Do Dead Connecticut Ash Trees Make Good Firewood?

With the increase in dead ash trees across the state, many Connecticut residents wonder if they can use ash trees for firewood after removal.

The good news is that dead ash trees make great firewood, but residents need to be careful since dead ash removals can be dangerous and poor handling of the wood can aid the spread of the invasive emerald ash borer. This article will discuss what makes ash trees an excellent choice for burning and the precautions you need to take when using dead ash trees for firewood.

Why Dead Ash Trees Make Great Firewood

Dead ash trees make excellent firewood. Proponents of ash firewood note that its clean burning, has a neutral aroma, and provides a good amount of heat. Ash is an ideal choice for burning outside or in your fireplace.

Another advantage of ash is that it dries and seasons relatively quickly (6-12 months) compared to other popular firewoods like oak and birch.

Why is There So Much Ash Wood Available in Connecticut?

The main reason there are so many available dead ash trees for firewood is due to the invasive emerald ash borer, also known as EAB. You may have heard of this pest as it’s been devastating ash trees in the US since it was first spotted in Southeastern Michigan in 2002. Since then, it’s spread throughout the eastern United States and continues to move west, being identified as far as Oregon.

Though dead ash makes excellent firewood, we’d much rather have healthy ash trees. And to complicate the matter, the presence of the emerald ash borer means that precautions need to be taken with the wood.

A neatly stacked pile of firewood sits next to a slatted wooden chair. Dead ash trees make great firewood.

Issues with Using Dead Ash Trees for Firewood

There are three main issues when it comes to using dead ash trees for firewood.

1. Safety. Dead ash trees are extremely brittle, which makes them dangerous to remove. Connecticut residents should not take on removing an ash tree as a DIY project since extreme caution is necessary to prevent accidents and injury.

Ash tree removal should be left to professional tree services with heavy equipment, such as cranes and lifts, to make the removal as safe and efficient as possible.

2. Transporting Dead Ash Wood. Emerald ash borers are moving fine on their own without our help. It’s essential to use best practices when transporting the wood since it contains larvae that will eventually hatch and seek out new ash trees to infect.

To help Connecticut residents (and their ash trees), the state has created regulations for transporting potentially affected ash and other wood types. These regulations limit the transport of wood in and out of the state.

3. Ash Wood Needs to Be Burned Quickly. Since EAB larvae will emerge from dead wood in the spring, it’s important to burn the wood before that happens. Since ash dries quickly, much of the harvested wood can be burned before the spring. Another option for drying ash is kiln-drying. Not only does this process make the wood ready to burn in only 7-10 days, but it also kills EAB larvae before they can emerge.

If kiln-drying or natural drying can’t be done before the new generation of emerald ash borers emerges, it’s important to cover wood piles with a tarp to prevent emerging adults from flying off to seek new ash trees to attack.

Do You Need Firewood in New Haven or Fairfield Counties?

Rayzor’s Edge can remove any tree, even hazardous dead ash, and we can even kiln dry the wood for you! Get the firewood you need to stay cozy this winter by calling us at 203-258-5584. We deliver to many parts of Connecticut!

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