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Ash trees developing EAB resistance!!!

 
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"Now the latest scientific research brings better news. It reveals that European ash has moderately good resistance to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) a beetle which has severely affected ash species in the USA and some parts of Russia.

Tests on a selection of ash species show that European ash - while not immune to initial attack by the EAB - has the resources to restrict the beetle's development."

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-11/jic-rft111119.php
 
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I am still cutting Ash as the Emerald Ash Borer has not got here yet. I figure I better get rid of it while I still can.

I am eradicating my Ash, a job I have been on for the last 3 years, but I guess the Maine Forest Service has devised a defense against it. They found some larvae that like the Emerald Ash Borer, so when it hits, they send out the Larvae and kill off the EAB before it does damage. By doing this it has been only found in two towns.

So there is hope.

The damage has been too wide spread though, and I have almost all my ash cleaned up. Probably by Spring I will have it eradicated from my farm.

Ash-logs.jpg
Ash logs
Ash logs
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:I am still cutting Ash as the Emerald Ash Borer has not got here yet. I figure I better get rid of it while I still can.

I am eradicating my Ash, a job I have been on for the last 3 years, but I guess the Maine Forest Service has devised a defense against it. They found some larvae that like the Emerald Ash Borer, so when it hits, they send out the Larvae and kill off the EAB before it does damage. By doing this it has been only found in two towns.

So there is hope.

The damage has been too wide spread though, and I have almost all my ash cleaned up. Probably by Spring I will have it eradicated from my farm.



I need an ash staff about 6 ft long and dead straight with no knots. Any way I could get something like that? In fact, if you can mill blanks and turn them, I know a few good places to sell them.
 
Travis Johnson
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Ryan Hobbs wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:I am still cutting Ash as the Emerald Ash Borer has not got here yet. I figure I better get rid of it while I still can.

I am eradicating my Ash, a job I have been on for the last 3 years, but I guess the Maine Forest Service has devised a defense against it. They found some larvae that like the Emerald Ash Borer, so when it hits, they send out the Larvae and kill off the EAB before it does damage. By doing this it has been only found in two towns.

So there is hope.

The damage has been too wide spread though, and I have almost all my ash cleaned up. Probably by Spring I will have it eradicated from my farm.



I need an ash staff about 6 ft long and dead straight with no knots. Any way I could get something like that? In fact, if you can mill blanks and turn them, I know a few good places to sell them.



How big in diameter does it have to be? You say "staff", so like 1"-2" in diameter?

I have been saving my ash for the last 20 years, so I got some pretty good stuff. With the rest of the country having trouble with EAB, and the trade war on, the only place to get Ash is in Maine right now. Normally they pay $400 per thousand board feet for the stuff, but now it is up to $1200 per thousand. It is the first time in my life I have ever hit a market at "just the right time", but it is working out for me.

I just cut a twitch of Ash Veneer about an hour ago. I cut 36 logs just today.

3-foot-ash.jpg
3 foot ash
3 foot ash
 
Travis Johnson
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I felt like an idiot a week or so ago.

I am out in the woods, right in a nice White Ash thicket and step up to this tree. It looks kind of like an Ash tree, but not really. Kind of like a Soft maple, but then again, not really. But it was a nice tree, so I sent it to the ground, bucked it up, and yarded it out.

I think nothing about it again until my trucker sees me and says, "hey I left some small logs...well and that Elm Log too, they don't buy them."

I had no idea the darn thing was an elm. I got a few elm around, but did not know a stand of it was in there. I was cutting in that spot today, and sure enough there is a bunch more of it. If I knew I had healthy elm I would never have cut it, just let it go to seed and grow some new elm. Kind of too bad...
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Travis Johnson wrote:

Ryan Hobbs wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:I am still cutting Ash as the Emerald Ash Borer has not got here yet. I figure I better get rid of it while I still can.

I am eradicating my Ash, a job I have been on for the last 3 years, but I guess the Maine Forest Service has devised a defense against it. They found some larvae that like the Emerald Ash Borer, so when it hits, they send out the Larvae and kill off the EAB before it does damage. By doing this it has been only found in two towns.

So there is hope.

The damage has been too wide spread though, and I have almost all my ash cleaned up. Probably by Spring I will have it eradicated from my farm.



