Most of the ash trees killed so far by the emerald ash borer are from urban areas and, therefore, will not likely be utilized by typical wood products manufacturers. Instead, most of these trees will be ground and sent to landfills or incinerated, even though the EAB does not damage the interior wood of affected logs or diminish the value of these trees as a potential lumber resource.
The State of Michigan operates eight Emerald Ash Borer Disposal Sites to assist landowners, ensure proper disposal of infected woody materials, and prevent the further spread of this invasive insect. Both private homeowners and industrial tree services haul removed trees to the Michigan EAB Disposal Sites where more than 200,000 tons of ash wood have already been processed since the program's inception. While most of the wood waste disposed at these sites consists of branches and trunk segments, quality sawlogs can also often be found and would be suitable for a variety of value-added products such as railroad ties and lumber.
Although there is no fee to dispose of ash wood at these designated disposal facilities, the combined costs of tree removals, transportation of woody debris, and replanting efforts result in a significant expense for municipalities and private landowners. Utilizing removed trees may be a viable option to assist in recouping some of these costs.
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