Kerkman, The Real McCoy Contributor
has to be one of the best months of the year; school gets out and
there is the promise of a full summer of activities ahead. What can be
better than loading up the family vehicle with camping and fishing
gear and heading out for a week, or a long weekend of outdoor
Jim Kerkman, Fort McCoy forester,
inspects an ash tree at the installation for signs of pests or
by Rob Schuette)
the car is loaded with the essentials, there might be some extra space
in the trunk. Because a proper camping experience includes a campfire
for roasting marshmallows, the temptation is to use the extra space to
load up some firewood from a dead tree that was down in the yard. That
should save the budget a few dollars by not having to buy firewood
from the campground.
Don’t bring that firewood from home! What if that tree was an ash
tree killed by the emerald ash borer, or an oak tree killed by oak
wilt, or there are gypsy moth eggs on the firewood. Any one of those
situations can occur and people might end up transporting these
insects or diseases to a new location.
emerald ash borer, or EAB, is a very destructive insect that can kill
all of the native ash trees in an infected area. It already has been
responsible for more than 25 million trees dying or being killed to
prevent the spread.
to have come to the United States in wood crating material from China,
the EAB was first noticed in the Detroit area in 2002. It has since
been spread throughout Michigan, into Indiana, Illinois, Maryland and
now has been found in two areas of Wisconsin.
insect cannot move more than few miles on its own, so this rapid
spread is likely the result of people transporting the insect living
in firewood. Once an ash tree is infested with EAB it usually dies
within three to five years as a result of the insect eating through
the inner bark and cutting off the flow of water and nutrients to the
A view of unknown
damage to trees at Gate No. 1 (Old Main Gate) at Fort McCoy June
2. (Photo by Rob
Schuette) (An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)
wilt is a fungal disease of oak trees that can kill a tree within a
few months once it is infected. This disease is spread in two ways.
way is when picnic beetles feed on sap from diseased trees; get oak
wilt spores on them, then fly to a healthy tree and feed on sap
flowing from a break in the bark. The second way is when a diseased
oak shares a root system (the roots grow together) with a healthy oak;
the disease is spread to the healthy oaks through the roots. If
firewood is from a diseased tree and there are active spore pads on
the wood, oak wilt can spread to an area that does not have oak wilt.
The best way to keep oak wilt from starting is to avoid pruning or
otherwise cutting oaks from April 1 to July 31 each year.
moths were introduced from Europe in the 1860s near Boston and have
been slowly spreading west ever since. The female moth does not fly so
this insect cannot spread to new areas very quickly. Once again it is
people who have spread this insect to new areas. If people camp or
live in a gypsy moth- infested area and then travel to another area,
the moth may have hitched a ride (that’s why they are called gypsy
moths) on vehicles or other outdoor items and now they are in a new
spring, Monroe County (which includes much of Fort McCoy) was added to
the gypsy moth quarantine area. The quarantine is designed to limit
gypsy moth movement by restricting what can be moved out of the area
or requiring inspections for certain items. This includes firewood and
outdoor household items like lawn furniture, grills, bicycles, etc.
people currently staying at a Fort McCoy housing unit, the
installation Family Housing Office will provide them with information
about the quarantine requirements when they move.
units training on Fort McCoy will need to make sure their vehicles and
equipment used in the field are cleaned before returning to their home
article focuses on only three insects and diseases causing a great
deal of trouble to the forests, but there are more potential problems
that are out there. With the global economy and the rapid movement of
goods around the world, there will inevitably be more insects and
diseases brought into the United States and likewise exported to other
can help prevent or at least slow the spread of these insects and
diseases by not moving firewood around. Buy firewood at your camping
place and burn it at the campground.
McCoy’s Pine View Recreation Area sells firewood that is purchased
from a business that sells certified pest-free firewood so you can
enjoy the campfire and relax knowing that you did not bring a problem
who stay at Pine View Recreation Area also need to inspect their lawn
furniture, etc., for signs of moths, caterpillars and egg masses and
remove or scrape them of, Kerkman said. More information is available
at the Pine View campground office.
more information on this topic, visit the Web site http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/invasives/firewood/.
To report suspected diseased trees in the Fort McCoy community, call
the Forestry Office at 608-388-2102.
is the Fort McCoy Forester of the Directorate of Public Works.)