- Author: Chris M. Webb
As the season for outdoor activities and gatherings gets into full swing, we would like to remind you to burn only local wood at campfires and cookouts.
Why is burning only local wood important? Several destructive invasive pests attack trees and continue to inhabit the wood after the tree has died. When and if an infested tree is cut up and used for firewood the pests go along for the ride and broaden their range. The pests can be extremely small and invisible to the naked eye.
These pests include:
- The Red Bay Ambrosia beetle (RBA). This tiny insect and the fungus it carries can kill a healthy avocado tree in six months or less. Laurel Wilt Disease caused by the fungus carried by RBA is already established in the South Eastern portion of our country and is expected to travel to our state. RBA has the potential to devastate our avocado industry along with backyard trees.
- The Gold Spotted Oak Borer (GSOB) is already in our state and is responsible for killing tens of thousands of oak trees. The loss of oak trees, especially in the wild brings many negative impacts: loss of wildlife habitat, greater risk of erosion and catastrophic fire, invasion of noxious weeds, as well as safety risks related to falling trees or branches. Additional information about GSOB can be found at this website.
- The Tea Shot Hole Borer is also in California, but to date there have been no reports of the potentially deadly fungal damage it can spread. The Tea Shot Hole Borer is also a serious pest of avocado trees. Other hosts include: castor bean plant, black locust, lychee, and acer.
Please do what you can to minimize the spread of these destructive invasive species. Remember when it comes to firewood -- buy it where you burn it!