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Inspecting for EAB

This image was included in an edition of the Cadillac News regarding inspecting trees for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). While this White ash that I am leaning on is actually behind our home, it is a routine for me to check White ash whenever I walk by to see if they might have signs of EAB.  While I understand there have been some areas of EAB infestations in Northern Michigan, I have never seen any damage by the pests on any of the woodlots I have managed, including those in Defiance County, Ohio, which was one of the first areas to be infected with EAB. While in Defiance county, I visited some Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) trees that had been affected in the log yard of a major ash wood manufacturer so I could identify the insect at a later period. Since then, I have seen it devastate many trees in Southern Michigan.

Some loggers will use the excuse of EAB to trick landowers into a timber harvest. That is nonsense.  EAB will not degrade the wood in the ash trees, nor does the insect affect any other trees. It makes no sense at all to harvest ash trees to prevent infection.  The most reasonable method is for occasional inspections of the trees (biennially).  Ash trees should be removed as soon as they become infected with EAB, since it is likely the insect will kill the tree by effectively girlding the tree due to larval cavities in the cambium (living tissue of the tree between the wood and bark), though the wood inside the tree remains unaffected for quite some time.