In October of 2017, Knox County SWCD Board approved acquiring the property as a donation from CH Kopp and Sons. Since then, the Natural Resource Specialist and summer Natural Resources Interns have been working on the property to transform it into a nature area. Some of the work done includes invasive species removal (including removing the mature Callery Pears planted on the property), adding a natural trail, planting a bioswale, adding a parking lot and entrance sign, installing interpretive signs throughout the property, planting native trees and shrubs, planting a pollinator area, and more.
There are 5 interpretive signs posted throughout the property (pictured below), showing the importance of wetlands, wildlife information, invasive species information, the importance of woodlands, and information about green infrastructure.
Ash Tree Treatment
The property contains several ash trees in the naturalized areas, but there is one particular nice white ash tree in the mowed area that the district chose to save by treating it to prevent damage by the Emerald Ash Borer.
The Emerald Ash Borer (or EAB) is an invasive insect pest that has been decimating ash trees all around North America. Most of Indiana has seen ash tree decline over the past years, including northern Knox County, but the rest of the county has yet to see major ash tree mortality.
The marked ash tree on the property has been treated with emamectin benzoate, which is an effective and environmentally safe treatment. This treatment lasts 2-3 years, and the tree will be retreated at that interval to keep it healthy.
Large trees provide a number of benefits, especially in urban areas. This ash tree provides approximately $70 worth of environmental and aesthetic benefits per year, and that number will only increase as the tree matures. These benefits include stormwater infiltration, air pollutant absorption, carbon sequestration, and more. It would cost around $6,300 to replace this tree with one of a similar size. With these stats, it makes the decision to spend a little to treat the tree worth it.
If you have an ash tree and are considering what management to take, visit Purdue University’s webpage on EAB management here: https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/EAB/Management.html
You can also contact the SWCD office for more information on identifying ash trees and managing for EAB. Visit our Contact tab here: http://knoxcountyswcd.com/contact-us/
For more information about the property or guide site visits or presentation requests, contact the Natural Resource Specialist Will Drews at email@example.com.