Friday, December 20, 2013

Avoid Spreading Invasive Insects through Christmas Trees

source image courtesy of Miss 604

This holiday season, The Nature Conservancy in the greater Boston area wants to make sure people know the facts about possible invasive species that threaten our trees. For example, fir trees are very popular Christmas Trees, and several species of fir trees are under attack from the balsam woolly adelgid, a tiny bug that distorts tree growth that can kill the tree. Maple trees, which provide syrup for our pancakes, are under attack from the non-native invasive Asian longhorned beetle. This insect kills maples (and many other species of trees), which could  seriously impact the maple syrup producers in the Northeast.

By now, most of you have already purchased your Christmas Trees, so the important thing is to dispose of them properly:

• Dispose of your tree safely. When Christmas is over, don’t just toss it in the backyard to sit around. If there are any invasive bugs on the tree, - they may spread to trees in your yard or
neighborhood. Search for local municipal tree collectors who will properly chip and dispose of
the tree.

• Don’t move firewood! Remember that warm toasty fire? Make sure those logs came from a
nearby area. Transporting firewood for long distances can spread invasive pests and start a new
infestation in your neighborhood. Instead, buy your firewood from a local, reputable seller or
burn it on the property where it was cut. (This also applies to camping. When you go camping,
don’t bring your firewood with you. Buy it at or near the campsite.)

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