The Death of a Species


ash tree three  

Photo by author - the slow death 

As I look around my front yard, I see what once were many gorgeous Ash trees. Over the past few years, we have watched as each tree has slowly died off. With only a few remaining, it is especially sad, as the few remaining have begun to show the signs of death as well. This past weekend was spent dropping the remaining. With four more to go, it got a bit harder with each cutting them down. Wood is never wasted around here they simply get cut, split, stacked, and dried to finish out their life heating our home. Whether wasted or not I will miss the huge canopies that once shaded a large portion of our yard. So, why are all the Ash dying?

The Day of Reckoning

 Emerald Ash Borer

Photo by Author - The damage 

The imported wood-boring bug called the emerald ash borer has been wiping out ash trees over the eastern half of the United States, and it has now hit us here in North East Ohio. The saddest part is that the emerald ash borer is anticipated to kill nearly 100 percent of ash trees within four to five years. So, what and where did the emerald ash borer come from? The emerald ash borer is an Asian native; first discovered destroying ash trees in Michigan in 2002. It’s thought they may have come over on wooden packaging from its native land.  Dan Herms, an entomologist at Ohio State University who studies the ash borer, called it “the most devastating insect ever to invade North American forests.” It is already the most expensive because it has killed so many urban trees that had to be removed, disposed of and replaced, which has cost billions of dollars, he said.

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