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Ash Tree to Steps

As the Emerald Ash Borer continues to devastate and ultimately destroy the native Ash tree (Fraxinus spp.) populations in America, the landscape is left with thousands of dead trees.  The Ash Borer is a non-native, invasive species that arrived in the United States in the wood of shipping crates from overseas.  Ash wood will, in the near future, be a relatively rare commodity.  At the New Indian Ridge Museum we are working to treat and save one mature ash tree while we have also initiated a seed and seedling preservation program that we hope will allow us to preserve this species for future reintroduction and so that it may not be allowed to go completely extinct.

However, with all of the dead ash trees already here at the Wildlife Preserve, we selected one that was fairly accessible, had it cut down, and then used our portable sawmill to mill the tree into boards.  These boards are to be dried and cut into risers and treads for the restoration of the Shupe Homestead’s interior steps that lead to the second floor.  We are pleased to turn this sad story into a somewhat pleasant ending – that is, using ash wood from an affected tree here on the grounds by turning it into boards for the main staircase in the Shupe house.

Ash tree before being cut down (already dead from Emerald Ash borer invasion) at Shupe Homestead woods

Ash tree before being cut down (already dead from Emerald Ash Borer invasion) at Shupe Homestead woods

Ash tree section on portable sawmill table at Shupe Homestead being cut into boards

Ash tree section on portable sawmill table at Shupe Homestead being cut into boards

Ash tree being cut into boards

Ash tree being cut into boards – squaring up the log

Cutting off the boards

Cutting off the boards

Final result - ash boards to be dried and cut into risers and treads for use in the Shupe House

Final result – ash boards to be dried and cut into risers and treads for use in the Shupe House

This posting will be updated as the story continues – the boards will now be kiln-dried; a bull nose edge will be added to the tread boards; and they will be cut to size to fit in the Shupe Homestead staircase.