Monday, October 5, 2009

PROMISE ME (This one's not about food)

Its Sunday night and I am currently in a hotel room in the Ozarks writing this while The Captain mans a booth in the convention area of the resort. He has volunteered his time (and part of our weekend) to educate people about the Emerald Ash Borer. So I thought I might take a couple of minutes to mention the EAB (as the people in the know call it) to those who might otherwise not have any exposure to information about the critter.

Have you seen the “PROMISE ME” billboards on the highway? The one near my house (at 40 and Jefferson – ish) has a sad little girl imploring me to promise her something. I usually have driven by before I can read what the rest of the sign says, but coincidentally got to read one while The Captain drove us out of the city today. It says “Promise Me That You Will Not Move Firewood”. Now, because I am with The Captain, I know what this means. For those of you not lucky enough to live with an urban forester/arborist, let me enlighten you about what this sign is trying to tell you.

Since the 1990’s the Emerald Ash Borer has destroyed 30 million ash trees within 10 states. The EAB was first found in Missouri just last summer. The EAB will kill an Ash tree that it inhabits and the current method for dealing with this pest is to remove the tree. Anyway, the most common way that the EAB is moving into new states is in the transport of firewood. Meaning that camper from one state will pack up their stuff (and firewood for the campsite) and head off to the camp location. EABs living in the firewood infect trees in the new location. So don’t move firewood. As the USDA says, “Buy local, burn local.”

Most of my friends aren’t campers, but if you ever wondered about those billboards, well, now you know.

For more information about EAB, visit

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