Winter storms on Lake Erie often wash up remnants of trees from God knows where. This particular branch is about 20 feet long and two feet wide at its thickest part. There’s really no moving this hulking piece of wood, so waves and sand will continue to wash over it year after year until it’s buried and the beach is ready for its next, new resident.
This particular branch suffered the same fate as many of its ash tree counterparts, ravaged by the Emerald Ash Borer. The invasive species made its way to the States from Asia in the early 2000s, where the beetle’s larvae went to town on the tasty flesh of our shady friends of the forest. Their constant NOMing and apparent lack of municipal strategic planning severely damage the tree’s ability to absorb water and nutrients, slowly killing it while the Ash Borers go back for 12ths and 13ths at the all-u-can-eat tree buffet.
No doubt the ash tree squeaking out another year of existence on our beach will meet the same fate soon, as it too is infested with the ash borer. It’s a shame, really. Our view will be a little less green next year.