Ash tree die-offs prompt OSU to offer chainsaw classes June 6, 20 in Mansfield


MANSFIELD, Ohio — As the emerald ash borer marches across Ohio, it leaves millions of dead ash trees — and a cleanup challenge for workers and homeowners.

That’s why the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, part of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES,) is co-sponsoring two upcoming workshops on chainsaw safety.

“Some Ohio counties have been through the ash tree die-off already, and some are just beginning to feel the pain,” said Kathy Smith, CFAES forestry specialist and director of the stewards program. “But they all have a common need to bring down trees in the safest way possible.”

The emerald ash borer, an invasive insect, has already killed tens of millions of ash trees in Ohio, elsewhere in the Midwest and in southeast Canada. Originally from Asia, it showed up in Ohio in 2003 and since then has spread to most of the state.

Dead ash trees often must be cut down for safety reasons, especially around homes or in public places.

“Many times the thought is, ‘I just need to cut that limb up,’ but the simplest job can easily become a life-changing experience with one false move of the saw,” Smith said.

“Before you have that life-changing experience, make sure you know how to handle the saw properly, and know what safety equipment you need to be wearing in conjunction with the saw.”

The Ohio Forestry Association (OFA) is also a sponsor of the workshops. Both workshops meet at Ovalwood Hall on Ohio State’s Mansfield campus,1760 University Drive.

  • The first workshop, CSAW (“Chainsaw Safety Awareness That Works”) Custom, 8 a.m. to noon, June 6, covers basic chainsaw safety and operation. Participants will get practice cutting an already downed tree. Registration is $50. The registration deadline was June 2. Details and a link to register are at
  • The second workshop, CSAW Level 1 Training, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 20, takes an advanced look at chainsaw safety, felling techniques and personal protective equipment. Participants will fell a tree while guided by an instructor. Registration is $100 for OFA members and $150 for non-members. The deadline to register is June 16. Details and a link to register are at

For more information, contact 614-688-3421

The stewards program, administered by CFAES’sSchool of Environment and Natural Resources, is delivered by the college’s statewide outreach arm,Ohio State University Extension.

© 2014 Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.


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