Emerald Ash Borer: Destructive artists at work

The epidemic of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Central North America has resulted in the loss of millions of Ash trees. Entire Forests have fallen victim to this beetle. Signs of infestation become apparent once the tree has been heavily infested by the EAB, and unfortunately, the outlook is bleak once signs are present. Signs include: Dieback of the crown and loss of rich green colour in the remaining leaves. Entire forests have fallen victim to the EAB as they are able to ‘jump’ from tree to tree, sucking out the remaining life of the forest.

The larvae feed between the sapwood and the bark along the entire length of the Ash tree trunk and on branches larger with a diameter of about 2cm. This larvae feeding is what eventually kills the tree, as it cuts off the flow of nutrients flowing up to the leaves. Unfortunately, there is no ‘cure’ for this. There are treatments that can be performed for those trees deemed “good candidates,” who typically haven’t lost more than 75% of their canopies. The treatment, however, usually only prolongs their lives by a couple of years.

As the EAB bores between the sapwood and the bark, they create very distinct and interesting patterns in the wood. While it’s unfortunate to see so many trees fall victim to this destructive beetle, and with so many more to go, we can treat where applicable but there is not much more of a solution currently. With all the trees to come down, we have the opportunity to create beautiful, long lasting pieces from this Ash.

With the Ash population dying out, these unique borrow lines of the EAB captures a bit of natural history, and creates intricate patterns. Ash wood effected by the EAB is found under our ‘Rescued’ section, as our Phoenix Ash flooring line. All of the wood used for Phoenix Ash flooring has been rescued from the clearing of dead Ash trees as much of the wood is left to decay on the forest floors.

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