Help preserve our street trees and forests by taking measures to inhibit the spread of invasive tree-killing insects and diseases. Invasive insects have wreaked havoc in the United States by destroying trees, which require taxpayers’ money to combat them, and endangering our environment. Trees that are damaged or killed by invasive diseases and insects also contribute to power outages, as those dead or dying trees can fall onto overhead utility lines.
If utility tree work leaves you with wood debris, remember to never move it across state lines or to another property, for instance, a summer cottage or a campsite. Purchase your firewood locally and look for commercially kiln-dried firewood or bulk regular firewood. Kiln-dried wood will have a stamp on the package identified as “Heat Treated” or “Kiln Dried”. The less expensive option, untreated firewood, is straight from the forest or woodpile and carries the lowest risk if it comes from a nearby source (ideally, under 10 miles).
“Invasive pests of trees are often spread through the transportation of firewood, which can be infested with insects, even if there is no visible evidence,” said New Hampshire State Entomologist Piera Siegert. “We’re trying to reduce the risk to our native trees by initiating a quarantine of firewood.”
There are out-of-state firewood quarantines in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire today.
Two invasive insects are of particular concern to our MA and NH service territory areas: the Asian Longhorned Beetle and the Emerald Ash Borer.
Asian Longhorned Beetle
The adult beetle is 1 inch to 1 ½ inches in length. It has long antennae banded with black and white and a shiny, jet-black body with distinctive white spots. The Asian Longhorned Beetle’s most preferred trees are maple trees (sugar, Norway, red and silver), box elder, horse chestnut, elms, poplar, birch and all willow species.
Signs and Symptoms
In the summer, the adult beetles chew their way out, leaving dime-sized, ¼ inch or greater, perfectly round exit holes.
Emerald Ash Borer
The adult beetle has a shiny emerald green body with a coppery red or purple abdomen. The beetle measures 1/2 inch long and 1/8 inch wide. Adult Emerald Ash Borers are most notable in June and July, but can be seen from May to early September.
Signs and Symptoms
Larval feeding galleries typically weave back and forth across the wood grain (figure J) and are packed with frass (a mix of sawdust and excrement). Adults form D-shaped holes upon exit from the tree (figure K). Any specimens you capture should be placed in a jar and kept in the freezer.
Customers are urged to watch for symptoms in their trees and report any possible infestations.
Massachusetts residents, please call the Pest Hotline at 1-617-626-1779 or report online at http://massnrc.org/pests/.
New Hampshire residents, please call to report a pest at 1-800-444-8978 or report online at http://www.asianlonghornedbeetle.com.