State environmental agencies are urging residents to leave firewood at home this summer.
DEEP and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station says residents are being asked to help prevent the introduction and spread of destructive wood pests, like the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), by buying and burning firewood near their vacation or camping destination.
“Harmful forest insects often spend a portion of their lifecycle as larvae inside the trunk and branches of trees and folks transporting infested firewood from one location to another may unknowingly move insect pests,” said Robert Klee, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Purchasing firewood locally rather than transporting it from home is a best management practice that reduces the risk of spread of these destructive pests.”
The ALB is currently the greatest – but not the only – threat to the trees of Connecticut. The nearest infestation is within 30 miles of our border with Massachusetts, where Federal and State agricultural and forestry officials continue to eradicate the ALB infestation within a110 square mile quarantine zone in Worcester and surrounding towns. This effort has resulted in the cutting of more than 34,000 trees, and since October 2008 has cost the U.S. Department of Agriculture over $146 million. In New York, 137 square miles are under ALB regulation which includes the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, and a portion of central Long Island.
“We continue to see adverse impacts on our trees and forests by introduced insect pests such as the hemlock woolly adelgid, emerald ash borer, winter moth, and most recently, the southern pine beetle,” said State Entomologist Dr. Kirby Stafford at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. “Buying and burning firewood locally is one way Connecticut’s citizens and visitors can help prevent the introduction or spread of some of these exotic, destructive insects.”