I need an ash staff about 6 ft long and dead straight with no knots. Any way I could get something like that? In fact, if you can mill blanks and turn them, I know a few good places to sell them.



How big in diameter does it have to be? You say "staff", so like 1"-2" in diameter?

I have been saving my ash for the last 20 years, so I got some pretty good stuff. With the rest of the country having trouble with EAB, and the trade war on, the only place to get Ash is in Maine right now. Normally they pay $400 per thousand board feet for the stuff, but now it is up to $1200 per thousand. It is the first time in my life I have ever hit a market at "just the right time", but it is working out for me.

I just cut a twitch of Ash Veneer about an hour ago. I cut 36 logs just today.



Yeah about like that, 1.5 inch wide is ideal, with a tapered end if possible. I'm going to attach a spearhead. I can taper it myself, but a lathe taper is better. It's for religious use or I'd use hickory.



The Pagan Community, esp the Heathens would be very interested in spear shafts made of sacred ash wood. The Bushcrafters could use hiking sticks. The HEMA practitioners favor ash for quarterstaffs. It's a goldmine bro.
 
Travis Johnson
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Let me see what I can find for you.

I do not have a lathe so I cannot taper it for you though. I am not making excuses, I just do not have the means to do that.

What about the bark, on or off?

Not exactly a Rokon which I wish I could buy for you, but this...yeah I got plenty of wood.
 
Travis Johnson
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I was just thinking, one of those slender trees like you want is what almost killed me 3 years ago.

I had just cut down a tree, and it landed over some Saplings. Well the sapling was bowed over, kind of like a bow and arrow. I did not see it, so when I cut through the sapling, it launched the chainsaw into my face.

I cut wood alone...heck I do everything lone, so when I came too from being knocked out, seeing the snow just covered in blood, I started running for the house. I passed out once, woke up again, and figured if I was going to survive this, I had better keep running.

I made it home, and then to the hospital and got 20 stitches between my eyebrows, and spent four days in the hospital.

That was what I mean one of those Saplings pretty near killed me...and oh yes, I got pictures to prove it!

The two arrows show the Sapling that was once together in the second picture. It had so much spring tension that I could not physically put the two ends back together for the picture. The first picture shows how the saw kicked back, you can see the teeth chewing into the tree as it kicked. For those that care about such things, the saw was a Stihl MS 461 so it was not a small saw (72 CC). The chain brake never went off, so I am lucky to be alive.



Last-Cut.JPG
[Thumbnail for Last-Cut.JPG]
Spring-Pole.JPG
[Thumbnail for Spring-Pole.JPG]
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Travis Johnson wrote:Let me see what I can find for you.

I do not have a lathe so I cannot taper it for you though. I am not making excuses, I just do not have the means to do that.

What about the bark, on or off?

Not exactly a Rokon which I wish I could buy for you, but this...yeah I got plenty of wood.



Bark off please. I'm currently between woodworking clamps and have no way to affix the thing to the workbench. Removing the bark would be a chore right now. I can do the surface finish as I have to carve it with runes though. I plan to just hold it and use a sharp knife to whittle the runes. After that I'll sand it and do some boiled linseed oil.  Failing to carve it well, I might woodburn instead. I will post pics when it's done. (I'm very good at carving soapstone and clay, but I sometimes do less than ideal wood carving.) I'm excited and very happy to be collaborating with you on this project.
 
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Travis, that elm you mistakenly felled would be ideal for tool handles.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Come to think of it Travis, throw in a stick about the same thickness and I'll send you back a legit reproduction of a viking runstave. You can keep it on you for luck so you don't get whacked by the chainsaw again.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Hey Travis, how much would you charge someone per foot of ash branches and saplings? I'm talking to a couple who are Artists in NH, they're interested in your Ash branches. The stuff that the mill isn't interested in.
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:I am still cutting Ash as the Emerald Ash Borer has not got here yet. I figure I better get rid of it while I still can.

I am eradicating my Ash, a job I have been on for the last 3 years, but I guess the Maine Forest Service has devised a defense against it. They found some larvae that like the Emerald Ash Borer, so when it hits, they send out the Larvae and kill off the EAB before it does damage. By doing this it has been only found in two towns.

So there is hope.

