AmeriCorps: Winter Forestry

by Sara Huetteman, Huron Pines AmeriCorps

Huron Pines AmeriCorps Member Sara Huetteman uses a chainsaw to clear a fallen ash tree at the Averill Preserve.A goal of stewardship is maintaining the health of the forest. In the winter months, harsh weather can knock down trees. It is important to look at the trunks and branches of trees near the trail and buildings to assess the hazard potential.

Taking down trees in a controlled setting can prevent damage to structures or injury to a member of the public. Dead or hollowed out trees can be great homes for wildlife, so not all dead trees are bad. However, removing some trees can make room for new growth and provide safer trails.

Emerald Ash Borer. Photo: Eric R. Day, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.orgMichigan trees have been devastated by the Emerald Ash Borer, a small green beetle that uses ash trees as a food source throughout their life cycle; primarily the inner bark, which effects the transport of food and water killing the tree. As stewards and land managers try to keep up with the falling ash trees, some escape our watchful eyes and fall along the trail.

Let us know if a tree is blocking the path and we will try to clear it when we can. Email Sara at

Sara is serving through the Huron Pines AmeriCorps program, supported in part by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Michigan Community Service Commission, Huron Pines and contributions from host sites. Huron Pines is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and an equal opportunity provider. For more information, visit

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