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DNR Warns Hunters About Putting Stands In Ash Trees

White ash trees may not be safe for tree stands if they have been infected with emerald ash borer.
Credit JMAR Photo-Werks

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State forest health specialists caution hunters to avoid placing tree stands in or near weakened ash trees.

The Emerald Ash Borer has killed many state ash trees, especially in southern Wisconsin.

The DNR's Andrea Diss-Torrance says hunters should be aware that ash trees that are dying don't make solid perches for tree stands.

She says the north is less worse off than southern and western Wisconsin but Diss-Torrance says be careful....

"....if I was thinking about putting a tree stand up in an ash in your area I'd be giving a hairy eyeball to that tree to make sure it was still strong and healthy looking...."

Diss-Torrance says some species decline more slowly, but ash trees tend to die quickly...

"...Ash fall apart really quickly. as they start to decline. So dropping branches, snapping trees, a definite risk...."

Falls from tree stands are a leading cause of serious injury for hunters. Research showed 'the most avid hunters' face a 1-in-20 risk of getting hurt in a fall from a tree stand. In addition to practicing tree stand safety rules, hunters are encouraged to check the health of a tree before assuming it is strong enough to support the hunter in a tree stand.

Diss-Torrance also cautions hunters about moving firewood from infested areas to relatively clean areas like the Northwoods. She says wood you bring with you from a longer distance may already be infested with the ash borer, oak wilt or other harmful pests and raises the risk of spreading an infestation to healthy trees. She recommends buying firewood locally.

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