Thursday 15 October 2015

Trees & Firewood: Disease & Pest Spreading Culprits throughout Wisconsin

Posted at 12:35 PM

Who did it?

Was it the camper with firewood at the lake? Or the holiday enthusiast with the Christmas tree crossing the Illinois-Wisconsin border?

It’s important for Wisconsinites to get a “clue” about the significant role they play in the spreading of invasive species and diseases like emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, oak wilt and Dutch elm disease.

Firewood, nursery stock and Christmas trees should be purchased from local certified dealers and growers close to your home. The less distance you have to move firewood, nursery stock and Christmas trees, the less chance you have of spreading diseases.

With more than 600,000 evergreens harvested each fall, Christmas trees are already getting the once-over from state Department of Agriculture inspectors in preparation for the upcoming holiday season. Inspectors are looking to ensure that no hitchhikers, like gypsy moth eggs or pine beetles, are on trees before they ship out to retail lots around the state and country. Ottman Christmas Trees has also started its preparations for the holiday season!

While firewood, nursery stock and Christmas trees are three specific ways in which insects and diseases are spread, homeowners can also unintentionally spread pests by neglecting to safely remove diseased or infested trees from their yards. If you know a tree is diseased or infested by invasive insects, bring in a professional to advise you regarding safe removal and disposal of the resulting wood and debris. 

Above all, homeowners should be conscientious about the movement of trees in any form as it may introduce invasive species to a county or neighborhood.