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Thread: The liitle green hoard

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955

    The liitle green hoard

    I spent the afternoon out in the woods with 4 of my boys cutting firewood. The next week is going to be in the single digits to minus temps. I have been cleaning up a friends woods and was thinking about logging out all the ash trees before the emerald ash borer gets them. Too late. I was taking a break and fueling up the chain saw and looked up at the top of a nearby ash and immediately saw the tell-tale signs of the invasion. Did a quick survey and found that all the ash trees were infected. There is 16 + ash that are 20" plus diameter and loads of smaller trees. I SURE WISH I HAD THAT SAWMILL I've been pining for. Anyone want some ash lumber? I've been plotting for a number of years to get a Petersen sawmill. You can saw the infected trees on site and move the lumber, but you can't haul the infected logs. I should have lots of firewood for several years so there is a bright side.

    This is the same woodlot that I posted about putting a bridge over a creek to gain better access. I had entertained thoughts about putting a pier in the middle of the creek to support the bridge beams. I got lots of advice to run away from that idea. Last week I found an old truck trailer bed. This trailer frame was going to be cut up for scrap. It is 48 to 53' long and 8-1/2 ft. wide. I'm waiting to see what the owner wants for it. If the price is right, we will have a first class bridge. I wonder if ash planks are good decking?.............

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,099
    Sure sorry to hear the bug bit your trees. As I understand it, any wood with bark cannot be transported so rough cut needs to be debarked. Slab wood will stay on your property. Wonder how far this bug will eventually go?
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    It would seem that the bug will eventually spread throughout the country. My dad was an entomologist and worked on some invasive species but he was a fly guy. It would be nice to have an interdiction of some kind. We need mini bird robots that kill according to programing. I asked a state entomologist who was assigned to work on the emerald ash borer project if they were noticing that the bug was spread on the waterways. (rivers and streams). She couldn't answer the question. I figure that after storms they might get transported downstream and find ash trees further away. Otherwise they spread a mile or 2 every year unless some idiot hauls a load of ash firewood 2-3oo miles as have some people. I'm no environmentalist in the modern sense. I'm not cause related. However I'm getting sick of invasive species and the damage they do our native flora and fauna. We need very stringent laws to protect our natural resorces. In Michigan we have; Dutch elm disease, emerald ash borer, and oak leaf wilt wreaking havoc in the woods right now. All presents form other countries. See all the benefits of 'free trade'. Makes the firewood guys happy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,833
    First I have heard of this. Very tragic event. Ash is a fine wood and valuable resource for a number of reasons.
    Something got the chestnut a long time ago.
    Then the elm.
    When we were in Colorado last summer, there were large patches of mountain forest that had gone brown. I don't know what the trees or infestations were, but it's not good fer sure.
    You have a mixed curse/blessing with this situation.

  5. #5
    Sorry to hear about your loss.

    Owning a woodlot is wrought with perils and like you, I am struggling with infestations myself. I am currently clear-cutting a 12 acre tree plantation suffering from a Hackmatack Bark Beetle infestation. I planted these trees in 1994 so its sad to see their demise. Like yourself I figured the kill was somewhere around 4-5 trees per acre (620 trees per acre standing), but its more like 300 trees per acre. Its sad.

    But as for your dire prediction, I hope I can give you a glimmer of hope here. I can understand why looking up and seeing so many dead trees makes many think all is lost, but its not really. In my lifetime alone (34 years) Maine has been through the Spruce Budworm epidemic, a Japanese Bark Beetle, the Hackmatack Bark Beetle, White Pine Blister Rust and Hemlock Blight. We have survived them all, and in most cases it was limited to a region. (Maine) Better yet, eradicating the problem was quite simple, it just took awhile to figure out what the problem was.

    I think you'll see that the Emarld Ash Borer will be limited to the mid-west. There are some really good forest pathologists working on this issue so there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know the Maine Forest Service is watching for it of course, and intense educational programs are in force here (I have a "Don't move firewood...It bugs me" bumper sticker on my car from the campaign).

    As for your question regarding Ash as planking, I unfortunately have to give you my grim experience with that. It failed terribly. I had lots of left over ash lumber a few years ago and decided a deck made of free wood was better then of a deck made from ideal wood and never built; because of the cost of that ideal wood. Ash does poorly outside and my 1 inch deck boards rotted in 5 years time. Of course the wood is free, but I'm afraid planking a bridge and having it rot out in a few years time would not justify the out lay in work. Only you can decide that, but I won't build an outside project with ash ever again. It rotted extremely fast.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Central (upstate) NY
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    1,457
    And I feel bad every time I pass a firewood seller - I see unmade WWing projects.

    I hope you can get all of the infested trees down and not miss any. Too bad there isn't some sort of "toxic to bad bugs but not trees" mineral stake or something you could fertilize them with.

    Feel sad for the poor trees. But more sad for the wasted lumber.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    There are some chemicals one can introduce into the trees circulatory system to kill the bugs or keep them from eating anything, but it is expensive and limited to homeowner use for practical reasons. I did some tornado cleanup in Lansing, Mi. last summer and as I toured some of the nearby neighborhoods the dead ash trees were all over the place. It has to be an economic hardship for most people to have a tree trimming service come in to remove the dead trees. Many of them were pushing 75 ft. tall. I would think that when they start dropping big limbs that government help will have to be sought.

  8. #8
    It is indeed a sad sight to see dead trees, no matter what the state or what the disease. We saw this for nearly a decade when the Spruce Budworm hit. Kind of makes you sick doesn't it?



    As for me, I try to do my part by not moving trees across state lines. I know the chances are low at transporting disease, but I still hate it. When my Uncle brought live trees back from Texas I told him just what I thought about that. Nothing against Texas trees, but we got a lot of trees here that people rely on for a livelihood. I in turn have refused to let people dig up my trees and take them back home to Oregon or wherever for the same reason. I strongly encourage others on here to be wary of transporting trees.

    Our highbred hack bark beetle disease came from Japan and our Hemlock Blight came from MA...we got to protect our forests by keeping trees local (in my opinion of course).
    Last edited by Travis Johnson; 01-16-2009 at 01:01 AM.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    Man, from that picture Travis, someone has a lot of cutting to do. I got an update from the guy who owns the old truck trailer bed. Looks like the price is going to be $200-$250. . Looks like we're going to be installing a first class bridge this year. It will make getting all the dead ash trees out easier. The farmer told me that if I could cut and market the logs he would split the profits with me. I just have to get that sawmill!!!

  10. #10
    Thanks Paul...I was afraid that my post was making it sound like I was trying to hyjack your thread. I just know that when an infestation happens it seems like all is lost. The truth is mother nature has a reason for it despite what us humans have for plans.

    I know as a farmer weeds often plague us, but actually its nature way of saying a soil imbalance is occuring. That is, a nutrient is defecient or nutrient rich causing what we don't want to grow, to thrive. Find out what the problem is and you can reverse it. The problem with us is, we found weed killers are easier to apply then thought and detective work.

    Its that way with forests too. For whatever reason, disease hits a certain tree. Why I am not sure, but its survival of the fittest even in trees. I would be devastated if the Ash Borer came here as my land is teeming with Ash. Still if history repeats itself, we will get through it. I was hoping to convey to you hope. I truly wish you and your ash the best of luck.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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