Thursday, October 8, 2020

October is firewood awareness month!

By Leigh Greenwood, The Nature Conservancy 

Each October, the Don’t Move Firewood campaign celebrates Firewood Month across the USA and Canada. In the warmer southern states, it’s the season for camping, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors after the heat of the summer has waned. In the cooler northern states and Canada, it’s a great time to think about stocking up on firewood for the winter ahead, planning for firewood needs during hunting season, and getting in those last crisp fall days of camping under the stars.

If you’re reading First Detector Report, you probably know that moving firewood long distances can spread invasive forest pests hidden in or on the wood. By focusing on this issue each October, the Don’t Move Firewood campaign works with many partners—like you!—to push outreach messages to the firewood using public. Both recreational firewood users (camping, RV’ers, hunters, and more), as well as folks that use firewood for home heating, need to know that their firewood choices matter—and they can help slow the spread of tree-killing pests.

The safest choices for firewood can vary according to where you plan to burn firewood, as well as where you live! Because of that, outreach specialists should list which of these safer choices work best for their region’s needs:

·         - Buy local firewood at or near where you’ll burn it.

·         - Buy certified heat-treated firewood when it is available.

·         - Gather firewood on site when permitted by the landowner or campground.

By working together, we all have the power to slow the spread of forest pests.Learn more about Firewood Month at

Target Pest Scouting Report

First Detector target pests are some of the most threatening plant pests and pathogens known to exist in the U.S. today. If you see symptoms or signs described here, use our reporting form to report.

In celebration of Firewood Month, we focus this scouting report on FD targets that are known to spread in or on firewood. Monitor the trees you care about for these signs and symptoms but remember—even if you do not see physical evidence of these pests in/on your firewood, they (or other invasive pests) can still be present. For this reason, always follow best firewood practices to minimize the spread of unwanted pests!

Lots of other nasty pests can be introduced to new locations through firewood, for a more comprehensive list visit the Don't Move Firewood invasive species page.

Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB)

On ALB host trees, monitor for adults, exit holes, and new (and/or old) oviposition sites. Egg sites vary in appearance depending on host and age. On cut branches or firewood, look for tunneling through the wood. ALB adults are large, measuring 1–1.5" in length. Photos and resources can be found at FD ALB page.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Woodpecker activity may indicate insect presence, but not all woodpecker activity means you have a problem. Trees highly infested with EAB often have woodpecker damage, known as blonding, which may be easier to notice than other EAB signs and symptoms such as EAB D-shaped exit holes and woodpecker damaged exit holes.  Removing bark may reveal serpentine galleries etched on surface of wood. Find state specific quarantine information and regulations about firewood at EAB Univ. firewood.

European Gypsy Moth (EGM)

EGM females lay eggs on just about anything—not just host plants! EGM eggs are covered with fuzzy, buff-colored hairs from the female's abdomen. Scrape EGM egg masses into a container of soapy water and dispose the next day. See FD EGM page for more info, photos, and partner links.

Spotted Lanternfly (SLF)

SLF adults are present in the landscape until there is a hard frost. Females deposit eggs in vertical rows and cover them with a shiny putty-like substance. Appearance of covering changes with time and will start to look like dry mud. Exposed eggs look like seeds. SLF lay eggs on just about any plant and outdoor object! Learn more at FD SLF.

Reprinted from First Detector Report, a newsletter on invasive plant pests and pathogens. Issue 6, Fall 2020.

No comments: