Crow’s Nest: Ash tree survey

October 7, 2015

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager

Or, the times they are a-changin’.

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is present in two of our neighboring counties, and ash trees are likely to disappear from most of our landscapes.

Ash trees that are growing along roadsides or near buildings are going to have to be removed so that they don’t become hazards. And there’s no way we can afford to do this on our preserves all at once. By the time we see signs of the borer exiting tree trunks the damage will be done. We are assessing the ash tree numbers, size, and priority for removal so that we can get a handle on costs.

Here intern Brittany Grabois is measuring the size of tree trunks as we collect GPS location data for the ash trees.


Crow’s Nest may have more ash trees to remove than many of our preserves, as we have several miles of road frontage here. Our survey found about 200 trees along roads here that will require managing, and we hope to spread that out over the few years remaining before they become hazards.

Of course this is just a tiny percentage of the ash trees here; those in the woods will be left to fend for themselves and will provide habitat for other species even in death. Our strength here is in diversity: ash trees will be missed but many other species will take their place.