Since 2002, the emerald ash borer has been detected in 21 (as of July 2013) states and has killed tens of millions of ash trees. Adult EAB are a bright, metallic, emerald green color and are less than 1/2 inch long (7.5 – 13.5 mm). They can feed on ash foliage, although that damage is considered minimal.
The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients, and ultimately killing the tree. Larvae make serpentine (S-shaped) galleries on trees that are packed with sawdust. There may be vertical splitting of bark over larval galleries. EAB adults make characteristic D-shaped emergence holes on the bark. Symptoms of EAB include canopy dieback, beginning in top one-third of canopy and progressing until tree is bare.
Trees may also have epicormic shoots (sprouts grow from roots and trunk). Woodpeckers may feed on EAB larvae and pupae, and they leave large holes on bark while foraging.
To slow the human-assisted spread of EAB, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has adopted regulations to control movement of ash trees, logs and hardwood firewood in areas where EAB occurs. Note, the regulations also include nursery stock and all other ash material, living or dead, cut or fallen, including stumps, roots, branches and chip (both composted and un-composted).
Municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products industries in the U.S. have lost tens of millions of dollars (lost revenue, tree removal, etc.)
What You Can Do
Don’t move firewood outside of the county where it originated.
Use local firewood or purchase firewood from the park office.
If you brought firewood to camp with you, burn it all on-site before leaving.
Leave your firewood at home next time you visit Georgia’s campgrounds.
Links to more detailed information.