Summer is a great time for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and backpacking. During your adventures in natural areas, be on the lookout for poison oak. Poison oak, a well known plant for most people in California, is widespread in our state and can be encountered in open woodland areas, grassy hillsides, coniferous forests, and open chaparral.
Poison oak looks different depending on the time of year, and may be difficult to recognize. In spring, it has young leaves that are green or sometimes light red, along with small, white-green flowers. In late spring and summer, poison oak foliage is glossy green. As we head into late summer and early fall, the leaves will turn shades of orange and red with whitish-green,...
If you plan to camp this summer, remember to wait until you arrive at your destination before you purchase firewood. Why?
If you bring your own firewood to a campground, you could unknowingly spread invasive pests and diseases that can harm local trees. New infestations of tree-killing insects and diseases are often found in campgrounds and parks as a result of campers moving firewood.
Once you arrive at your destination, pests can emerge from the firewood and spread to the trees and forests where you camp. Invasive and hard-to-control pests kill several million native trees every year, causing environmental and economic problems.
Ways You Can Help
- Buy it where you burn it! Purchase firewood...
- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
As you plan the last few camping trips of the summer, remember: buy firewood when you get to your destination. Don't move firewood! Buy it where you burn it.
Simply, we don't want wood-boring pests and diseases to be moved from one area in the state to another area where they don't exist. Buy wood where you intend to burn it and don't bring any wood home with you upon your return.
Several beetles that bore into trees such as the gold-spotted oak borer, polyphagus shothole borer, walnut twig beetle, and others may be present in the wood you gather or buy in your area. If you buy or gather wood and then take it with you to another...