Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Transported Firewood Limited, by Mikaela Kornowski & William Ricioppo

Wisconsin DNR proposes to decrease the distance firewood can be transported from 25 miles to 10.  Any wood carried from distances greater than set limits must be certified by state Department of Agriculture.

This comes from the increased risk of invasive species and diseases transported in the firewood.  As of February of this year, La Crosse is already considered a “quarantined” county. Firewood from hardwoods, ash chips, limbs or the tree itself are not allowed to be transported out of the  county. There are 15 quarantined counties in Wisconsin.

There are 727 million ash trees in Wisconsin’s woodlands, all potentially destroyed by the invasive species. The trees make up seven percent of the state’s native tree population, and they can constitute 20% of trees planted in urban areas.

Insecticide treatments can stop or reverse the effect of the disease for trees in residential areas. However, there is no practical way to stop the spread in entire forests. Landowners should consult professional foresters for help managing their private woodlands.

The Emerald Ash Borer beetle specifically has been established in Wisconsin since 2008 in Ozaukee and Washington counties. The green beetles live beneath the bark of ash trees and emerge in late May through mid-July. A single female beetle can lay 60-90 eggs.

The emerald ash borer kills ash trees by tunneling through the bark and consuming the softer tissue underneath. This disrupts the tree’s ability to move water and nutrients between its leaves and root system, eventually killing the tree from malnutrition.

The DNR asks that citizens report possible cases of the infestation to the Wisconsin EAB hotline (1-800-462-2803).