The damage has been too wide spread though, and I have almost all my ash cleaned up. Probably by Spring I will have it eradicated from my farm.



I'm confused as to why you are seeking to eradicate your ash Travis.  I gather you were intending to harvest and sell it as lumber so I certainly understand doing that before your area might get placed under quarantine not allowing you to move any downed logs, thus killing any ability to sell it, unless you were to mill it all on site too.  But why do you use the term eradicate?  Killing all your trees to save them from being killed?  I would think they only way we are going to stop the EAB is to allow the trees themselves the opportunity to develop natural defenses against them.  Perhaps too there are natural genetic variations in a few ash trees out there that allow them to fight off the insects.  We won't know that if we kill them all first.  Is there something I'm missing?

The EAB did move through my area a few years back and unfortunately ash made up the bulk of little patch of woods.  Almost all of them were "killed".  Interestingly some didn't seem overly affected.  Shortly after I went and cut about half of the "dead" ones, which have been heating my home ever since.  It really ended up as a coppicing operation since the root structures were still alive.  Once the roots stopped trying to support small bits of life on the main trunk most of the stumps put out lots of side shoots which have been vigorously growing ever since, thus far with no signs of damage from the EAB.  I have hope that my ash grove may recover and thrive anew someday.
 
Fredy Perlman
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Right David, that's what people rued about the chestnut blight. They were all cut down to preserve market value before the blight ruined them, any individuals that would have been resistant had their genetic material demapped from the pool.

I can't say what I would do, of course, until it happens to me (knock on timber)...though I err on the side of risking the ravages.
 
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Ash is the most common wood for baseball bats.  As a baseball player,........ that's a lot of bats!

Tragically, it may mean fewer in the future.

John S
PDX OR
 
Travis Johnson
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All trees have their issues for sure. I have seen the effects of Spruce Budworm, Hemlock Alpheid, White Pine Blister Rust, Japanese Larch Bark Beetle, Hackmatack Bark Beetle, Dutch Elm Disease, etc, and inevitably they all come back. I just found a stand of Elm a few weeks ago, and I still got White Pine, Spruce, Hemlock, and Hack too, so they all bounce back.

My understanding on the EAB is that it kills off only the bigger trees, so the saplings are fine.

I am just not a big fan of ash, so I do not see it as a big loss even if it does not come back. The wood does not make for good firewood, the wood smells when it is sawed into lumber, it has limited markets because they will not take it for Mat Logs, it rots incredibly fast if left outside, it has a tap root that goes clear to hades making removing stumps tough. Really it has no redeeming qualities about it at all. This is a good chance to get rid of it, and hopefully something better will grow in its place.
 
Travis Johnson
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John Suavecito wrote:Ash is the most common wood for baseball bats.  As a baseball player,........ that's a lot of bats!

Tragically, it may mean fewer in the future.

John S
PDX OR



They have found that Yellow Birch actually makes for better baseball bats, so that is what they now use...
 
David Huang
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The one point I'll disagree with you on Travis is firewood.  In my experience, and from what I've read elsewhere online, Ash is great for firewood.  It splits beautifully, burns cleanly, has a good btu rating (though not the highest), and is one of those type trees that coppices well.  It's funny that the trees of mine I cut down that had been killed by the EAB were ones I had just started thinking about trying to coppice for firewood.  
 
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David Huang wrote:The one point I'll disagree with you on Travis is firewood.  In my experience, and from what I've read elsewhere online, Ash is great for firewood.  It splits beautifully, burns cleanly, has a good btu rating (though not the highest), and is one of those type trees that coppices well.  It's funny that the trees of mine I cut down that had been killed by the EAB were ones I had just started thinking about trying to coppice for firewood.  



I have a very hard time selling it for firewood here. Some people will allow me to mix it in, but not many, and seldom more that 10%. I always felt the BTU's were kind of low, and the ash content high (hence the name Ash), but it depends on the person on whether they like it or not I guess.

It does split easy, I will give it that.

I wish more people liked it for firewood though so I could sell it as such. I sell a lot of it to make paper, but it does not weigh much, so I kind of get screwed when I sell a truckload of it to the paper mills.
 
