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Author Topic: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer  (Read 4983 times)

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Offline Whitetail_Addict

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Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« on: September 01, 2010, 09:12:35 PM »
Just wondering what you guys are doing with the Ash trees while there are still some around.  Log prices for Ash still seem to be fairly decent here in NY but at the rate that little beetle is killing the trees off I'm not sure how much longer the Ash will be available.  I was thinking I might try and harvest as many of my trees as I can while they are still alive and healthy.  I'm not sure how quickly the trees will rot once killed by the EAB.  I've been working on sawing Hemlock and White Pine to build a 32x48 barn but I'm wondering if I should shift gears and start working on the Ash.  ???  I wonder if mills used to saw Chestnut before it was wiped out by blight?  It might be pretty neat to have some Ash boards for flooring, walls, etc. if it all ends up being killed off... 
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 09:23:21 PM »
Talk with a forester in your area to find out if there's been any infestation with the EAB yet!
~Chuck~
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Offline Brad_S.

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 09:24:18 PM »
Sadly, back when I was sawing steady I had trouble finding buyers for it. The average Joe can't tell the difference between ash and oak. I am sad to say that in the markets I served, I don't think it will even be missed. If you have the time and space to saw and store it, you may be right about it being worth something someday. Once it is dead, it doesn't take long for it to turn gray and stain up in the log, so get while the getting is good.

Chuck,
They are finding infestations all around WNY, many have been established for quite a while now yet remained un-noticed until very recently.
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." J. Lennon

Offline dmartin

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 10:26:30 PM »
There are many "Green" organizations that tell consumers what are the best products to buy in order to have the least negitive impact on the environment and many consumers do follow that type of information when buying products. With that in mind you would think that 1 or serveral of the "green" organizations would endorse Ash wood products as "green" or as good for the environment.
Due to the fact that if it is not used for wood products it will rot producing CO2 and also waste good wood it should be promoted as "green" or a good wood to use because it will help the environment. That would allow other trees to grow that will now not be used for furniture etc because the Ash that will probably die anyway will be used instead.
If Ash became a prefered wood for furniture and other wood products due to it being endorsed as environmentaly sound or "green" there would be a good market for it and it would be worthwile to harvest it before it died and rotted. Maybe there are some people here on this forum that could suggest this to some people that may have the ability to  actualy publisize the fact that it would be environmentaly responsable to buy Ash wood products. I have 2 end tables a coffee table and a TV stand that are made of ash that look great and are in great shape after 10 years. As I'm sure most of you know it looks like oak and seems to be as hard as oak (no nicks or dents after 10 years).

Offline 5quarter

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 11:15:42 PM »
Unlike the chestnut blight which is undefendable, The EAB can be controlled through the use of pesticide. Even in an infested area, diligent and thorough treatment of trees you want to save can pay real dividends. EAB is still 2 states from me here in NE, but I have already started a treatment program in anticipation of their arrival. with regard to cutting all your Ash ahead of the infestation, you may make the same mistake people did with the American Chestnut. There may have been a significant population of trees that had sufficient defences to survive the canker, but we'll never know because the vast majority of chestnuts cut were healthy and taken down for the reasons you mention with regard to the Ash trees. I would cut only the ones that have succumbed and leave the rest. Spray and care for the ones you have and hope for the best.

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Offline Jeff

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 12:54:20 AM »
Unlike the chestnut blight which is undefendable, The EAB can be controlled through the use of pesticide. Even in an infested area, diligent and thorough treatment of trees you want to save can pay real dividends.

Success depends on the tree involved
In the laboratory, systemic and contact insecticide trials show that both the larvae and adults
can be killed by insecticides that are available to homeowners and commercial pesticide
applicators. However, results from field trials have been mixed. In earlier research, NO
control method was 100% effective in protecting a tree or killing EAB. More recent tests
show promise, but control still varies from 40 95% control. The most successful
homeowner method found to date involves a root flare soil drench with imidacloprid. The
younger the tree and fewer the injuries, the more likely the systemic insecticide will provide
protection from EAB for one year

Source: http://www.extension.iastate.edu
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2010, 03:48:41 AM »
I don't know as far as the management of the insect by cutting all the ash. To me that just helps make sure there is no seed source in your area for the next generation. We don't cut all the balsam fir in the country just because there is a budworm epidemic. Like anything else in nature there is safety in numbers. The wave moves through and the trees that survive rebuild the population. But, again not everyone is inclined to cut all their ash trees either. Some folks will hardly ever cut any trees, and like those woodlot owners that left mature fir during the budworm there is still lots of mature fir trees around. The loggers and mill procurement folks around here didn't convince everyone to cut all their fir down after all.  ;) I guess I'm not trying to convince everyone to leave their ash to stand, because I know not everyone will be cutting it.  ;)

So what's the point of this ramble, if you can use it then cut it. Don't just cut it thinking it's doing everyone else a favor.  ;)
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2010, 05:49:21 AM »
I think a lot of landowners aren't looking at cutting ash to control EAB.  They're looking at it to harvest before infestation.  Green timber sells for a better price than dead timber.  It doesn't matter what the species.  Their dilemma is whether to wait and take a loss if it hits or harvest and not get hit.  Its all about market timing.

