Firewood Warning From The Morton Arboretum
Summer Campers Could Unknowingly Transport Destructive Pest
LISLE, IL (May 18, 2006) – Don’t take any pests on vacation with you this summer.
The Morton Arboretum strongly urges campers to avoid transporting any firewood across state lines, and instead, purchase firewood at the campsite or right nearby. This would help prevent the spread of Emerald ash borer (EAB), a dangerous pest that threatens to infest Illinois ash trees after killing an estimated 15-million trees in Michigan and other states. Although the small beetle can fly up to two-miles, it is transported mostly by people moving firewood with the creature inside.
“Emerald ash borer is number one on the ‘most wanted list’ among pests. It could rival Dutch elm disease if it really gets going,” said Fredric Miller, Ph.D., Arboretum entomologist.
Although detection surveys in 2004 and 2005 have not yet found EAB in Illinois, the state is “definitely at risk” of an infestation, Miller said, noting that the Chicagoland could lose one-fifth of its trees – which are ashes. In addition to the Michigan devastation, EAB has been found in 15 counties in Ohio, at least six in Indiana and the area of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. EAB’s destruction of ash trees has cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products industries tens of millions of dollars, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
In addition to monetary losses, there would be intangible losses if EAB got a foothold in the Chicago area.
“Ash trees are so frequently used in parking lots, narrow planting strips, islands, commercial areas, places where other trees won’t grow. We have learned to rely on this tree. If EAB hits, the losses will be powerful and painful. We would really miss ash trees if they are gone,” says Edith Makra, Arboretum Community Trees Advocate.
The half-inch, bright metallic green pest gets into the tree’s bark and feeds on the vascular system immediately below. This destroys the tree’s ability to receive and distribute water, nutrients and vital energy. Eventually, the tree dies.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of more than 3,700 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CDT) and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST). The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630/968-0074 to learn more.
Media Contact: Gina Tedesco, 630-725-2103,