And it starts

The emerald ash borer has arrived in my woods and is killing Ash trees. Our 25 to 30 acres has white, green and black ash. Most of the Ash is in the bottom land forest, but some Ash is located on our limestone ridges. Pictured below is a tall thin ash that didn’t leaf out this spring.

We already have cut down one ash in our “yard” like area just below our houses. We will split the wood and burn it this winter or next winter in our woodstoves. In the picture above there is a tree stand used for hunting. It gives you an idea of the volume of firewood that tree will have when we cut it down.

The picture above shows a small section of the bottomland forest. We have a lot of Ash. In some sections of the bottomland forest 80 percent of the trees are Ash. Knowing this was coming I have been planting new trees and have taken down maybe 10 large Ash over the past 5-7 years. How are we going to deal with the large number of Ash that will die in the next few years. Normally I would leave a dead tree stand so wildlife can benefit from it. But with so many dead trees it will soon be a hazard to walk in the woods.

Above shows the bark of one of the dead ash. I can’t tell if some of the “D” shaped holes are Emerald Ash Borer or woodpecker holes.

This is a day I have been dreading for a long time, but knew was coming. I hope the trees don’t all die in a couple years. Our Elm trees seem to live a number of years in the woods before succumbing to Dutch Elm Disease. I guess we will have a lot of firewood and I will be planting new – varied – trees in large quantities the next 5 – 10 years.

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