YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio – The moment you drive into John Bryan State Park you can tell something looks different.
The traditional winter scene is dotted with stump after stump.
Gregg Maxfield, District Forest Manager “I feel bad this is something we didn’t want to do but the insect created the trees that are the hazards”
The footprints of the emerald ash borer is evident under the bark. This part of the park looks especially bare because it was heavily populated with ash trees, which were among the more than five hundred trees cut down by the division of forestry.
Maxfield says the trees had to be removed. There is no treatment available for Emerald Ash Borer and there was no way they could be salvaged. “These were totally invested with Emerald ash borer majority of the trees we cut down were already dead or dying so they were on the brink of decline,” explained Maxfield.
Dead trees are a safety concern because a strong wind can knock them down and cause injury. Fairborn native Christopher Curtis says he understands the reason, but is still shocked.
Christopher Curtis, Fairborn, “I have mixed feelings about it I can see why they’re doing it but my heart hurts to see the trees cut down.”
We’re not the only ones facing this problem. Other state parks across Ohio are cutting down trees too – but it won’t be that way forever.
“It’s a tough landscape to look at now but it will come back,” Maxfield says.
The next phase in this project is to grind up the stumps, add some grass seed and plant more than a hundred trees to replace all of those that had to be removed.
Firewood from the trees is available to the public until March. The public is also asked to keep this particular firewood local because it has been infected with the Emerald Ash Borer.