Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Kiss Your Ash Goodbye

Don't Move Firewood, Emerald Ash Borer, Flatlanders, Kiss Your Ash Goodbye

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is knocking on my door just about everywhere it counts.

Waukesha County to the west of Tosa and Brown County just southwest of our tree farm. 

Note the extent of the infestation and the quarantined areas.

I've pretty much resigned myself to the ultimate fate of the Tosa ash trees on my block and the thousands of ash that make up so much of the wildlife habitat on the farm.  Nevertheless, it doesn't make it any easier recognizing that - in all likelihood - they've been sentenced to death.

It's a slow death as the larvae of the beetle feed on the cambial layer of the inner bark of a tree.  The extensive tunneling of their galleries eventually stops the flow of nutrients and water - with fatal consequences.

With an estimated mortality of twenty five million ash trees already - the economic consequences of this is significant.  Both to homeowners, municipalities and commercial producers. 

This is going to cost homeowners a chunk of change attempting to save or remove a dead tree.  For municipalities with parks and forestry departments the cost will be tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  For big cities millions of dollars.  The forest products industry will be impacted to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.  In aggregate - the economic impact of this borer has been estimated to ultimately cost billions of dollars.

It is noteworthy to know that this unwelcome Asian import doesn't fly very far or very quickly.  It actually prefers to hitchhike.  The beetle can leap longer distances than it ordinarily would when it travels on wheels.  

Just like this snowmobile trailer packed with firewood.

Last week I followed this Flatlander from downtown Milwaukee north on I-43 to a Sheboygan exit were we parted company.

I sure hope he wasn't hauling an infested cargo.

Even the manufacturer of baseball bats has asked the public to stop moving firewood.  Please honor the quarantine and halt the transportation of firewood.  Haul your sleds on that trailer and purchase your firewood from a local source.  Slow the spread of Emerald Ash Borer.

Learn more about EAB here.

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