Ash Tree from WoodCentral
|Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, bugwood.org
This discussion thread came from a woodworker who is trying to save his ash tree from the Emerald Ash Borer -- and wondering it's still savable. - Editor
"I have an ash tree that I`m trying to save. I had it treated a couple of years ago for the borer and, so far, it is still leafing out good, but one thing that happened this year is the bark in a couple of spots is coming off -- almost looks like a shagbark hickory tree --, but in other areas it seems to be tight to the tree like it should be, at least for now. Is this a sign of its demise? Can I do anything for it to help keep it? I`d like to keep it." - Larry
With a clarifying question, it emerged that he new the tree had indeed been previously infected -- but was wondering what that meant for the current situation. - Editor
"Can you see little tiny holes in the bark?? That's a sign of the borer. There is a chainsaw operating in the background as I type this....an infested ash tree." - Roger L.
"I`m sorry I wasn`t real straight. It was infested, but the ash borer treatment must have killed them off a couple of years ago when it was treated. But, like I said, the last two years the tree looked just like it wasn`t infested. But maybe this is what happens when the borer gets killed off. I hope I can keep it going." - Larry
Others had some suggestions of what to do and how to treat the tree, including how they're fighting to save the ash trees in their area. - Editor
"It wouldn't surprise me if it took two seasons to find the bark coming off in patches. For any tree, one of the best treatments is to kill as much turf as you can: to make the trees happy, start at the trunk and go to the property line, and then put down a layer of wood chips. You can find plenty of them. Call any arborist and they'll dump for free -- don't pay. If you decide to buy mulch, you'll likely get stuff that came from a tub grinder which will be a bit finer. Be sure to NEVER let the mulch pile against the trunk. Think donuts, not volcanoes." - Tom D.
"Here's my thoughts
If you had borer, then borer is in your area. If it's in your area, you could get re-infested. You said you treated a couple of years ago, how long was should that treatment last? A couple of years? Longer? What was the treatment?
A good arborist may be able to tell you if your tree is savable or not (probably at some cost for the examination)." - Ron P.
"As a forester that does make sick tree calls, I'd interested in what product they used that would last for several years. I only know of a yearly treatment and a spray-on that last a few months, if that long. Timing of the borers and spray are important and difficult to figure out. This year everything is 3 weeks plus ahead of most seasonal things." - Dale L.
"Our area (Chicago suburbs) is presently under attack by the Emerald Ash Borer which, left unchecked, will destroy the ash population. I have begun a program of annual treatment of our ash trees, along with the city's treatment of the ash trees in the parkway. The city uses a soil injection method, whereas I use a perimeter soak using a Bayer product containing Merit (Imidacloprid). I've spoken to a couple arborists who generally agree that the ground soak method works on trees that are smaller than 50-inches circumference. Above that, the tree should be injected directly. The injection method has an advertised life of two years before retreatment. The soil injection and soil soak method has to be done annually. I can't comment on your bark situation, but the symptoms of a tree in trouble generally include a die-off of the upper crown growth and also an increase in the appearance of lower trunk area suckers. There are many communities in our area that have begun an aggressive campaign to kill these borers. The die-off of ash trees in the Michigan area was devastating." - Tim G.
Garage/Workshop Walls from WoodCentral
Oftentimes, a woodworker's shop goes by the alias of "garage." Which means, when building a new one, that questions of what to use for the walls when it's a new construction take on an added importance. - Editor
"Time to consider interior wall material (or not). My new building will have a 28x28 garage area. To install an interior wall or not to install? If I do, I will insulate the wall, just in case... I will also have a 16x28 insulated shop room that will have finished interior walls. Most likely choices of wall material are drywall or OSB, based on cost. I will use several sections of 1/4" pegboard, but plan to build those separately over 2x2 frames to keep peg hardware out of contact with the insulation. What do you see as pros and cons of these. Is there a better, fairly economical choice for workshop walls?" - Joe P.
He got some differing opinions as to which option was better. - Editor
"7/16" OSB. Pretty cheap. Not necessarily pretty though. Great for screwing light/medium hangers/shelves/brackets to. Withstands the shop environment much better than drywall. Quicker, too. OSB also absorbs sound a little bit better than drywall, which does a good job of reflecting it. Hang, prime with oil-based primer, then paint white or off-white with a semigloss latex paint (easier to clean than flat). Failure to paint will allow it to continue to darken, and require more lighting up front, and increasing down the road. Drywall is for living rooms. It's a shop. Uniform installation of the OSB, along with a nice paint job, will make a nice wall. Mine is mostly covered with cabinets, fixtures, clamps, display boards, pictures. Your eye is drawn to that stuff." - Pete
"Most of my shop walls are cinder block -- so they don't count. The east wall is 1/2" plywood. I chose plywood over OSB because I didn't want to look at the painted OSB. I can hang anything anywhere. It is slightly more expensive than OSB -- more so if you think of all the walls you have to cover. I will say that the plywood was a LOT easier to paint." - J.L.
