Moving firewood not a good idea, state forestry officials say

There could be pests inside the logs. So it may be best to burn the firewood nearby
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: January 17, 2014 at 6:09 am •  Published: January 19, 2014
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There could be an emerald ash borer in your firewood.

Forestry officials hope not in Oklahoma, and they have warned that the best way to stop the spread of the dreaded emerald ash borer, and other beetle-type insects that are a threat to forests.

The bug has not yet infested Oklahoma, but it has been in Missouri and Colorado. The fear is the beetle could make it here, said Jeanetta Cooper, plant protection administrator with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry department.

The emerald ash borer, “could be devastating to our urban landscape trees,” Cooper said. Many ash species of trees line sidewalks and streets, and could be on the beetles' plate. menus. The larvae feeds on the inside of the trees after adults bore holes into the trees and lay eggs.

“You can't see it until you have dead trees,” Cooper said.

Campers who take their own firewood to a campsite often carry the insects and possibly disease to trees.

George Geissler, Okahoma State Forester, said if Oklahomans buy firewood near the location where they will burn it this will help prevent the spread of insects and diseases.

“When people cut and move firewood you are carrying bugs and crud to different areas,” Geissler said.

“It's a problem that people don't think about.”

The emerald ash borer is a green beetle native to Asia and Eastern Russia. Outside its native region, the emerald ash borer is an invasive species, and emerald ash borer infestation is highly destructive to ash trees in its introduced range.

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