I think a lot would depend on the size and quality of trees.  Ash veneer is still selling, but not at the high numbers of decades past.  We are still moving ash lumber, but we aren't in an area with high amounts.  We do get into ash stands and most of our ash is sawn into 8/4 and used for butcher block tops and handle stock.  In the NY area, there may be some demand for bat bolts as well as handle stock logs. 

Chestnut blight is different from EAB and the times were a lot different than today.  I can't think of any defense that they could have used back over a century ago.  Pesticides were pretty much unheard of and there was no delivery system.  Cutting practices were pretty much to clearcut everything.  Landownership was a lot different than today, as well as attitudes.  Mills cut live and dead trees.  There was still an active chestnut market back in the '70s when they were still cutting dead standing chestnut. 

They tried to control gypsy moth with pesticides.  But, most pesticides aren't selective and you kill lots of good bugs.  The cost of the spray programs was far too expensive to justify, and it really wasn't too effective.  It just delayed the inevitable.  The best program that was found was to get biological controls and to use pesticides in selective areas. 
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2010, 09:58:33 AM »
I may be misstaken but I think theirs anouther type of blight affecting the ash outher than those big beetles,global economy is tough on all our trees.Frank C.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2010, 10:54:54 AM »
Quote
I may be misstaken but I think theirs anouther type of blight affecting the ash outher than those big beetles

The Emerald Ash Borer is quite small.   Yes, there are several things that effect ash. Ash yellows and Ash decline to name two off the top of my head.



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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2010, 12:57:44 PM »
I've lost two healthy trees in the last two years in the yard. They both looked perfect and all the sudden leaves dropped off after wilting. I will cut the second one down next spring. They were only saplings and there ain't a mark on them and no borer holes.
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Offline Ironwood

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2010, 07:07:51 PM »
As far as ash for building,....at least here in western pa forget it. Powder post beetles love the stuff. I would never use it except for furniture of flooring/ casement. Un protected by a finishes would be a big problem


 Ironwood
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2010, 07:45:31 PM »
Your right Jeff,I had them confused with the asian longhorn beetle.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline Whitetail_Addict

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2010, 08:35:30 PM »
You guys bring up great points.  The DEC has traps hanging in Ash trees all over the county and the little bugs are definitely in my woodlot... and home town... and back yard.  I've only noticed the smaller diameter trees dying so far.  The biggest - and best logs - still seem to be hanging in there.  A lot of people cut and burn Ash for firewood, me included.  But since I purchased my LT28 I've been sizing up every tree I see!  :D  Thinking "That big ol' sucker would look awfully good on my mill".  Actually I think that's kind of a bug I've gotten.  A Fire orange Mill Beetle that leaves piles of sawdust all over town.   ;)
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2010, 09:56:40 PM »
One good use for ash:  When we were building our house, we wanted to put in hardwood floors over radiant heat. I was told that Ash is one of the better species for this, so that's what we used. So far, it's working out great. Some other species have trouble with buckling, i believe due to the heat/cool cycles.

John Mc
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2010, 12:03:36 AM »
I put a cherry floor over top of radiant heat and have no problems.  But, ash would work just as well. 
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2010, 05:43:46 AM »
We have a flooring plant here and all they do is ash flooring. I bought a kilned dried ash board for some special project from them. That was some hard wood to machine, I prefer air dried. ;D
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Offline jwoods

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2010, 04:09:24 PM »
The barn in my photo album is sided in Ash.

EAB is here, I'm about 2.5 hours southwest of Ground Zero- Detroit Michigan where it was first discovered.

My ash trees left on the farm are sick and dying, going to be marking them and taking the worst out this winter.

Local price paid by a big mill is $200-300 per thousand bd. ft. 

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2010, 04:35:55 PM »
Garant, the handle company in Woodstock, NB, buys white ash for $420/th for select >10", and $489/th for prime >12" top. No deduction for sweep. I don't know if that's current because a lot of the marketing boards have not kept prices online up to date. Our local board hasn't for a long time, their web space is a waste of bandwidth.  ::)
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Offline Logosol Steve

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2010, 09:15:58 PM »

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2010, 05:18:19 AM »
43 counties in Pennsylvania have now been quarantined.  Basically the western 2/3 of the state.  Last year it was about 7 counties.  Here's the map for PA:

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/images/fpm_invasives_eab_map2.jpg

Of the quarantined counties, only 11 have had the beetle detected.  All ash logs, green lumber, all tree products including stumps and branches are restricted in movement.  All firewood, irregardless of species, is also quarantined.
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Offline johncinquo

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Re: Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2010, 05:10:03 PM »
"I'm not sure how quickly the trees will rot once killed by the EAB. "

I live in Ashland township. which ironicly has no ash trees now....  Anyway, ash seems to stay pretty stable after its dea.  I have cut up trees that have been dead for 2+ years, and only the outer edge was damaged from the beetles themselves.  It makes some great lumber. 

John Mc, I'd love to see pics of your flooring.  I plan on ash floors throughout the house shortly. 
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