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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

Emerald Ash Borer

Ash Seed Collection in Natural Areas

Research Issue

[photo:] Pumpkin ash seedsAs emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) decimates North American ash species (Fraxinus spp.), the genetic diversity of the species is being lost.  Preservation of the ash genetic resource through long-term seed storage is a goal of a program at the National Seed Lab.  White ash (Fraxinus americana) and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) are very common and seeds from these species can easily be collected along roadsides in Ohio.  Other ash species, pumpkin ash (Fraxinus profunda), black ash (Fraxinus nigra) and blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata), are less common in Ohio and mostly occur in natural areas where the height of the canopy makes seed collection difficult.

 Our Research

[photo:] Blue ash seedsWe are developing methods to collect seeds from less common ash species in natural areas of Ohio.  We have experimented with three methods: clipping a branch with pole pruners, shaking or breaking a branch with a rope, and using a rope saw to cut a branch.  The two latter methods involve using a powerful slingshot and throw bag to shoot the rope over branches over 60 ft. high.

Expected Outcomes

We are working together to develop an instructional guide and video for ash seed collection in natural areas.

Research Participants

Principal Investigators

Research Partners

  • Mary Mason, US Forest Service- Research Associate
  • Robert Karrfalt, US Forest Service- National Seed Lab

Last Modified: 12/07/2017

About this Research Area
About Emerald Ash Borer
Selected Studies