<Invasive insects such as the Emerald Ash Borer Beatle (EAB) are surprisingly common and dangerously destructive in many parts of the US. The EAB lay their eggs inside ash trees, and when the eggs develop into insect larvae, they tunnel around under the bark of the tree, interfering with its natural processes. Eventually, the tunnels will inhibit the tree from getting the water and nutrients it needs and the tree will die. EAB are currently a threat to over 7 billion ash trees in the US, and even more in Canada. Other boring insects that threaten tree life include the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Bronze Birch Borer, Dogwood Borer, and Elm Bark Beetle, which do similar damage.
Stop the spread!
When an infected tree is cut down and cut into firewood, the larval infestation remains. The developing insects can still emerge from beneath the surface of the bark and infect nearby living trees. This is why it is not recommended — and in many instances illegal — to move firewood from one location to another. Many campgrounds will not allow outside wood to be brought in and will require that campers purchase only locally-sourced wood. By not moving firewood too far from its origin, you can help stop the spread of EAB and other dangerous boring insects.
If your area is not invested with EAB or similar insects, you do not want to risk bringing them into the area. If you have wood delivered to your home for winter heating, there is a chance that it is not locally sourced, and could be infected with EAB or another boring insect. One way you can help stop the spread of such invasive insects — and protect your own woodlot from becoming infested — is to harvest your own wood, or at least ensure that the wood that is delivered to you was sourced locally. With a few simple tools, you could be on your way to not only winter heat self-sufficiency, but being a part of the solution to invasive insects. Bonus! If you live in a popular camping area, selling firewood to campers is a great source of extra income!
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