Sunday, December 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

UC advice: Buy local firewood to guard against spreading pests

By
From page A4 | November 01, 2012 |

Tips for buying oak firewood

* Don’t buy green firewood from unknown sources; it has the highest chance of containing pests and pathogens

Ask where the firewood originated. If it isn’t local, ask what precautions the seller has taken to ensure that the firewood is free of harmful insects and disease or consider buying from another local source;

Wood should be bark-free, or have been dried and cured for one year prior to movement;

If you see D-shaped exit holes, be reluctant to buy unless you know the wood has dried for at least a year or longer

* For more information, visit GSOB.org, firewood.ca.gov and suddenoakdeath.org

As autumn temperatures cool, many people like to warm themselves with a cozy fire. When choosing firewood, natural resources experts ask that people use local firewood to avoid moving harmful insects and plant diseases into and around California.

“Buy firewood from a local source close to your home to prevent the spread of insects and diseases, such as the goldspotted oak borer, sudden oak death and emerald ash borer,” said Thomas Scott, a UC Cooperative Extension specialist based at UC Riverside who studies these invasive pests.

“Firewood is one of the least-regulated natural resource industries in California,” said Scott, “but this is a situation where the university can play a critical role in changing behavior through research and education rather than regulation.”

Scott and his UC Cooperative Extension colleagues are working with the U.S. Forest Service, the California Firewood Task Force and other agencies to educate and discourage woodcutters, arborists, firewood dealers and consumers from transporting infested wood.

“Many people don’t realize that firewood can harbor harmful insects and plant pathogens. Moving around infested wood can introduce those pests and pathogens to new areas where they might take hold and could have devastating impacts to trees, our natural resources and local communities,” said Don Owen, California Firewood Task Force chair and CAL FIRE forest pest specialist based in Redding.

“Even wood that looks safe can harbor destructive pests,” cautioned Janice Alexander, UC Cooperative Extension sudden oak death outreach coordinator in Marin County.

For example, female goldspotted oak borers lay eggs in cracks and crevices of oak bark, and the larvae burrow into the cambium of the tree to feed so they may not be visible.

The goldspotted oak borer has killed more than 80,000 oak trees in San Diego County in the last decade and Scott hopes it can be contained in that region. The half-inch-long beetle is native to Arizona but not to California and likely traveled in a load of infested firewood, according to Scott.

In his research, Scott has found outbreaks of goldspotted oak borer 20 miles from the infested area, which leads him to believe movement in firewood is the most likely reason for the beetle leap-frogging miles of healthy oak woodlands to end up in places like La Jolla. In communities where people harvest local trees for firewood, oaks have remained relatively beetle-free, Scott said.

In addition to concealing goldspotted oak borer, firewood may harbor other destructive invasive species such as emerald ash borer or the pathogen that causes sudden oak death. Sudden oak death has killed more than a million oak and tanoak trees in 14 coastal California counties, from Monterey to Humboldt. The highly destructive emerald ash borer has been identified in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois, but not California.

“Our best defense against the GSOB outbreak is the enlightened self-interest of Californians purchasing firewood,” Scott added. “If you want to protect the oaks around your house, neighborhood, and nearby woodlands, make sure that you’re not buying wood that could contain these beetles.”

In a broader sense, buy firewood from reputable dealers, from local sources whenever possible — and try to make sure that the wood you buy has been properly seasoned and doesn’t contain pests.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    No-nonsense Musser voted Citizen of the Year

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Brinley Plaque honors environmental stalwart

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Sharing a meal, and so much more

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    What’s new at UCD? Construction projects abound

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Police seek help in finding runaway twin girls

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    March trial date set in Davis molest case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Downtown crash results in DUI arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    AP sources: Cops’ killer angry over Garner death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Raul Castro: Don’t expect detente to change Cuban system

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Enterprise plans Christmas, New Year’s holiday hours

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Luminaria display planned in West Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Soup’s On will benefit NAMI-Yolo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Donors, volunteers honored on Philanthropy Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Surprise honor is really nice, dude

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    .

    Forum

     
    It’s not a pretty picture

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

    Google me this: Should I hit that button?

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B4

     
    E-cigs surpass regular cigarettes among teens

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Too late to pick a fight

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Join us in making our world more just

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    All police need to humanize

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Are we only a fair-weather bike city?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    The electronic equivalent of war

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    The Green House effect: Homes where the elderly thrive

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

     
    Aggie Manzanares not quite finished carrying the rock

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD women look to improve, despite game at No. 7 Stanford

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Second-half run spurs Aggie men to 8-1

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Stenz shines as DHS girls take a tournament title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    49ers fall to San Diego in overtime

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Marrone Bio expands its product reach in Latin America

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sierra Northern Railway names CEO

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sink your teeth into Vampire Penguin

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, December 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8