The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a green metallic coloured, wood-boring beetle native to China and eastern Asia. The EAB attacks white, red, green and black ash trees and can kill healthy trees in two to three years. EAB larvae live in tunnels under tree bark and have a flat, white body with 10 bell-shaped segments. Adult beetles are one to 1.5 cm. long with a metallic green/bronze body colour
In the summer of 2002, the Michigan Department of Agriculture began prohibiting the movement of ash trees, firewood and ash wood products within the state after discovering an EAB infestation. In October 2002, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency began moving prohibiting the movement of ash trees, wood material and firewood from Windsor and Essex County after the pest had crossed the border. That prohibition soon carried over to Chatham-Kent.
However, the measures have not been able to stop the beetle from continuing its movement. In September 2009, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency added the counties of Lambton, Middlesex and Elgin to the list of areas declared infested with the EAB.
The declaration has several implications for residents living in the infested areas. The most common one is the prohibition of moving firewood of all species out of the areas. Even moving a single piece of firewood can cause the destruction of millions of ash trees because the pests can be embedded in the bark or wood itself.
Restrictions also apply to the movement of other ash tree products, which include wood packaging or dunnage, wood chips, bark chips, trees, logs and nursery stock.
In 2008, new rules came into place involving the import and export of firewood. The importation of firewood into Canada from any country, except from certain parts of the United States, is prohibited. Similarly, the United States does not allow the importation of firewood of hardwood species from Canada unless it has been properly heat treated.
For more information, please visit the following websites.
Canadian Food and Health Inspection Agency
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Report sightings or call 1-800-563-7711.