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Posts Tagged ‘Pest Insects’

Moving Firewood May Be A Bad Idea

I had a discussion (think argument) with a friend a few weeks ago about the details of the firewood quarantine that is effective in the entire lower peninsula in an effort to prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer.  I believed that even if all the counties had a quarantine, you could not take firewood out of one county, such as Lapeer, and move it to another county such as Genesee, even though the quarantine was effective in Genesee.  My friend disagreed and promptly went to Google and proved m wrong. I can assure you, it’s tough being an “expert” and be proven downright wrong.  Firewood can be moved within all counties of the lower peninsula, but not to the UP, Canada, or any other state.

I still, being obstinate at times, stick to my position.  I don’t believe firewood should be moved to any other county, ever.  The simple reason is that the Emerald Ash Borer is not the only invasive foreign pest insect to be found in firewood.  Such pests as spores of Beech Bark Disease, Asian Longhorned Beetle, Sirex Woodwasp, and a new brand of Gypsy Moth can be unknowingly spread by moving firewood.

If you need firewood at a vacation spot out of your county, you should always try to buy firewood local to your vacation site and you should try to burn all you buy.  It may cost more money, but reducing the spread of invasive destructive tree pests is an investment for the future.

From bobshowto.com

Storing Firewood at Home

Speaking of firewood, I am a person very knowledgeable about how to make a serious mistake in choosing a place to store firewood at my own home.  Years ago, when I was young and not always swift, I stacked five cords of split firewood right up against the back of my house, thinking it would be handy to the backdoor when I needed more wood for my wood stove.  I was very lucky in discovering that some of that wood, still remaining in the spring, contained the eggs of carpenter ants and the eggs were hatching.  I moved the wood immediately away from the house and we suffered no house damage from the carpenter ants.  Lesson learned?  Never stack firewood against the house.

The guide is to stack firewood at least 25–50 feet away from the house. Bring on two or three days supply of firewood to your deck or back porch at a time. The wood will not be infested or release adult pests in three days time.

It is best to stack your firewood at least six inches above the soil to insure some pests don’t move into the pile during the year.  Yes, a spider or two might hitchhike into the house on firewood from time to time, but they are harmless and easy to control.


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Nancy Szerlag

The photo on the cover of my recent issue of American Tree magazine depicts the frightening devastation of the pine forests of Colorado caused by the mountain pine beetle. The outbreak of this tiny insect has already killed billions of trees from British Columbia to the southern Rockies in the U.S. This is a resource we cannot afford to lose.
For decades, we have taken trees for granted, but the devastation and loss of the ash tree population in Michigan due to the emerald ash borer has helped focus our attention on the role they play in our lives.
Trees provide beauty by adding color and texture to the landscape. Trees soften and hide the hard edges created by man. Trees provide food and a haven for wildlife. Trees provide wood to build our homes.

Trees give us the fruits and nuts that help us thrive. Trees provide medicinal products to treat pestilence and disease. Trees give shade and cool the earth in summer. And most importantly, trees clean the air of contaminates and carbon dioxide, and in return, manufacture life-giving oxygen. Without trees, man could not exist.
Through the ages, trees have also provided man a spiritual connection. Anthropologist Deborah Gangloff, who is Executive Director of American Trees, wrote in her editorial in the autumn edition of American Tree magazine ( http://www.americantree.org), “Trees put human life into perspective. They were here long before us and will outlive us. Trees are our living connections to the past and the future.
We plant trees to commemorate special events, including births and deaths. With the coming of the Christmas holiday, the evergreen tree will take center stage in millions of household across the nation and around the world.
Replacing the trees that have been lost due to pests, disease and the human sprawl must become a priority for all of us. Thanks to a grant from the Jon Cotton family, and sponsorship by Health Plan of Michigan, The Greening of Detroit launched a major initiative to restore the essential tree canopy along East Jefferson Avenue. Reforestation efforts will include the planting of 540 trees. At 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Erma Henderson Park on East Jefferson Avenue near Burns Street, Greening of Detroit volunteers, the Cotton family, and representatives from Health Plan of Michigan will commemorate this historic event with a tree dedication followed by an organized tree planting.
Volunteers are still needed. If you or your group are interested in helping plant this legacy of trees, contact Anthony Todd, Volunteer Coordinator, at (313) 237-8733 or anthony@greeningofdetroit.com. A third planting is scheduled for Nov.21.
Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and Metro Detroit free-lance writer. E-mail her at Szerlag @earthlink.net. You can read her previous columns at .

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