Invasive Pests Take a Toll on Trees

Invasive insects and pathogens have wreaked havoc on ash, elm, chestnut trees and others, wiping some of them almost completely from American forests. In addition to the ecological impact, a Purdue University study shows that the carbon storage lost to these pests each year is the same as the amount of carbon emitted by 5 million vehicles.

New infestations of invasive pests or diseases can be devastating and pose a serious threat to Michigan’s agriculture, forests and the environment.

Harmful invasive species, some of which are invisible to the naked eye, can hide in or on firewood. While most cannot move far on their own, these pests and diseases can be transported undetected on travelers’ firewood, starting new infestations in locations hundreds of miles away. These invasive species threaten native tree species without natural defenses against these pests and diseases. Infestations also can destroy forests, lower property values and cost huge sums of money to control.

It is recommended that if you are going camping to buy firewood from the State Park you are traveling to instead of bringing firewood from home. This helps limit the distance the firewood travels, preventing a new infestation.

To limit the spread of invasive species, leave firewood at home and:

To learn about what forest invaders to watch out for, go here. As always, report an invasive species sighting in the MISIN app or on the website, or report it to the DNR.

 

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