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MAY UPDATES

Welcome to the May edition of the
Central New York Emerald Ash Borer Newsletter

 
This monthly CNY EAB newsletter will serve as a way to keep the lines of communication open among all EAB task force members, organizations, municipalities, and residents. This newsletter will contain news on research, projects, grant opportunities, and questions sent in by you. 

Please browse some of the recent happenings below. And as always, keep in touch and stay involved. 
 

City of Syracuse Ash Removal

The City of Syracuse recently received a bid to re-treat 160 ash trees, all greater than 23”, this coming summer.  The contract has not yet been awarded.  

Interestingly enough, the costs provided by bidders indicate that treatment remains to be a favorable alternative to removal and replacement.  If the cost per inch to treat trees continue to increase at a 3% rate between treatments, then 8 treatments over a 24 year span is equal to the cost to remove and replace a tree at current city contract rates. 

This estimate does not include the loss of mature tree canopy and associated annual environmental benefits.  For example, an 18” ash tree provides an estimated $180 in annual benefits while a 3” tree provides approximately $49.  These include storm water control, reduction in cooling costs and air pollution.  For more information please visit www.treebenefits.org, home of the National Tree Benefit Calculator. - Steve Harris
ONONDAGA LAKE UP TREE PLANTING
 
Thursday, May 5th, was a fun and hard worked day, filled with 127 trees planted at Onondaga Lake Park. Onondaga County partnered with Onondaga County Soil and Water District and CCE to organize a tree planting event to replace Ash trees lost in the park, due to Emerald Ash Borer. Volunteers from the community along with FFA, Future Farmers of America, helped to plant the 127 bare root trees. This event was a great success due to the helping hands of partners and volunteers. Thank you all!

      

Look for more photos on
CCEOnondaga's Facebook page or in the news. TWC News Central/Northern NY, and syracuse.com
Re-purposing Cut Ash Tree 
 
City Woods Mill is a wood mill and custom furniture business located in the City of Syracuse.  I interviewed Cosmo Fanizzi, owner and operator of City Woods Mills, http://citywoodsmill.com/, to get a better understanding of his business and his experience in working with Ash trees.

Cosmo receives trees from various contractors and contacts.  When trees are cut in the City of Syracuse, Stephen Harris, City / County Arborist, informs contractors on the various options for where they can dispose of removed trees.  It is also written in the contract.  The contractor that won the bid a couple years back took some of his trees to City Woods Mill.  Usually, after a tree is cut, it is up to the contractor to decide what to do with the tree next.  They determine whether it becomes wood-chip, lumber, or furniture.      

Cosmo says that he would happily take any tree or any Ash trees that contractors have and for the right tree, he is willing to pay the price to pick up the tree from the site or pay to have it taken down.  This was the case for a magnificent Black Walnut tree that Cosmo raves about.

He “loves the reuse narrative,” taking trees that have ended their life as a tree and transforming them for another purpose.  Cosmo is compliant and certified to receive Ash trees.  He has received about 50 or so Ash trees within the past couple of years.  The largest Ash tree he has taken in is pictured below.  Some of the furniture made from Ash trees can be found in local businesses around the City of Syracuse.  The yellow dyed Ash tabletop in the Red House café is the work of Cosmo Fanizzi.  If you visit Wolff’s Biergarten, you will find the bar top that was made from Ash, pictured below.

So, what does this all mean?  How do we encourage contractors to transport removed Ash trees to wood mills, like Cosmo’s or Johnson Brothers Lumber in Cazenovia, NY?  Is it up to those who write the contracts to provide an incentive in the RFP that encourages cut trees to be brought to wood mills?  Or is it up to each individual wood mill interested in Ash trees to reach out to the awarded contractors?  These are questions we need to be thinking about as we are involved in the environmental field and all working toward a similar mission of creating a more sustainable and resilient future for our natural environment, built environment, and local economy.  How do we help the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County reach this goal of creatively utilizing its assets while building a more resilient place?
 