John Suavecito
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Birch, maple, and ash are all used for baseball bats and they all have slightly different characteristics and prices, but ash is still the most common.  I also have more ash bats than maple or birch.
John S
PDX OR
 
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Travis - Those sprung poles give me the heebie-jeebies. I've never had an injury thank god, but I have seen how hard they can kick. In our woods we have a lot of smaller diameter chestnut coppice with a canopy of oak.  The windblown oaks always make dozens of sprung poles when they come down, and I hate dealing with them. I often do chainsaw work with my dad and I worry about him a bit because he doesn't seem alert to them.
 
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Ash is an excellent firewood, in the top five of N American types by more than one reckoning. In Europe and Britain the folk wisdom for centuries placed ash at the top of desirable trees for fuel, and even resulted in a popular poem surfacing some time around 100 years ago:

Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year,
Chestnut's only good they say,
If for logs 'tis laid away.
Make a fire of Elder tree,
Death within your house will be;
But ash new or ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold

Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last,
it is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E'en the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke,
Apple wood will scent your room
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom
Oaken logs, if dry and old
keep away the winter's cold
But ash wet or ash dry
a king shall warm his slippers by.



about the Firewood Poem
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:All trees have their issues for sure. I have seen the effects of Spruce Budworm, Hemlock Alpheid, White Pine Blister Rust, Japanese Larch Bark Beetle, Hackmatack Bark Beetle, Dutch Elm Disease, etc, and inevitably they all come back. I just found a stand of Elm a few weeks ago, and I still got White Pine, Spruce, Hemlock, and Hack too, so they all bounce back.

My understanding on the EAB is that it kills off only the bigger trees, so the saplings are fine.

I am just not a big fan of ash, so I do not see it as a big loss even if it does not come back. The wood does not make for good firewood, the wood smells when it is sawed into lumber, it has limited markets because they will not take it for Mat Logs, it rots incredibly fast if left outside, it has a tap root that goes clear to hades making removing stumps tough. Really it has no redeeming qualities about it at all. This is a good chance to get rid of it, and hopefully something better will grow in its place.

luckily in Maine we have so much premium hardwood to burn, ash is at the bottom of the chart. although , at least up here, they're clearcutting hardwood ridges and replanting with soft wood. i see a shortage of firewood coming soon. alaska they burn mostly birch and spruce. they would love a load of your ash up there!
 
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steve bossie wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:All trees have their issues for sure. I have seen the effects of Spruce Budworm, Hemlock Alpheid, White Pine Blister Rust, Japanese Larch Bark Beetle, Hackmatack Bark Beetle, Dutch Elm Disease, etc, and inevitably they all come back. I just found a stand of Elm a few weeks ago, and I still got White Pine, Spruce, Hemlock, and Hack too, so they all bounce back.

My understanding on the EAB is that it kills off only the bigger trees, so the saplings are fine.

I am just not a big fan of ash, so I do not see it as a big loss even if it does not come back. The wood does not make for good firewood, the wood smells when it is sawed into lumber, it has limited markets because they will not take it for Mat Logs, it rots incredibly fast if left outside, it has a tap root that goes clear to hades making removing stumps tough. Really it has no redeeming qualities about it at all. This is a good chance to get rid of it, and hopefully something better will grow in its place.

luckily in Maine we have so much premium hardwood to burn, ash is at the bottom of the chart. although , at least up here, they're clearcutting hardwood ridges and replanting with soft wood. i see a shortage of firewood coming soon. alaska they burn mostly birch and spruce. they would love a load of your ash up there!



You are right. When I do my own firewood I bypass Ash myself and go for Beech first, Rock Maple, Black Cherry and Yellow Birch. Depending on where I am, if Soft Maple is close by I will grab some of that. I will bypass Ash, White Birch and of course Popil and Basswood.

Back in the 1990's, the paper mills here were giving away trees to plant. You had to have a forester, 10 acres or more to plant into trees, and maintain them, but we had all that so we planted 12 acres into hybred-hack. That was how desperate they were for land to grow wood for paper on. Now...down here at least, they barely even take softwood to make paper. EVERYTHING is hardwood. Rumford, Jay, and Skowhegan all want hardwood primarily. They will take some softwood, but it is not much, and they pay almost nothing for it...$35 a cord after trucking. They pay double for that for hardwood.

I got a mix, but probably grow more Spruce, Fir and Hemlock than anything else. For hardwood, my soil typically grows Maple, Ash, Yellow Birch, and White Birch.
 
