The emerald ash borer was recently discovered in Anne Arundel County, prompting the (MDA) to expand its ban on transporting wood.
After finding the colorful bug locally, MDA officials placed all counties west of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay under a quarantine to block the spread of the destructive bug.
That means you cannot transport wood out of the quarantined area, according to a release.
State Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance said in a release that the quarantine is “the best way to secure Maryland’s Eastern Shore where EAB [emerald ash borer] has not been found to date and protect our riparian forest buffer plantings.”
“We will continue to work with our federal, state and local partners to control the spread of EAB [emerald ash borer] through biocontrol and surveillance activities. However, we rely upon cooperation from the community to follow the quarantine restrictions, not move firewood and to report signs of possible infestation.”
The emerald ash borer is an invasive pest from Asia that feeds on and kills ash trees within three years after infestation, according to the release.
MDA officials said ash trees are one of the most common and important landscaping trees used in Maryland and can be found in many western Maryland forests.
Ash wood is used in various forms, from flooring and cabinets to baseball bats, according to the release.
Infected trees typically have distinct serpentine-shaped tunnels beneath the bark, where larvae effectively stop food and water movement in the tree, starving it to death.
Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Northern Virginia already have quarantines in effect. New Jersey and Delaware are conducting surveillance activities and have no emerald ash borer detections to date, according to the release.
Green ash is among the top five trees planted and one of the most frequently successful in riparian forest buffers. Ash is planted in more than 2,400 acres of riparian forest buffer plantings on the Eastern Shore and supports about 150 types of butterflies and moths, according the release.
To help stop the spread of the emerald ash borer:
• Don’t move firewood—Buy it where you burn it. Hauling firewood is the most common way for damaging plant pests to be moved from one area to another. In addition, the state quarantine prohibits anyone from moving hardwood firewood or any other ash tree materials out of the regulated area.
• Don’t plant ash trees—As the emerald ash borer is expanding its range in Maryland, diversified plantings of alternative tree species are recommended for residential landscaping.
Report any signs of the emerald ash borer to the University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center at 800-342-2507.