Doomed ashes find second life as furniture
- Published: November 29, 2012
The coming decimation of the village’s ash tree population by an invasive Asian beetle — a kind of “Arborgeddon” for a tree that represents about one out of every 10 in our canopy — is a dismal story.
But the ash trees have a chance at redemption. Local arborist Bob Moore has a vision for the next life of the village’s doomed ashes: as tables, chairs, cabinets, and flooring adorning local houses, lumber for local building and wood for art projects. And with a group of local collaborators and a sawmilling workshop next week to kick of what Moore is calling the Heartwood Lumber Restoration Project, Moore is hoping the enthusiasm for reclaiming ash wood will spread just as fast as the Emerald Ash Borer has.
Native to Asia, the Emerald Ash Borer was unknown in this country until 2002, when it was discovered killing trees in southeast Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. Since 2003, the borer has begun making its way through Ohio’s ash popluation, putting some 3.8 billion ash trees at risk, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. It was first discovered in Yellow Springs this spring.Within a few years, every local untreated green and white ash tree in the path of the voracious bug will succumb, leaving dead trees to rot in place and, at some point, crash to the ground.
Headlining the Heartwood Lumber Restoration Project, urban logger Dave Nelson will bring his portable sawmill to Antioch College for a workshop there on Friday, Dec. 7. Starting at 10 a.m. outside the Antioch College art building (accessible from Corry Street), Nelson, a custom miller and teacher of furniture-making at the University of Rio Grande in southeastern Ohio, will give a brief talk on how to harvest urban lumber and demonstrate ash wood-cutting. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information on the Heartwood Lumber Restoration Project, contact Moore at [email protected] or 937-424-7467.
Read the full story in the Nov. 29 issue of the News.