"My walls (all of 'em) are woodgrained look pegboard. Fully insulated. I've got a lot of accessories and some tools hanging within reach of specific power tools.
Ceiling is 1/2" sheetrock painted white.
12" X 12" cvt tile on the floor."
"I just finished my basement shop, and used an OSB panel called Smartside panels. It has a woodgrain finish and is V-grooved. It's better than drywall, in my opinion, since you can hang things from it without necessarily hitting a stud." - Paul B.
"One advantage to OSB Is that you can hang certain kinds of stuff anywhere -- you don't need to find a stud. Not heavy stuff, mind you, but light brackets, etc. My next shop will have walls of OSB painted white." - Bruce
"1/2" Drywall over 1/4" Plywood. This is what I have in my shop -- the plywood keeps the drywall from getting damaged and also allows you to hang anything anywhere without worrying about hitting a stud." - Rob C.
One woodworker's main concern was the temperature related to each wall option. - Editor
"I have drywall and it ads value to the shop, is more fireproof, and is fun to do, if you like that kind of thing. I live in a cold climate, and one problem with drywall is that it is always cold. I have my doubts about insulation, what really seems to matter is whether the material is cold. I have a lot of thermal windows, but if you put your hand on them they are all somewhat cold, therefore if you have enough windows the room is cold. But that sleazy plastic film they sell to cover windows is always warm to the touch. 4x4 of warm plastic, makes you wonder what good all that gas and reflective foil is really doing if the result is still cold to the touch. Same problem with drywall, it is always cold to the touch. So another time I would consider OSB. One downside to me is the stuff usually offgasses a long time and smells bad. If I had any confidence it had good glue, I would be a lot happier, but it is a commodity product so you don't know what you are getting. - Tom D.
Another woodworker had an interesting response to the temperature concern, based on his brother's experience with chemicals and temperatures. - Editor
"'Touch' is not a good indicator. My brother works with some interesting chemicals and materials, all related to silicone and silicone products. One of those materials is a ceramic that is similar to the ceramic tiles found on the space shuttles. This ceramic can be placed in an industrial oven, heated through and through to 1,500ºF, then removed from the oven with bare hands! The reason is that the ceramic has such a high insulation value that it simply does not transfer its heat to your skin fast enough for it to burn -- the body can dissipate the heat at the very slow rate it is being transferred to the skin, even though a thermometer would still register the very high temperature." - Jason R.
And other responders raised concerns about fire safety and codes -- and suggestions for French cleats. - Editor
"If I were building a shop with wood frame walls, I would put drywall (for fire reasons) over 1/2" ply with insulation behind it. No matter what, even if you don't add heat/air, insulate any wall you cover up, it just makes sense. Run any electrical you may want, too. For the garage portion, you could start by doing the back wall (usually where the workbench is and need for outlets, etc.), and then doing a another wall every six months or so as time and money allowed." - Jason W.
"I debated for a while -- then chose drywall. I built my shop (30' X 30' with 10' ceiling) about seven years ago with 2X6 walls on 16" center. I used French cleats to hang all my cabinets. Some of these have a few hundred pounds of tools / supplies inside and absolutely no problems. I did over insulate -- and covered the studs with plastic prior to installing the drywall. I grant you it is easy to mar -- but also the easiest to repair! I don't think the drywall is any more 'noisy' than OSB, and it is much more fireproof (and, in my humble opinion, looks a whole lot better). If I wanted to hang pegboard it would be no problem with French cleats and spacers. When I built the shop I had custom trusses built, which allowed me to have an upstairs room. I installed a furnace and central air upstairs and store most of my wood there. So far, my heating and air conditioning bills have been very low (in north central Indiana), so I am quite happy with my decision." - Larry C.
"Even in an unattached building, I was required, by local code, to use drywall. I could have put OSB over it, but the drywall had to be in place. Actually I like the look of the drywall better, and, like Larry, I use French cleats for hanging everything on the walls. You might want to check local zoning and insurance regulations before making your final decision." - Ron J.