Tag: emerald ash borer

Vermont Braces for Emerald Ash Borer Invasion

Considering the emerald ash borer already has been inflicting damage in 31 states and two Canadian provinces, it comes as more than a bit of a surprise that Vermont has so far been spared.

But that’s about to change.

According to VPR News, the state confirmed its first sighting of the EAB in February in the town of Orange. The anticipated arrival of the EAB has state forest officials drawing up a battle plan to at the very least slow the EAB’s spread.

“What we won’t be able to do is eradicate this insect,” says State Forester Barbara Schultz in the VPR News report. “That hasn’t work with emerald ash borer. We won’t be cutting all the trees down. That just has not been effective. It’s a case of slowing the spread. That’s our biggest priority.”

In the video below, WPTZ NewsChannel5 interviews state officials and woodworkers who express their concern about the EABs potential to devastate the state’s tree population. Ash makes up about 5% of Vermont’s forests.

Illinois fought and lost the war against EAB. In 2015, Illinois joined Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri in ending a quarantine that restricted the movement of cut, non-coniferous firewood within the state.

Since its arrival in the Detroit area in 2002, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees, only a tiny fraction of which have been salvaged as lumber.

 

 

 



31 States Infested by EAB

The emerald ash borer’s wide path of destruction is captured in the latest North American map of areas under quarantine.

Firewood and nursery stock are restricted from leaving the quarantine zone which now includes all or parts of 31 states, Washington, DC, and Ontario and Quebec.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), since its discovery in southeast Michigan in 2002, emerald ash borer infestations have been detected in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Beginning in 2007, APHIS initiated a search for potential biological control agents in China. Most recently, in 2015, the stingless wasp, Spathius galinae, was released. Efforts are ongoing to find and evaluate additional biological control agents.

Click here to a blow up of the map.

Click here to read more about APHIS’s war on the emerald ash borer.



Chicago Tree Project Continues to Transform Dead Trees into Sculptures

As much as we like to see urban trees reclaimed as lumber and furniture, sometimes the best use of a dying or dead tree is a second life as art.

Chicago Sculpture International (CSI) and the Chicago Park District (CPD), teamed up for “Chicago Tree Project 2017,” the fourth annual citywide effort to transform sick and dying trees into vibrant public art. Using art as a vessel for public engagement, sculptors transformed a variety of trees into fun and whimsical experiences for the greater Chicago community. The collaborative project between CSI artists and CPD and is part of the greater initiative to expand the reach of public art in Chicago.

“The Chicago Park District strives to integrate art and nature in many ways to enhance the experience of public spaces,” said General Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Park District Michael P. Kelly. “This project builds on the city’s reputation for great public art, and brings the work of local sculptors to a wide array of neighborhoods throughout the city.”

Over the course of the summer and fall, artists adopted trees throughout Chicago and modified them through sculpture using traditional carving methods, as well as mixed media and other embellishments. The transformed trees are in geographically diverse areas to give as many residents as possible access to the pieces.

The decorated and carved trees will remain in the parks as long as the trees remain secure.

2017 Tree Artists included: JR Cadawas, Janet Austin, Sandra Bacon & John Hatlestad, Carrie Fischer, Nick Goettling, Tracy Ostmann Haschke, Anthony Heinz May, Cat Chiu Phillips, and Actual Size Artworks (Gail Simpson & Artistotle Georgiades).

Learn more about the Chicago Tree Project and view more sculptures.

 



Video: Richmond Hill Educates Residents about EAB Scourge

Ash trees used to make up 12% of the urban forest canopy in Richmond Hill, ON, Canada. That’s before the emerald ash borer descended on the city killing thousands of trees over the last few years. The city has produced a pair of videos to educate residents about its fight against the pesky beetle. The video above illustrates some of the ways the town is repurposing its ash tree removals.

The video accessible from this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY5i7TyNaKs&feature= – educates residents about Richmond HIll’s EAB Management Strategy. It details the EAB problem, how to detect a tree that has been infested and chemical treatments that can be used to keep an ash tree safe from infestation.

Learn more about Richmond Hill’s Emerald Ash Borer Management Strategy.

 



Duluth’s EAB Plan Promotes Wood Use; Does Your City Do the Same?

City-of-Duluth

BY RICH CHRISTIANSON

It only represents one paragraph of a 14-page document, yet it’s encouraging to see that the City of Duluth, MN, incorporated urban wood utilization in its Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan originated in July 2015 and finalized in November 2016.

