Crow’s Nest: Ash tree removals along roads

May 25, 2017

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager

We are continuing to address the eventual decline and death of our ash trees due to the introduced pest, emerald ash borer, by cutting down ash trees a few at a time along the roadsides where the trees could become a hazard.

As of March 2017 emerald ash borer has been confirmed in all but three counties in Pennsylvania. Chester County is one of those three, but I am certain it is already here. Although I haven’t seen the insect itself, I have seen the damage it does elsewhere in the state and I am seeing similar damage and death here.

We have identified that there are 200 ash trees along our roads at Crow’s Nest, and started last year to take them down. We will spread the effort out over several years but hope to be well underway before trees start dying and becoming more difficult to take down. For this round we chose about 30 trees in a variety of sizes but we prioritized those that were not entirely healthy-looking ones.

We will also be treating with insecticide a handful of specimen ash trees—about a dozen. Ash trees in the woods will be on their own, and as they die their wood will become habitat for insects and birds before recycling their nutrients back into forest soils.

While the arborist was here he also took down two oaks along the roadsides: one that recently died and one (below) that has been declining for years. There was a lot of dead wood suspended overhead.

As much as we love trees, everything that lives also dies, and where they pose a potential hazard we choose to manage these trees.