Polk County Conservation

Firewood and the Emerald Ash Borer

  • On a recent camping trip to Wisconsin I hauled firewood into my camp site as I have done every year for the past six years. This year I was told this was illegal because on an insect called the Emerald Ash Borer. What exactly is the Emerald Ash Borer?

    The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a beetle from Asia. This non-native pest poses an enormous threat to our urban and rural forests. EAB differs from most native borers in that it will attack healthy trees while most native borers attack stressed and declining trees. It is so aggressive that ash trees may die within two or three years after they become infested with the beetle. If it is not contained and eradicated, the impact of Emerald Ash Borer beetle attacks on ash in North America will be similar to that of the devastation from two fungal diseases, Chestnut Blight and Dutch Elm Disease, which destroyed woodland and urban forests in the 20th century.

    The borer has been found in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and recently Illinois in the United States and also in Windsor Ontario. One way the borer has spread is by transportation of firewood. As a camper you can do your part to limit the spread by using local sources of firewood, not taking firewood out of quarantined areas and if you do bring firewood into a quarantined area do not leave it−burn it.

    For more information about EAB visit the following web sites:



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    Administration Office
    12130 NW 128th St
    Granger, IA 50109

    P: (515) 323-5300
    F: (515) 323-5354

    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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