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Travis, what town you located in? you guys got any red oak? we don't up here but I've heard its one of the best for fire wood and grows fast. a lot of landowners have started planting out oak to help the deer population here.
 
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steve bossie wrote:Travis, what town you located in? you guys got any red oak? we don't up here but I've heard its one of the best for fire wood and grows fast. a lot of landowners have started planting out oak to help the deer population here.



Nope...no oak at all. NONE!

That is another firewood that some people like, and others do not. Here we cannot sell oak firewood anyway because it takes two years to dry, and no one plans that far ahead here! :-) I have had some people ask for it, and I sold them some, (not from my land but from other people I was logging on), and they never ask for it again.

I had one firewood guy come from away and ask for Rock Maple, no bigger than 1 foot in diameter, and not smaller than 4 inches in diameter on the small end. I told him he did not have enough money to buy a load of firewood like that. Heck, it would take a logger a year just to find all the wood just to put a load together!
 
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I live near Belfast...

It is interesting because Belfast was founded because of firewood, and why my family came to Maine.

Back in the 1600's, Harvard had 157 fireplaces they had to keep stoked with firewood. That took a lot of firewood and there was none to be had around Boston. So they had their own ship that sailed up to what is now Belfast Maine because of all the hardwood that lay along the shore. Their ship would sale between Cambridge and Belfast all the time.

Well we are from Cambridge originally, so one of my family got on the ship to cut firewood, but liked it so much here that he stayed. That was in the mid 1600's sometime so we do not know the exact date we started out in Maine. We officially put the start of this farm at 1746 because that was when my Great Grandfather lost his life in the French and Indian War, and the King of England granted us this land here. Before that we just squatted on the King's Land, but heck everyone did in Maine back in that era.



Part of my family migrated to up where you live (Fort Fairfield area) because half my family were rebels in the American Revolution, and the other half were Tories, so that side of the family got out of Boston and moved up there. I still got a lot of family up there, and they actively farm as they got a pretty big potato farm. In fact they are on the Maine Potato Board, so I have been thinking about contacting them and seeing if we can get some potatoes growing commercially in Waldo County again.
 
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thats a neat history. I've heard of the Johnson farm in Ft. Fairfield. my relatives immigrated here in the mid 1800's from Quebec and started farms in New Canada and Eagle Lake. one farm went under the other that my cousin runs still is in operation. spent many years bailing hay / picking and hauling potatoes. i bet if you got into specialty potatoes like fingerlings and market to the bigger cities they would bring premium prices.
 
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it would be a great thing if the ash killing borer could be brought under control without causing some other big unforeseen problem. there are so few ash trees left in my area that are not completely rotten yet its very sad.
last week while out in forest cutting dead trees for firewood I cut into a 20" diameter  dead standing white ash and it was rotted to the point of being like a sponge. I was disappointed knowing a tree that large would keep me warm through the winter for weeks if it were still solid. Ash sure is an awesome tree and is surely missed here. Well I guess 100 years ago it was the same kind of thing for folks watching all the Chestnut trees die
 
Travis Johnson
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steve bossie wrote:thats a neat history. I've heard of the Johnson farm in Ft. Fairfield. my relatives immigrated here in the mid 1800's from Quebec and started farms in New Canada and Eagle Lake. one farm went under the other that my cousin runs still is in operation. spent many years bailing hay / picking and hauling potatoes. i bet if you got into specialty potatoes like fingerlings and market to the bigger cities they would bring premium prices.



They might be related to me, but my family up there is on my Maternal Side so it would be the Amsden's/Flannery's.
 
steve bossie
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Travis Johnson wrote:

steve bossie wrote:thats a neat history. I've heard of the Johnson farm in Ft. Fairfield. my relatives immigrated here in the mid 1800's from Quebec and started farms in New Canada and Eagle Lake. one farm went under the other that my cousin runs still is in operation. spent many years bailing hay / picking and hauling potatoes. i bet if you got into specialty potatoes like fingerlings and market to the bigger cities they would bring premium prices.



They might be related to me, but my family up there is on my Maternal Side so it would be the Amsden's/Flannery's.

oh ok. not familiar with that name unless they have the farm under another name.
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