The latest info on plant pests, pathogens, and weeds.

Seasonal Reminder

With the temperatures dropping, people’s thoughts are turning towards firewood to stay warm.  A recent announcement from USDA reminds citizens of how firewood and woody plant material can serve as a vector for Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). Adult ALB are poor flyers but the larva can remain in wood that may be transported, making human activity the primary method of spreading this pest. The Worcester area remains under a quarantine, so moving firewood outside of the 110 square mile area is not allowed.

To help prevent ALB from spreading, there are a few things home and business owners can do and keep in mind.

First, know which trees in Massachusetts are considered ALB host trees. While all firewood and woody plant material needs to be treated as if it’s host material (since it’s difficult to tell what kind of tree firewood might have come from), it is useful to be able to identify trees that ALB can use as a host tree. A full list of host trees can be found here.

Any woody plant material you are disposing of, such as firewood, fallen tree branches or felled lumber, or any wood that is more than half an inch in diameter, needs to be properly disposed of if it’s not burned. The wood disposal site at Ararat St. in Worcester is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM and can be accessed by companies with valid compliance agreements.

If you or your company works with ALB host material in the regulated area in and around Worcester, you must receive yearly compliance training. Call 508-852-8110 to reserve a spot. Training sessions are held regularly at the APHIS office in Worcester.

If you purchase firewood for your own home or to use at campsites, make sure you are buying it locally and from a trusted supplier who has gone through the compliance training.

If you need outreach materials related to ALB, you can order them free of charge here:
You may refer to this website for any questions you might have about firewood.

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