That one small yet significant paragraph reads: “After all bark including ½ inch of sapwood is removed from ash, the wood can be used for lumber. This lumber could be used for park projects including mulching, constructing benches, playground equipment, etc. If ash mulch is to be used, the chips must be chipped at no greater than 1” X 1” in two dimensions.”

Duluth officials started crafting the EAB management knowing that it was just a matter of time before the deadly beetle would invade the area. The first confirmation that the EAB had arrived was in St. Louis County in October 2015.

The ultimate death toll of ash trees in Minnesota is expected to be huge. As the introduction of the management plant notes, “According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota has the highest volume of ash trees in the U.S. with almost a billion forestland and urban ash trees. Duluth has about 2,404 boulevard ash trees alone, not including park or privately owned ash.”

Key topics of Duluth’s EAB management plan include:

  • Monitoring and Inspection
  • Insecticide Use
  • Community Outreach
  • Ash Tree Removal
  • Ash Wood Disposal
  • Reforestation and Canopy Replacement
  • Biological Control

I am constantly amazed that many of the municipal urban forestry plans I skim through focus on tree planting, maintenance and disposal without even a mention of wood utilization. I’d be very interested to learn of other cities that like Duluth that have enacted community tree management plans that actively promote a second life for its ash trees as mulch and lumber.

Drop me a line at richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.

Read Duluth’s EAB Management Plan.

 

 

 



Reclaimed Ash Furniture in Iowa Home Show Expo Spotlight

 

Furniture made from trees infested by the emerald ash borer was recently showcased at the Home & Remodeling Show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

The Des Moines Register reported that the solid wood furnishings were crafted by Aronson Woodworks, a local custom woodworking business owned by Clay and Megan Aronson. According to the Register’s story, the Aronsons “stumbled across the idea to use ash wood to create furniture about three years ago.”

“We started experimenting with ash wood because it’s really inexpensive at the lumber yard,” Megan Aronson told the newspaper. “A small craftsman is always looking to create something that doesn’t cost a lot of money, and the qualities of ash wood are tremendous for furniture.”

In addition to creating custom furniture, Aronson has a small sawmill and plans to add a dry kiln. The company’s products are displayed at three furniture showrooms in Clive, IA.

Read The Des Moines Register’s article.

Visit AronsonFurniture.com.



Registration Opens for Unique Urban Wood Event

ILWUT_LogoMake plans and register now to attend the inaugural Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference, Friday, March 18 at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, IL.

The full-day event is being organized by the Illinois Wood Utilization Team. It will include more than a dozen informative presentations, a live portable sawmill demonstration, tabletop displays and plentiful networking opportunities.

The Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference will bring together public and private land managers, arborists, architects and designers, sawyers, woodworkers and other entrepreneurs to share and learn next-step actions to participate in a market-driven urban wood economy. The unique conference will focus on industry best practices for everything from urban tree removal and milling through wood manufacturing and marketing the local appeal of urban wood products.

Confirmed presentations include case studies of urban wood initiatives taking place in Chicago; Ann Arbor, MI; and Milwaukee, WI. Representatives of each of these urban centers will detail how urban trees are being diverted from landfills in favor of being converted into lumber and value-added wood products.

Prof. Dan Cassens of Purdue University’s Forestry Department, one of the nation’s foremost experts on hardwood lumber, will discuss market opportunities and strategies for promoting urban wood products. Cassens, who also runs a sawmill business, will conduct live portable sawmill demonstrations during the conference.

A networking reception featuring tabletop displays by businesses and organizations participating in the urban wood movement will immediately follow the full day of presentations.

Learn More and Register
To learn more about attending the conference or sponsorship and display opportunities, visit illinoisurbanwood.org.

Additional information is also available by contacting Rich Christianson, conference director, at 773-822-6750 or richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com.

Register Now!



Coming Attractions: Saving America’s Urban Forests

Trees-in-Trouble-2The battle to save America’s urban forests from being wiped out by the emerald ash borer takes front stage center in a new documentary film, “Trees in Trouble: Saving America’s Urban Forests.”

Trees in Trouble tells the story of America’s urban and community forests including their history; growing importance to our health, economy and environment; and the serious threats they now face to the emerald ash borer scourge and other calamities.

Saving America’s Urban Forests tells the compelling story of how one community near Cincinnati, OH, confronted their tree crisis and fought the invasive pest by taking action and joining together. Through partnerships with scientists, city officials and everyday citizens, this community was able to fight the pest and protect its urban forests for future generations. The film also explores the rich history of urban forestry in the United States and the exciting new research linking human health and trees.