To learn more about the assessment of urban tree utilization, check out a study conducted about forestry programs in Richmond, VA and Raleigh, NC, sent in by Brian Skinner .
Overwintering Emerald Ash Borer Mortality in New York

 
In last month's issue we heard about the devastation caused to Ash species in our region by the Emerald Ash Borer, as it continues to spread.  Fortunately, with a couple of cold days in February, some EAB larvae have died off!  Below, you will find an article written by Mike Jones, graduate student at SUNY - ESF, about the the overwintering EAB mortality in New York. 

With the relatively mild winter we had this year, we were not expecting very much mortality of overwintering emerald ash borer (EAB) larvae.  Especially, considering a few years ago we had a particularly cold winter and there was little impact on EAB populations.  But, there was an interesting twist to this winter.  While it was relatively warm, there were a couple days in mid February during which it appears temperatures dropped low enough to kill overwintering EAB.

We have been felling trees throughout the winter and spring in Syracuse (Onondaga County) to collect larvae for parasitoid studies.  Before mid-February we were collecting plenty of healthy EAB larvae, but after mid-February many larvae we were collecting were dead (Fig. 1), with mortality approaching 90%.  The likely cause for such an increase in mortality was a significant drop in temperature on February 14th and 15th.  During these two days, temperatures approached -30 C (-22 F) in much of eastern NY (Fig. 2), apparently exceeding the ability of overwintering larvae to avoid freezing, leading to high mortality.




Click HERE to continue reading.

Starting a Tree Commission
Advice from the Fayetteville Tree Commission

Below you will find a step by step guide provided by Pat Tobin of the Fayetteville Tree Commission
 

Click here to view this guide in a larger format
Managing Ash trees at Baltimore Woods Nature Center
 
For over 50 years, Baltimore Woods Nature Center, located in Marcellus, has been a favorite natural area destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts of all ages.  Programs and camps have provided years of memories for families across Onondaga and Cayuga County, and for some, it has inspired them to seek careers in the environmental sciences.  Baltimore Woods welcomes over 20,000 visitors each year and hope that each time they visit The Woods, their connection to the natural world and all that is has to offer is strengthened.

The 180 acre preserve is owned by the Central NY Land Trust, which owns another 2,800 acres encompassing 48 preserves in Onondaga and Oswego counties.  Most of Baltimore Woods is forested, although more than half of the forest is post agricultural successional forest and, like many post agricultural lands, it has a large component of ash trees.  The 70 or so acres of pre-1930 forested areas are typical northern hardwood forest with a scattering of ash trees.  The hiking trails and camper recreation areas within that forest are at a slightly higher risk as a result of EAB, compared to other sites.  However, trails through post agricultural successional forests on the west side of the preserve need to be more actively managed to minimize risk to the public who visit for recreation.  Some stretches of trail are highly populated with ash that a reroute of trails is needed. The other option is to spend large sums of money to manage ash stands.

Baltimore Woods does not plan to treat trees as costs are too high.  Some stewardship volunteers recently received basic chainsaw safety training through the NYS Agricultural Health and Medicine program.  Baltimore Woods plans to continue training to prepare volunteers for the inevitable take down of EAB infested ash trees along trails.  Photos of trainings can be viewed below.  Stewardship volunteers will map trees that are high risk to visitor safety and will remove ash from trails, as needed.  The mapping of ash trees will be used to inform budgeted removal of trees that cannot be managed with volunteer chainsaws.  Professional forestry services will be used for the most difficult felling jobs.  The understory canopy of our densest ash stands is predominantly shade tolerant species that should become canopy trees as ash trees drop out.  Other understory restoration plans will be site specific, if needed.  Deer herbivory impacts to forest regeneration are challenging to manage given the no hunting policy in areas with year-round heavy public use.  Invasive plant and insect species add another layer of management challenge.  Baltimore Woods is grateful for the energy and commitment of volunteer stewards as we deal with these increasing management demands. - Fran Lawlor

        
 
Is Your Municipality Preparing for EAB?  

Michelle Sutton, editor of the Taking Root Blog and E-news for the NYS Urban Forestry Council, provided us with a handy website.  The Society of Municipal Arborists website lists a variety of resources on planning for EAB.  Additionally, Brian Skinner provided a one pager on how to tell if your ash tree has EAB before leaf out  
 
Announcements
 
The NYS DEC Urban and Community Forestry Grant is available.  This Grant is available for communities interested in restoring their urban tree canopy.
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