A Whitmore Lake company is finding some use for wood infested with the Emerald Ash Borer.
Instead of being ground up for a Genesee County power plant, LaMont Brothers Tree Service is using the logs as boards and railroad ties.
The company says the process removes the bark and infested outer layer of the log. It leaves behind a railroad tie more than eight feet in length, plus a stack of rough boards that a Grand Rapids furniture maker is interested in.
The Asian Beetle was first identified near Detroit two years ago. The state has since quarantined 13 counties.
The quarantine prohibits people from moving ash trees unless they're chipped to one inch.
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Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer belongs to a group of insects known as metallic wood-boring beetles.
Adults are dark metallic green in color, 1/2 inch in length and 1/16 inch wide, and are only present from mid May until late July. Larvae are creamy white in color and are found under the bark.
The borer's host range is limited to species of ash trees (identified by their distinctive leaves, which are located directly across from each other on the leaf stem, and bark).
In Michigan, most ash tree are white, black or green.
Emerald Ash Borer does not attack mountain ash, which is not related to white, black, or green ash trees.
Usually their presence goes undetected until the trees show symptoms of infestation – typically the upper third of a tree will die back first, followed by the rest the next year.
This is often followed by a large number of shoots or sprouts arising below the dead portions of the trunk.
The adult beetles typically make a D-shaped exit hole when they emerge. Tissue produced by the tree in response to larval feeding may also cause vertical splits to occur in the bark. Distinct S-shaped tunnels may also be apparent under the bark.
Source: http://www.michigan.gov/mda (Michigan Department of Agriculture Web site) contributed to this report.