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DNR, Researchers Look To Protect Wetland Forests From Emerald Ash Borer Invasion

One Study Will Look t Planting Other Trees To Thwart Erosion

Macroscopic Solutions (CC-CY-BY)

Researchers are looking at ways to keep Wisconsin’s wetland forests healthy as emerald ash borer continues to spread, and in one case, planting other types of trees beneath ash along rivers that feed Lake Superior with hopes of maintaining forests and shorelines.

Paul Cigan, state Department of Natural Resources forest health specialist, said a U.S. Forest Service study released this year reveals wetland forests like the Superior Municipal Forest might not recover where ash trees die off.

“The site — it’s possible — could flood out fairly quickly and then all opportunities to regenerate and plant new seedlings in that site may have gone away,” he said.

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Nick Bolton, a Michigan Tech graduate student, said, the DNR is supporting his study to plant other trees beneath ash in the city forest.

“To continue to have the root structure that’s in the soil of the canopy trees holding the clay soils along the river corridor together so that we can reduce future erosion, deposition and sedimentation downstream from the dieback of ash trees,” Bolton said.

He said Minnesota and Michigan have seen success in similar efforts.