Also, it's got poison ivy vines growing up its trunk. All in all, it wouldn't be a good tree to climb.

I am concerned for the long term health of our six ash trees. The emerald ash borer, an Asian insect that apparently arrived in the U.S. as a resident in the wood of shipping crates, has established itself in "lower Michigan, northwest Ohio, and northern Indiana. Infestations were recently found in the Chicago area." (Source: U.S. Forest Service). Emerald ash borers have also infested areas of Ontario, Canada.

Tree experts beg everyone to use ash firewood in the area where it was cut. Don't transport it to other places! If the firewood is infested with borer larvae, you may infect a new area with the pests. For example, don't bring firewood from home when you go camping, and don't bring your summer cabin's leftover firewood to your house to burn.

Other tree problems such as gypsy moths and Dutch Elm disease can be spread through firewood too, so it's never a good forestry practice to move firewood a long distance from where it was cut.

The U.S. Forestry Service has stockpiled ash seed, just in case the emerald ash borer decimates the ash tree population across the entire nation. I hope we never see that sad situation!

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Limey said...

We have a similar situation with the Horse Chestnut , there are reports of a fungus spreading around which causes the trees to 'bleed' and subsequently die. They are magnificent trees, especially in full bloom, and have a very pleasing shape to them. They would also be missed by thousands of children who play a game called 'conkers' with the large seeds. I won't explain it here but there is always Google ;)

Genevieve said...

I hate to hear that about the horse chestnut. That disease sounds much like the oak wilt in the U.S. which is also fungal. And by the way, it can be spread by carrying firewood around also.

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