Tag: emerald ash borer

Urban Wood Network Dues a Bargain

The thermometer on the back of my garage is hovering around -20F. But things are heating up for the Urban Wood Network.

Entering its second year of existence, the UWN looks to take the next step in its move to consolidate an organization of businesses, government entities and individuals who have a stake in advancing the urban wood movement. The cost of membership is a modest $50 a year. That’s a small price to pay to get in on the ground floor of helping shape UWN’s future programs and initiatives.

A great example of UWN’s programs is the “How-to Do Urban Wood” webinar series that explored developing urban wood partnerships from various vantage points. All of these webinars are archived on urbanwoodnetwork.org.

Learn more about the UWN, it’s benefits and how to join in this edition of the Illinois Urban Wood Update.

Also, in this issue:
 
  • The Top 10 Urban Wood Posts of 2018
  • Dead Ash Trees Come to Life in Chainsaw Sculptures
  • Emerald Ash Borer Threatens 50,000 Trees in Lincoln, NE
 
Warmer days are just around the corner.

Come join the movement!
 
Rich Christianson
Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team
 

READ THE JANUARY URBAN WOOD UPDATE



EAB Threatens 50,000 Trees in Lincoln, NE

The deadly emerald ash borer has made its way to Lincoln, NE, putting up to 50,000 public and private ash trees at risk.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the city has been bracing for the emerald ash borer’s arrival for the past three years. The wait ended when the EAB was cited within the city this fall.

According to the Journal Star, Lincoln has developed a 15 year plan to spend an estimated $22.8 million to combat the EAB invasion and its impact on 14,000 public ash trees. The plan includes removing about 1,000 ash trees a year and replacing them with other tree species. The city will spend about $10 million of the total to hire private tree care companies to remove ash trees with diameters of 18 inches or more.

The city has also held public hearings to outline its plan to residents. The newspaper reported that there is concern that many residents cannot afford to remove ash trees, which pose a safety hazard,  from their private property.

A related article by the Journal Star focused on a pair of workshops held in late November focused on utilizing some of the ash tree removals for lumber and wood products.

 

 

 

 



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 AronsonWoodworks.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.