Massachusetts and New York are expanding a quarantine that regulates firewood and ash wood products to combat the spread of emerald ash borer (EAB). EAB is a non-native insect. It has never been seen in Vermont, but has killed tens of millions of ash trees in the 18 states and 2 Canadian provinces where it has become established. Managing the costs for removal, disposal, and replacement of dead, dying, and hazardous trees is a challenge to communities and private citizens in infested areas.
Beginning March 1, 2013, the new Massachusetts quarantine regulates hardwood firewood of all species, as well as ash nursery stock or untreated ash lumber, originating from Berkshire County, MA. The emerald ash borer was found on a purple trap last summer, within 20 miles of the Vermont border in Dalton, MA. Infested trees have since been found near that site. Read more: http://www.mass.gov/dcr/news/2013/feb21PR.pdf.
The change in the New York State quarantine will take effect May 1, 2013. The quarantine area will expand to most of southern New York, including all or parts of 22 counties south of the New York Thruway and east to the state border. Rensselaer County will be the only quarantined county adjacent to Vermont. New York City boroughs plus Rockland, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk Counties will be excluded. For more info on the quarantine please visit: http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/AD/release.asp?ReleaseID2564.
Vermont residents and firewood buyers are restricted from moving hardwood firewood into Vermont from any Federal EAB quarantine area unless that wood has been heat treated, USDA-certified and labeled. Other industries receiving or handling ash wood material such as sawmills, waste management, nurseries and garden centers, may also be impacted by the quarantine restrictions.
Eighty percent of new EAB infestations are introduced via untreated firewood. Help slow the spread of EAB to Vermont by burning only local firewood. Spread the word, not the wood.
Individuals may contact Vermontís Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation at 802-241-3678 or Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets at 802-828-1317 for more information, or visit the websites vtinvasives.org and www.aphis.usda.gov.
An online version of this press release is available here.