Don't Spread Pests
When you move firewood, you can accidentally move pests that kill trees.
Super Rangers and the Legion of Bugs
Our cartoon shows just how scary invasive insects can be to our forests.
Firewood, a staple of almost any camping trip, can be a simple and useful forest product. But when you transport firewood to your campsite or vacation home, you could unknowingly spread dangerous insects and diseases, which have the potential to kill millions of trees.
Transported firewood could spread devastating invasive species, including:
The Nature Conservancy urges campers, travelers and homeowners to purchase their firewood locally to avoid the spread of invasive infestations. To best protect trees, make sure all your firewood is sourced less than 50 miles from where it will be burned.
With the increase of non-native insects and diseases throughout the country, campers can no longer transfer firewood without risk. It is imperative when we use firewood to camp, hunt or heat our homes that we buy wood where we burn it.
Here are some tips on finding safe firewood for your next trip:
The emerald ash borer is most visible in the summer, when these iridescent, green beetles emerge. Less visible are the squirmy, pale larvae that tunnel beneath the tree’s surface and eat away at the specialized inner bark tissue that carries nutrients — especially sugar — to all parts of the tree. But the damage emerald ash borers cause is hard to miss: Infested trees lose their leaves and will eventually die.
Indeed, the threat posed by the emerald ash borer is immense, with 7 billion trees across the United States at risk. None of the major North American ash species can combat the borer’s larvae. When you move firewood, you risk starting a new infestation of this destructive pest.
The emerald ash borer is not alone in threatening to destroy America’s forests and suburban trees. Other invasive species that can be spread through transported firewood include:
Today, no matter where you live or camp, transporting forest insects and diseases is a risk. And while it’s true that these invasive species can spread slowly over time through natural means, the incidental transport of a bug into a new environment with plenty of food and little competition can cause unpredictable outbreaks anywhere in the nation or even the world.
Through individual actions, we can protect America’s trees and the health of our citizens, and secure the quality of life we have come to enjoy thanks to our forests.November 15, 2011