Firewood

Emerald Ash Borer Identified In Iron County For The First Time

By Linda Williams, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Woodruff, Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0665. 

Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been detected for the first time in Iron County, in the Town of Oma. Many of the black ash at this site are already dead, with other trees still declining. EAB was first identified in Wisconsin in 2008 and has now been found in 60 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Did you know that it takes fewer EAB larvae to attack and kill a black ash compared to a green ash or white ash? This means that black ash will have fewer galleries under the bark and consequently less woodpecker flecking than you would typically see with green ash or white ash. 

EAB was federally deregulated as of Jan. 14, 2021 and Wisconsin instituted a state-wide quarantine in 2018, so there are no regulatory changes due to this find. Emerald ash borer silviculture guidelines were created to help landowners make decisions about management in their woods. All forest sites are a bit different and it can be overwhelming to try to decide what management, if any, should be done in your stand and these guidelines are designed to help answer those questions.

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It’s Camping Season! Where Can I Get Firewood?

By Andrea Diss-Torrance, DNR Invasive Forest Insects Program Coordinator, Andrea.DissTorrance@wisconsin.gov, 608-516-2223

Most people know that using locally-sourced firewood helps prevent the spread of invasive pests and diseases. What may be less well known are the processes for finding local sources of firewood or learning where and how you can collect it yourself.

A set of images showing an oak wilt spore pad, an emerald ash borer beetle emerging from a tree and a gypsy moth caterpillar on a leaf.

In Wisconsin, oak wilt, emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and several other invasive pests and diseases are moved in or on firewood. During the camping season, these pests can emerge from transported wood to attack trees at the camper’s destination. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR, MJ Raupp Bugwood, WDNR

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Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Langlade County

Linda Williams, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Woodruff. Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0665.

Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been identified in Langlade County. Although this is the first find of EAB in Langlade County, it was found in three separate areas of the county in the towns of Ainsworth, Parrish and Wolf River. Two of these locations were within the area hit by the derecho storms in July 2019.

This was the first new county EAB detection for 2021 and is the 59th county in Wisconsin to identify the insect. There are no regulatory changes due to these detections since EAB was federally deregulated as of January 14, 2021, and Wisconsin instituted a state-wide quarantine in 2018.

Check out the interactive Wisconsin map showing which Townships and Municipalities are known to have EAB.

Bark removed using hatchet to show EAB larval galleries underneath.

Bark removed using hatchet to show EAB larval galleries underneath.

Protect Oak Trees From Oak Wilt By Pruning After July, Not Before

By Don Kissinger, DNR Urban Forester, 715-348-5746 or Don.Kissinger@wisconsin.gov; Paul Cigan, DNR Forest Health Specialist, 715-416-4920 or Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urban and forest health specialists recommend not pruning or cutting oaks from April through July to protect oak trees from the often fatal oak wilt disease.

The spring season often draws property owners outdoors to soak up rays of long-awaited sunlight, breathe in some fresh air and begin seasonal yard maintenance and cleanup projects. While spring is a time to dust off yard tools like rakes, shovels and weed clippers, when it comes to the health of oak trees, keeping those chainsaws and trimming tools a safe distance away will go a long way to ensure that your trees stay healthy for many more spring seasons to come.

Sap-feeding beetle on a diseased oak tree in Sawyer County.

Sap-feeding beetle on a diseased oak tree in Sawyer County.

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Treat Your Valuable Ash Trees Against Emerald Ash Borer

Bill McNee, Forest Health Specialist, Oshkosh. Bill.Mcnee@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0942

Property owners with healthy, valuable ash trees should consider treating them with insecticide this spring to protect against emerald ash borer (EAB). The pest is currently the most damaging threat to trees in Wisconsin, killing more than 99% of the ash trees it infests.

Woodpecker damage during the winter is often the first sign that an ash tree is infested. Now is an excellent time to consider insecticide protection because the treatments are typically done between mid-April and mid-May once leaves begin to return.

Treatments on already-infested ash trees are more likely to be successful if the trees have low or moderate levels of woodpecker damage.

An ash tree branch with bark missing after woodpeckers attacked it while looking for larvae to eat.

This ash tree branch in West Allis has been attacked by woodpeckers looking for larvae to eat.

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Deer hunters should avoid ash trees when placing deer stands this hunting season

By Bill McNee, forest health specialist, Oshkosh, bill.mcnee@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0942

This November, hunters should avoid placing tree stands in or near ash trees, especially in the southern half of Wisconsin, Door County and the Mississippi River counties. Most ash trees in these areas are dead or dying from infestation by emerald ash borer (EAB) and may unexpectedly snap or drop large branches. Place deer stands in non-ash trees to keep yourself safe from infested ash this hunting season.

Infographic showing four ways to identify ash trees.

A photo guide to identifying ash trees.

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Summary of spring 2020 balsam fir mortality event

Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff, Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0665

The sudden balsam fir mortality event in Wisconsin in 2020 was similar to the spring 2018 mortality event, although the mortality this year was more scattered, and fewer trees were killed.

A balsam fir tree with a dead crown that has retained its needles.

Trees that died suddenly this spring retained their needles, which turned reddish-brown to brown.

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Fighting invasives together through responsible firewood practices

By Marguerite Rapp, forest health communications specialist, marguerite.rapp@wisconsin.gov, Andrea Diss Torrance, invasive insects program coordinator, andrea.disstorrance@wisconsin.gov, and Tim Allen, DATCP forest pest program coordinator and nursery inspector, timothy.allen@wisconsin.gov, 715-891-8158

This time of year, many Wisconsinites warm up with firewood, whether that’s in a wood stove for the home or a bonfire with family and friends. While firewood is one of the most sustainable heat sources available, the forests that produce it are threatened when firewood infested by invasive species is moved long distances. Fortunately, we can reduce this threat together through responsible use, movement and sale of firewood and wood products.

Man loads firewood into arms from back of truck. Continue reading “Fighting invasives together through responsible firewood practices”

Oak wilt found in Forest Co. and northern townships

By forest health specialists Paul Cigan, Hayward, paul.cigan@wisconsin.gov, 715-416-4920 and Linda Williams, Woodruff, linda.williams@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0665

Oak wilt has been found for the first time in Forest County and several new northern townships in 2019. These previously undocumented infections were detected using a combination of ground surveys, forester and landowner reports and aerial survey flights. This deadly fungal disease of red oaks has now been confirmed in 65 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Updated oak wilt detection map shows new county and township detections described in text.

Oak wilt detection map as of January 1, 2020.

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Protect your trees from disease by pruning when they have no leaves

By Paul Cigan, forest health specialist, Hayward, paul.cigan@wisconsin.gov, 715-416-4920

With the new year upon us, healthy lifestyle habits are sure to be on many people’s minds as they plan for changes in diet and exercise. The new year is also the perfect opportunity to make healthier choices for trees! Winter is the ideal time for tree pruning while avoiding harmful, disease-carrying pests such as the tiny beetles that carry oak wilt from one tree wound to another.

Woman pruning a tree with no leaves on it.

Pruning during winter is less likely to invite unwanted, disease-carrying pests like the beetles that carry oak wilt from one tree to another. Credit: sasapanchenko.

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