As concerned as I already was about the Emerald Ash Borer, you just don’t really feel the impact until it touches you personally.
My daughter and her husband have several wonderful ash trees in their large yard in Connecticut. Correction. Make that “had,” as they recently had to cut down two of them that were killed by the Emerald Ash Borer. Actually, the two trees were really six – some time in their infancy, three saplings grew right next to each other in two separate spots. Over the decades those saplings merged into single massive trees that, judging from their size, were between 80 and 100 years old. Now, they’re gone.
While they aren’t in the wood industry, they still felt the loss of two of the best shade producers you can imagine. Unfortunately, about half the trees on their property are ash. Oh, they’re fine now, but I doubt that will last – the EAB’s that killed those two trees and others in her part of the state will likely just move into the surviving ashes. If they haven’t already, that is.
The only good(?) note to all of this is that my daughter heats her home with wood, and purchasing enough firewood for the entire heating season is an expensive proposition every year. With the loss of these trees, they gained more than enough wood for this heating season, and probably a good portion of next year’s. Coming off the economic disaster that was 2020, this will help them out a lot. Still and all, they’d rather have those ash trees back.
I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone, and yet feeling it this personally really underscores the seriousness of the damage this pest can do. Add to that other invasives out there like the Spotted Lanternfly, Woolly Adelgid and others, I’m beginning to fear for the future of the wood industry. A future that might not see a recovery.