Plagued Ash Trees Were Repurposed to Create This Charred Cedar–Clad Home on Lake Michigan

A shou sugi ban home overlooks Lake Michigan.
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Can chopping down trees to build a house be an act of preservation? Mike and Barb Collins cleared about a hundred trees from the Leelanau County, Michigan, lot they bought in 2012 in order to make way for a vacation home. About 40 of them were ash trees, which, in northern Michigan and elsewhere, are being devastated by a beetle infestation that was first discovered near Detroit in 2002. The insect, known as the Emerald Ash Borer, apparently was an unwitting passenger when some wood pallets were delivered to the U.S. from Asia and has since spread to 30 states.

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