Karen Engel, New York State Department of Environment Conservation Green Infrastructure Coordinator, has my name on an e-mailing list which sends me posts which are always interesting to look at. It often goes too far afield to be of use at Pine Hollow Arboretum but still is nice as it shows impressive activity through-out New York State and the Northeast. She sent some information recently that seems to fit our efforts here and reinforces what many of us tree planters have known intuitively. Research published January 2013 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that tree loss from the spread of the emerald ash borer is associated with increased mortality related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-tract illness. The U.S. Forest Service study collected data in nearly 1,300 counties in 15 states over 18 years. A short article by Alliance for Community Trees summarizes the research and helps to show the implications. The findings support all our efforts to preserve and enhance the living environment. The article is titled: New Research: Trees Prove Vital to Human Health. It is good that such a large-scale study has been conducted and points to a welcome conclusion. It is bad, however, that the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) , a beetle that kills ash trees, is a proxy for tree loss.
There are hundreds of ash trees at Pine Hollow “if you count the small ones”, Arboretum founder and tree planter John Abbuhl said. They are predominately Northern White Ash ( Fraxinus Americana) and Green Ash (Franxinus pennsylvanica) which prefers wetter areas. Where ever there is a clear untended area at the Arboretum seedling ash trees will appear. The largest Northern White Ash at Pine Hollow Arboretum has a three foot through trunk at its base and is found in the western corner of the arboretum at the far end of the Magnolia Field. The largest Green Ash is two foot through and is found just west of the All Purpose Swamp. The ash is related to the olive tree. John Abbuhl said that in an evolutionary sense it is one of the more of recent species. The Mountain Ash is not an ash. It is named Mountain Ash because its leaves look like ash leaves.