Spreading Disease With Firewood

Photo: David Cappeart/Michigan State University

Throughout this year I noticed different varieties of trees that had died.  When I asked about the demise of certain tree species I learned of pests that attack these trees.  Following that information I was quickly told the disease had spread from the northeast to Florida or from Texas to Florida, etc.  I listened, but did not quite understand how the diseases spread from State to State.

I had an “Aha” moment when I read this article about firewood…

Frequently I see campers, mobile homes, etc heading toward a neighboring State campground with firewood loaded on the rear carrier, but never thought a thing about it.  More than likely those drivers transporting their prized firewood don’t think anything about it either.  It’s all about awareness, so if you are a camper or have a camper in the family share this article with them and make them aware.  After reading this  article from the DailyGreen Staff I will certainly look at the disease carriers differently.

Campers can easily and unwittingly spread invasive pests like the emerald ash borer by transporting firewood far from its source.

Before you set out for your next camping trip or bonfire, take a minute to think about your firewood options. Transporting firewood can spread the emerald ash borer, an invasive pest native to the Far East, has decimated U.S. and Canadian forests in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec. The bug attacks and ultimately kills ash trees. Asian longhorned beetles, another invasive beetle, are also known hitch rides in firewood.  In general, don’t transport wood more than 50 miles. More directly: Just buy it where you burn it.

Emerald ash borers aren’t the first or only invasive species to wreak havoc on U.S. ecosystems. Far from it. Invasive species cost the U.S. economy as much as $120 billion annually, due to such impacts as lost timber sales.

We can spread many other invasive species, from the “rock snock” that wrecks once-pristine trout streams to alien flowers that escape home gardens, or we can make efforts not to spread species. Learn more about invasive species that are problematic in your area by visiting the website of your state wildlife or environmental conservation department. Or, start by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at fws.gov/invasives/what-you-can-do.html.

Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/going-green/tips/emerald-ash-borer-firewood#ixzz1ce7ttxJ7

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