Plenty of Iowa campers are hitting the woods this holiday weekend — and many will haul along firewood from their woodpiles at home to burn while camping. A state forestry expert says that practice could threaten the lives of the trees at campsites. John Walkowiak, chief of the Iowa D-N-R’s forestry bureau, says when you carry around firewood, you could be carrying much more. Walkowiak says firewood that’s been recently cut or has bark attached often has insects, secondary pests or borers and certain tree-killing diseases. If the wood is carried to another place, those problems go along too. He says seasoned firewood, without bark, poses little danger. Walkowiak says Michigan, Indiana and Ohio have lost more than ten-MILLION trees since 2002 due to a pest called the emerald ash borer. The insect kills the trees in large numbers and its larvae can stay alive under the bark and if you cut the tree down and take the wood along, you may be transporting the voracious bugs to a new location. It’s suspected that borer was moved around the Midwest primarily by campers hauling their own firewood. Walkowiak has a suggestion to end the practice. Don’t take the wood along but buy it locally near the campsite to greatly reduce the risk of importing a plant disease or pest. He says Wisconsin recently banned bringing firewood into its state parks due to the concern of emerald ash borer, and other pests, coming from Michigan. That insect has -not- been found in Iowa. For more information, surf to “www.emeraldashborer.org”.
Related web sites:
Emerald Ash Borer website