Over the last couple of years have been some hot topics in the Indiana Forests. One most commonly questioned is the Emerald Ash borer. This is a serious threat to out state’s woodlands and its Ash component.
If you don’t already know, the Emerald Ash borer is a green colored beetle what was transported here from Asia through some kind of wood packing material. Since its arrival it has infested and killed tens of millions of ash trees in Michigan alone and tens of millions more in the surrounding states including our own. It is not the beetle itself causing most of the destruction as they mainly feed on leaves, but the larvae of the insect damage or devour the water and nutrient carrying tissues of the tree eventually killing it.
Each year we are noticing more and more counties in Indiana reporting infestations. It is difficult for any one to predict a positive outcome at this point. The government agencies are doing their best to make the public aware of this problem, contain the speed, and research ways of stopping the pest.
We as a company are trying to stay up to date with these restrictions on the movement of the product, and help spread the awareness. For your sake we are still able to process ash wood in Indiana and it is still holding a decent value. However, we are now faced with certain stipulations during these times of the year. There are flight windows when the bug is able to move around and we as people can increase its spread rapidly during these times.
Our main obstacle as industry is just tracking the movement of the ash product so we can account for where it came from and help with slowing the spread. It has added some paper work on our end and more planning as to routes traveled to eliminate certain counties from trucking. As a woodland owner, outdoors men, or user of wood the most common spread is through firewood. It is recommended to get firewood out of your county. Ash has been as staple species for our state. Many products come from ash such as lumber, handles, and the famous baseball bat of our national pastime. All is uncertain at this point but we will continue our effort to stay up to date on the rules and the information about the ash borer.