The 27-minute film is directed by Andrea Torrice and is available for purchase or rental at www.bullfrogfilms.com. Reduced rates are available for activist and grassroots groups. Contact Bullfrog Films at 800-543-3764 for more info or visit treesintrouble.com.

 



Illinois to Drop Internal EAB Quarantine

EABSPRINGFIELD, IL – The state of Illinois will no longer restrict the movement of any cut, non-coniferous firewood within the state. Illinois joins Missouri, Iowa, and Kentucky in the deregulation of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

The 2015 survey of traps detected EAB in 10 new counties in Illinois: Madison, Mercer, Jackson, Saline, Hamilton, Wayne, Clay, Jefferson, Washington and Bond. The addition of 10 new counties has brought the total count of confirmed counties to 60.

“The survey results this year support deregulation with nearly 60 percent of our counties confirmed positive for EAB,” said Plant and Pesticide Specialist Supervisor Scott Schirmer. “Over the past decade, the regulations and quarantines have served their purpose to slow the rate of spread and afford people time to manage for this pest. However, there comes a time when the pest is too widespread to continue to regulate, and this is our time.”

Previously EAB presence was confirmed in 50 counties, but 61 of Illinois’ 102 counties were under a state quarantine, which was intended to prevent artificial or human assisted spread of the beetle.

“Even though the state of Illinois is lifting its in-state EAB quarantine, I urge all Illinoisans to remain vigilant against the man-assisted spread of not only this pest, but all invasive species,” said Acting Agriculture Director Warren Goetsch. “Illinois will remain part of a federal quarantine, meaning firewood or other ash related products cannot travel into a state that currently has regulations.  I urge people to consider the potential impacts of their actions, in general, before they move items like firewood. We’ve witnessed the impacts EAB has had on our trees and budgets, and we want to prevent introduction and spread of other current and future invasive species.”

Since the first detection of the pest near Detroit, Michigan, in 2002, the beetle has killed more than 250 million ash trees. The borer, known for its distinctive, metallic green wing color, is native to Asia. Its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die.  The tiny beetle often is difficult to detect, especially in newly-infested trees. Signs of infestation include thinning and yellowing of leaves, D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches and basal shoots. Each year  Illinois Department of Agriculture officials submit samples from various purple EAB traps throughout the state and send them to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to confirm the presence of EAB.

Anyone who suspects an ash tree has been infested should contact their county Extension office, their village forester or the Illinois Department of Agriculture at (815) 787-5476.

For further information about the beetle, visit www.IllinoisEAB.com.



Woodworking Enthusiasts Get a Taste of Urban Wood

 

urban wood, Chicago Park District

Eric Boelkens, woodworking instructor at Horner Park, shows off a wood robot made by one of his beginner students.

 

By Rich Christianson

Children and adults alike learn or hone their woodworking skills through programming at Horner Park, one of 15 woodshops managed by the Chicago Park District.

Mike Dimitroff, manager of art iniatitves for the Chicago Park District, said woodshop classes like the ones held at Horner Park are part of the park district’s ongoing efforts to “grow and develop cultural arts programs.”

Horner Park hosted the September meeting of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team (WUT), which is hammering out details for an urban wood conference to be held in March 2016. Eric Boelkens, woodshop instructor, led WUT members on a meeting-adjourned tour of the Horner Park basement woodshop. The shop includes standard introductory woodworking equipment: band saw, table saw and jig saw.

Boelkens said he teaches woodworking to children as young as 7 years old as part of the very popular Family Woodshop class. Youth programs for boys and girls aged 9 to 12 make up the “core” of the program, he said, with adults-only classes also available.

Participants, including woodworking novices, are taught essential woodworking skills including measuring, designing, cutting and sanding. Projects range from birdhouses and small cabinets to bookcases depending on age and skill levels.

Members of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team discuss the March 2016 urban wood conference during its September meeting at Horner Park.

Members of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team discuss the March 2016 urban wood conference during its September meeting at Horner Park.

In many of the classes, participants are making products from urban wood salvaged from trees removed from park district land. Talk about getting a hands-on education on the value of giving wood a second life!

Youth classes start at a very affordable $16 ($32 for non-Chicago residents) for a 12-week program and only $40 ($80 for non-residents) for adult classes.

Horner Park is located at 2741 W. Montrose Ave. in Chicago. Learn more about woodcraft programs, class schedules and registration.

Find information about all 15 Chicago Park District woodshop facilities.