Stand of dead ashes

Lost Ash

We mourn the loss of our ash trees. They are quickly being destroyed by the emerald ash borer insect. This year in particular the loss is becoming quite evident. The foliage is entirely gone on most of them now; it has taken a few years for the last of the foliage to disappear. Now the bark is beginning to shed in large patches. These particular trees are in a playground, and so their snags will not be allowed to progress much further before being removed for safety. Deeper in the forest the snags will be allowed to decay and fall at their normal pace. They’ll be a few years of bonanza for cavity nesters and woodpeckers. Ash trees, however, don’t linger very long after death. The wood quickly decays to become brittle and collapse. Oak snags, on the other hand, may stand for decades. The beetles attack even the young saplings a few inches in diameter, so any regeneration in our lifetimes is unlikely unless the beetle is eliminated.

On a brighter note, the present image is desaturated from an original taken with a full spectrum camera, the Fuji IS Pro, with a 590nm red filter in place. The lens was the Nikon 18-55mm AF-S VR. Post-processing was in Aperture, chiefly with the Mono X by SEIM preset.  By the way, I think the trunk on the far right is a actually black cherry.