When I first started contemplating retirement, there was one element I hadn't anticipated, the emerald ash borer. This past winter I started noticing trees in the woods around us with large sections of missing bark. Turns out, the woodpeckers were going after the larvae of these small insects that were in the process of killing all of the ash trees on our property. The emerald ash borer is a small beetle native to northern China, eastern Russia, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. It was first discovered in the US in Michigan in 2002 and is thought to have entered this country in packing crates containing infested ash wood. Once the beetles have infested an ash tree it is fatal to the tree and it is estimated that 150-200 million ash trees have already been killed in the U.S. This situation presented itself as an odd sort of opportunity. I've always wanted to build a timber frame and concluded that I could harvest these dead and dying trees and have them cut into timbers for my new shop. It also gave me the opportunity to sequester the carbon in these trees that would otherwise be given off in to our atmosphere if they were either allowed to decompose on the forest floor or if they were burned for firewood. To date, I have been able to harvest 31 ash trees that have been sawed into over 5000 feet of post, beams, and lumber.