Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine a Serious Issue - Don't Move that Firewood!

Stop – Don’t Move that Firewood!! America’s neighborhoods and forests are under attack. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees. It lives in firewood. Move firewood and you spread the destruction. Help us protect the trees — and stop the beetle. Promise you won’t move firewood. Source – Stop the Beetle

If you are like me, you may be on the lookout for future firewood. Fireplace season isn’t that far away, so any piles of lumber from cut down trees look like potential fireplace fodder to me.

But because of concern over Emerald Ash Borers (EAB), there is quarantine in effect for many local areas that prohibits the movement of ash trees and wood out of quarantined area, as well as movement of all hardwood firewood.

This quarantine was issued by the United States Department of Agriculture Domestic (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in order to prevent the spread of EAB. Specifically, the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products is regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species. (Source)
The areas of quarantine include:

Washington DC; Virginia: the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William & Fauquier, and the independent cities of Alexandria, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park? (source)
Maryland: All of Prince George's and Charles Counties are under quarantine and considered to be the Quarantine Area. Moving regulated articles out of these counties is prohibited. Additionally, the area of Prince George’s county south of I-495 and Pennsylvania Avenue, and the area of Charles County north of MD Rte. 6 between St. Mary's County and southbound Rte. 301, and north of MD Rt. 225 between southbound MD Rt. 301 and MD Rt. 210, and north of MD Rt. 210 between MD Rt. 225 and the US Navy Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, is considered to be the Infested Area. Moving regulated articles into the rest of the Quarantine Area from the Infested Area is prohibited. (Source)

From the University of Maryland  Extension Home and Garden Information Center: (Source)

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive pest from Asia that feeds on and kills ash trees within three years after infestation. Ash trees are one of the most common and important landscaping trees used in Maryland and are common in western Maryland forests. Ash wood is used for all traditional applications of hardwood from flooring and cabinets to baseball bats.  

Ash is the most common tree in Baltimore City with approximately 293,000 trees and accounts for about six million trees in Baltimore and surrounding counties. USDA has estimated that losses could exceed $227.5 million in the Baltimore area alone if the emerald ash borer were to become established. 

To help stop this damaging beetle, homeowners and citizens who live in and travel through known infested areas can help: 

* Don’t move firewood – buy it where you burn it. Hauling firewood is the most common way for damaging plant pests to be moved from one area to another. In addition, the state quarantine prohibits anyone from moving hardwood firewood or any other ash tree materials out of the regulated area.

*  Don’t plant ash trees. As the EAB is expanding its range in Maryland, diversified plantings of alternative tree species are recommended for residential landscaping. 

* Report any signs of the emerald ash borer to the University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center at 1-800-342-2507

For more, extensive information about the Emerald Ash Borer and the serious damage it can cause, visit Stop The Beetle or the USDA website.

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