Page 69 - Color Tour 2018
P. 69

Hoping
for more
than
ash to ashes
Beetle turns county ash trees to  rewood;
is there a youth movement?
By Jen Murphy
Special to the Color Tour
Ash trees were once a common sight in Leelanau. They’re still not dif cult to  nd — standing dead along roads and marshes throughout the county.
The arrival of the emerald ash borer, a  ying Asian beetle that feeds on ash trees, has devastated the pen- insula’s ash tree population. White ash once provided rich shades of red, purple, yellow and green to fall color tours, but are now rare to  nd alive.
Some are surviving, but you’ ll need to look hard..
“There are still ash trees,” consul- tant forester Lynn Bakker said. “There are ash trees all over Leelanau County that are still alive... most of them are the smaller ones. The big ones are mostly dead except for those (on property whose owners) have treated their ash trees.”
If you’ re searching for the now-elusive ash, look for the only native tree with a compound leaf.
A compound leaf has 5-11 lea ets growing off a single stem, as opposed to a single leaf with a stem running through the center of each leaf.
The limb placement of an ash tree is also distinct. Known as “opposing branches, or mate branches, they grow in pairs. And the bark of an ash tree has a diamond pattern that enhances as the tree ages.
Bakker blames human error for the arrival and spread of the ash beetle
that feasts on the wood of the strug- gling ash trees.
“The reason (emerald ash borer) is here is because we were foolish and we let it in,” Bakker said.
The pest keeps spreading. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service website, the beetle can only  y short distanc- es. But it’s hitched rides with people moving  rewood, nursery stock, and timber. The rapid expansion of the emerald ash borer infestation across a wide range of climate zones suggests that this invasive beetle will continue its march across the continent.
Bakker is keeping her  ngers crossed the infestation won’t deci- mate the ash tree population similar to the effect Dutch elm disease had on the American elm..
“I think the emerald ash borer will become endemic like the gypsy moths,” she said. “I’ve
Gypsy moths attack oak trees, and ban be fatal on some indivuals. But the moths usually don’t destroy an oak woodlot.
Bakker has found ash trees that are resistant.
“A lot of us are hopeful,” she said.
Bakker said she loves all trees, but ash trees hold a special place in her heart.
“The more species of trees we have in the woods, the healthier the woods are, and ash trees have done a lot of good for the environment,” she said “The thing I’ve appreciated is
CONTINUED ON PAGE 70
Inspecting the ash trees in Leelanau County woods, consultant for- ester Kama Ross notes the damage done by the emerald ash borer beetle.
During Your Color Tour, Stop by a Leelanau County Pharmacy
Everything you need and want in a pharmacy is available to you at Munson Healthcare retail pharmacies in Suttons Bay and Empire. Friendly experts will answer your questions,  ll your prescriptions, and help you  nd the over-the-counter supplies you need.
We’re Here for You!
Empire Pharmacy
9975 W. Ottawa Ave., Empire, MI 49630 | 231-213-1115
(Next to Empire Family Care)
Mon. - Fri., 9 am - 5 pm; Sat. 9 am - 1 pm; closed Sundays and holidays
Bay Shore Pharmacy
93 W. Fourth St., Ste. A, Suttons Bay, MI 49682 | 231-271-6111
(Next to Hansen’s)
Mon. - Fri., 9 am - 6 pm; Sat., 9 am - 1 pm; closed Sundays and holidays
munsonhealthcare.org/pharmacy
leelanau color tour 2018
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