Ramblings 8/21

In the Adirondacks we have thousands of miles of trails which will need to be cleared of more than the normal number of deadfalls. We hikers should also note where there are heavy stands of magnificent ashes, which now add to the beauty of the forest and indicate rich soil that often supports certain well-loved flowers and mushrooms. Trail builders should be pro-active and avoid areas with many ashes. Hundreds of miles of new "connector" snowmobile trails are now going to be built and while snowshoers and skiers can get around downed trees, snowmobiles cannot.

Clues an ash tree has been attacked by EAB are dead branches at the top of the tree; short leafy shoots coming from the trunk; and "D shaped" exit holes made when the larva matures and leaves the tree looking for a mate. Woodlot owners may want to harvest their ash while they are healthy, but the market will soon be saturated. The one good thing about the loss of this well-loved tree is that tree removal businesses will have a field day!

The other new invasive alien is pretty spectacular - the Asian Long-horned Beetle. It is black and white spotted with huge striped antennae, and about an inch long. It leaves oval to round pits in the bark chewed out by the female, where she lays one egg. The larvae then dig into the tree to feed, leaving oozing spots especially visible on maples, unfortunately a favorite genus. Piles of coarse sawdust can accumulate in branch axils. Round holes, up to a half inch in diameter, are where the adult beetle exits. This insect is still being fought off by scientists in New York, but it is in surrounding states.

It is critical to not move firewood to control both of these beetles. Google this and the EAB for pictures and the latest information on where they are.

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