Emerald Ash Borer coming soon
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    Emerald Ash Borer coming soon

    I have about a 2 or 3 acre stand of Ash trees, most are about 10-16" diameter, very straight and very tall. My county has not yet been affected by the Emerald Ash Borer, but surrounding counties are all infested. From what I've been reading it's just a matter of time, likely this year, and the trees will almost certainly be dead or dying within 5-6 years. Im considering calling a logger to come take out all the ash while they're still alive, and getting a head start on replanting. Will trees of this size generally have enough timber value to pay for the cost of removing them? Or should I wait it out and pray for a miracle?

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    DRobinson's Avatar
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    Do I remember that you live between Allentown and Philadelphia? I have heard the same thing about them being in adjoining counties. I have a fairly large number also. Please let me know if you learn more.

    Thanks,
    Don
    Don

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    Vern1026R's Avatar
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    The Emerald Ash Borer devastated all the Ash trees here in Southeastern Michigan a few years back and migrated all the way to the northern tip of the lower peninsula in a few short years.
    Vern


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    Zebrafive's Avatar
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    I have sold walnut, cherry , white and black oak. Timber buyer was not interested in trees under 18". The buyer I used was not buying for fire wood, pallet wood or chip board, so you might have different luck selling. There may be a ban on transporting fire wood if the ash borer hits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zebrafive View Post
    I have sold walnut, cherry , white and black oak. Timber buyer was not interested in trees under 18". The buyer I used was not buying for fire wood, pallet wood or chip board, so you might have different luck selling. There may be a ban on transporting fire wood if the ash borer hits.
    That ban has been in place out here for at least 3 years. Not sure how well it is enforced, but has really put a crimp in my style since used to take firewood camping. The campgrounds take the ban very seriously.

    Lee
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    I feel your pain, Interceptor! We bought our place 3.5 years ago - 5 acres of mostly woods with the home place right in the middle of the property. I had heard of Emerald Ash Borer when we lived in the 'burbs, but never paid too much attention to it. Once we moved here I started looking at some of the dead and dying trees. I thought it was a honeysuckle infestation that was starving the trees of nutrients but then came to the awful realization that it was the EAB doing the damage. An arborist confirmed my suspicion. Fortunately we have other species in our woods, but a lot of our woods is/was ash.

    I don't know what the market for ash wood is, especially in your area. You might not be able to find a market for it.

    As Zebrafive pointed out, once the EAB hits your area, there may be a prohibition on transporting wood across boundaries so you may want to get started on this project before it hits. It would be tough for me though, to start cutting down nice, live trees.

    Our trees range from 2-3" to 16" or so. Many of them are nice and straight. The EAB only attacks the layer right under the bark, so the "inner lumber" is still OK. We don't have a wood-burning fireplace so I don't need any of this for firewood. I'm planning on using some of the smaller diameters (4"-6") for non-ground contact interior posts for a shed I'm planning on building. I found a local guy that has a sawmill that he operates for $60/hr. I'm planning on taking the larger trees to him to turn into lumber for a yet to be determined purpose. I want to turn it into wood flooring for our place but SWMBO doesn't think that she'll like ash floors, nor does she want to wait for the wood to dry, etc. The sawmill guy said that we need trees that are at least 10" to get any usable lumber out of them.

    One thing that the arborist told me is that you have to be careful with the dead ash trees. The longer they're dead, the more brittle they become. So if you have any around your house that need to come down and they will need someone to climb them to take out the upper branches first, you might want to do that while the tree is still alive. He said that many guys refuse to climb dead ash trees. One thing that I've noticed in the woods is that the dead ash trees will just break off and fall over at the base.

    I don't know if any of this helps. This is one of the more rambling posts I've ever made!

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    Im in the southwestern corner of Lehigh county PA. The map I was looking at yesterday indicates that I will probably be affected this year. I contacted the Lehigh co service forester about having someone come out to help me make decisions. I own 12 acres that is very diverse with trees, but this one section between my house and the neighbor's is probably 90% ash, 5% other sick or dead trees, and 5% other healthy trees. It's going to be a devastating loss, it actually has me feeling sick. I want to start planning now. I'm thinking that it's easier and safer to remove the ash while they're still healthy, and while they still have some timber value however small it is. I believe the transport ban has been lifted for intrastate PA, but it's still in place for interstate transport.

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    Man, if they were 18" with 16' straight sections I'd buy them from you. I'm over by Easton and I need some logs to saw up for beams in a barn I'm rebuilding. Once they get under 18" I can only get one or two beams from them (I need around 3"x11" rough) and it isn't worth it to cut a tree up for two beams.

    I forgot to add, the ash trees on my property also are dying off. I haven't seen the EAB, but I know they are heading to the area.
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    Andy, there may be a couple that size, I haven't actually measured them. We took down about a dozen of them last week and cut them for firewood. I counted about 45 rings on the larger ones, I'll have to take a tape measure along next time I go out.
    The neighbor said he saw the larvae last year while splitting some ash, so they're here. I've also seen woodpeckers drilling on the ash which is a bad sign. As of now it looks like we will be clearing and replanting about 2 acres, and leaving some open space for a large garden and some fruit trees and blueberry bushes.

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    Let me know. Maybe we could work something out. I have a few chainsaws and am not afraid to work for wood. I'd only want the stuff for the beams, the smaller stuff for firewood is all yours (well, unless you're looking to get rid of it).
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    Andy B.

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