You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Ash borer trees disappear, forest thins


Trees have been on my mind lately.

I dream of lounging in a hammock beneath big leafy shade trees with the leaves rustling in the wind. Squirrels scamper up the thick trunk and chatter back at me from the upper branches. I am so ready for our trees to be green again.

But sadly some of our trees will not be budding green leaves this year. Many of our ash trees, victims of the emerald ash borer, are on their way out. Our woods are more open and thinning as more ash trees die.

Jim Campbell, Director of the Clark County Park District, told me recently that George Rogers Clark Park had more than 600 ash trees with trunks that were more than six inches diameter before the emerald ash borer struck. I imagine those trees will all be gone before long — and that it is the same throughout our towns, school grounds, subdivisions, cemeteries and fence rows.

Some people, like Bethel Twp. Trustee Nancy Brown and her husband, lost most of the trees on their lot, while other folks may have lost just one. We have two shade trees that are slowly dying and need to be cut down this summer.

Those seeking firewood this last cold winter were at least able to use the dead trees. But as the greening time arrives, I keep wondering what will replace those beautiful shady ash trees.

Now those who hate to rake leaves in the fall may find it tempting to not replace their ash tree. To them I say, “Don’t be a hater.” Trees are too important to our local environment to not replace. As each tree falls, we lose a great resource for shade, wild life habitat, oxygen production, erosion prevention and wind reduction.

In my opinion, the chopping down of the great Midwestern forests for farmland, which was and continues to be necessary to our survival, has already changed our weather patterns. We cannot undo farmland because the fields are too important to feed the world, but we can continue to have woodlots, parks, green towns, wooded cemeteries and yards to buffer our local environment a bit.

Landowners who want to fill those empty places in yards, fence rows and wood lots have to make some choices. Looking at the soil, drainage and needs of the landowner before buying is important.

According to Campbell, the park district hopes to continue clearing out the invasive honeysuckle before moving forward. Honeysuckle grows so thickly that it shades the ground and discourages any seedlings from replacing the dead trees. It even stops wildflowers.

An oak tree surrounded by thick honeysuckle will not have oak saplings around it to replace it, as would happen naturally. To replace the ash trees, the park district is hoping to eventually plant a variety of nut trees to encourage more wildlife.

Since I don’t enjoy the excitement of mowing over hickory nuts, walnut, and acorns (Fore!), I decided I needed to come up with a list of trees that I can happily live with — even in my bare feet.

It is a time to talk to tree experts. And who knows more about trees than some of our local landscape growers? Studebaker’s Wholesale Nursery on the east of New Carlisle has more than 1,200 acres of trees, bushes and plants. I decided to call owner Dan Studebaker and ask him, ‘What grows best in our area?”

Next week I’ll share my findings with you. Meanwhile, think spring.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Florida man tries to cover up burglary he committed by reporting it, deputies say
Florida man tries to cover up burglary he committed by reporting it, deputies say

A Florida man was arrested this week, accused of burglarizing his neighbor's home and then reporting the break-in to 911 in an attempt to cover up the crime, investigators said. Jefferey Allen Dove, 27, is accused of committing the crime while the homeowner was in the hospital for five days, officials said. When the victim returned to his home in Summerfield...
Missing Oklahoma woman found more than 20 years after disappearance
Missing Oklahoma woman found more than 20 years after disappearance

Shelly Jennings left Oklahoma more than 23 years ago. The Modesto, California, Police Department says someone saw Jennings at a Greyhound station. Her daughter, Brandy Chapman, has been looking for her. Chapman wants to connect with the people who found Jennings. “My dream has come true, my heart is whole, and my mom is safe,” wrote Shelly...
Anonymous warns Trump: 'You are going to regret the next four years'
Anonymous warns Trump: 'You are going to regret the next four years'

The online hacker group Anonymous has a warning for the president-elect: "You are going to regret the next 4 years."  Days before Donald Trump takes the oath of office, the group responded to his tweets that it will be digging up and releasing damaging information about the businessman-turned-politician, NBC News reported. Anonymous...
Donald Trump's inauguration: What time, what channel, live-stream, schedule of events
Donald Trump's inauguration: What time, what channel, live-stream, schedule of events

On Friday, as prescribed by the United States Constitution, the next president of the United States will be sworn in. Donald Trump will take the oath of office at noon, becoming the country’s 45th president. According to inauguration organizers, nearly 1 million people are expected to be in or around the Capitol for the swearing in of Trump and...
USPS to hike price of 'Forever' stamps starting Sunday
USPS to hike price of 'Forever' stamps starting Sunday

Need to buy stamps? You might want to do it before Sunday. According to USA Today, that's when the U.
More Stories