COLUMBUS, OH – As the temperatures continue to fall, more hikers and hunters will be spending time in Ohio’s forests. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) reminds all outdoor enthusiasts to be cautious of dead or dying trees, including ash trees, which may now be present in Ohio’s forests and landscapes.
Our enjoyment of the outdoors includes awareness of hazards, like standing dead ash trees. Brittle limbs and tree trunks can break easily or be blown over so people should be alert when walking through woodlands and especially when selecting tree stand sites for hunting.
The emerald ash borer (EAB), a wood-boring beetle native to Asia, was discovered in the Detroit area in 2002, likely accidentally introduced in solid wood packing material, and was then discovered in northwest Ohio in 2003. EAB larvae feed beneath the bark of ash trees, preventing the ability of a tree to move water and nutrients. Once an ash tree becomes infested with EAB, it usually dies in less than five years, leading to an overabundance of dead ash trees in woodlands and communities.
EAB is present throughout Ohio, most of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada, and it has killed hundreds of millions of native ash trees in North America. Various government agencies, non-governmental organizations and universities are conducting management and research to reduce the impact of EAB and implement restoration activities, including chemical treatments, biological controls and breeding genetically resistant ash trees.
The ODNR Division of Forestry offers the following advice:
People should identify dead and dying trees, including ash trees, around their homes and in their community which have the potential to harm people or property.
Contact a certified arborist at treesaregood.org to identify ways to manage the risk associated with dead and dying trees in the yard.
Exercise caution when entering a wooded area and be aware of any standing dead trees nearby, especially in windy conditions.
This caution is important in urban environments as well, since many urban areas had been planted with ash trees over the years.
EAB eggs, larvae and adults, as well as other plant pests and diseases, can be moved on or in firewood so it is important to minimize the movement of firewood. “Burn it where you buy it,” and be aware of all county quarantines on firewood or any plant material.
For more information on plant pest quarantines, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Plant Health at agri.ohio.gov/plant or by calling 614-728-6400.
The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit forestry.ohiodnr.gov.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.