I have approximately 16 acres in Clinton County, Michigan. A large part of my woods is made up of visibly distressed or standing dead ash. As I burn wood, would it be advisable to get all of the ash down and cut as soon as possible to promote new growth

? I would like to make more room for hard mast producers that are present on the property which include oak and shagbark hickory. Additionally, I would like to create some pocket areas of very dense cover for bedding, browsing, cover, etc.

If the Ash are already dead or dying, then your Oak and Hickory are gettimg more room-to-grow "naturally". Just make sure that the Maples or other shade tolerant trees don't start to take over.


If you cut some trees for firewood, leave the biggest portion of the tops in place. This will provide cover for all sorts of small mammals (and even deer) and birds.

Dear Matt,

Thank you for your question. It sounds to me like your ash trees have been attacked by the emerald ash borer. This species poses a threat to any ash trees that come into contact with it, so for the short term if you haven't already I would report it to your state agricultural regulatory official.

For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer:



And for people who can help in the future:


For your next steps you are right to diversify your canopy. I would recommend consulting with a forester to help you decide what to do with the remaining ash trees both dead and distressed.

Here's a couple of ways to get in touch with one in your area:

1) On your Land Plan you will see a section on the left hand side that will show your Nearest Foresters.  This information is pulled from the data you have entered in for your land plan.  You can click on the foresters name and view their profile or you can click on View the Full List of Foresters to do a larger search.

2) Follow this link and type in your zip code and the area of your search.

Once you have one in mind, click on the orange "request a consulation" to get in contact with the forester. They will receive an email notifying them of your interest, and you can start planning the next steps for your ash trees.

All the best,

Daniel Hubbell
If you have any other questions don't hesitate to email us at info@mylandplan.org