BREAKING: Emerald ash borer found in Berkshire County MA

This just in! A press release from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has announced an adult emerald ash borer was found on a purple trap in Dalton, Massachusetts. Please note that the author of this press release is NOT Don't Move Firewood, it is the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The entirety of the release is below.


State Officials Confirm Emerald Ash Borer Detected in Massachusetts for First Time


Press Release Contacts:  SJ Port — 617-626-1453 or; Krista Selmi — 617-626-1109 or


Boston – September 12, 2012 – Officials with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) today announced that the Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been detected in Massachusetts. The destructive beetle was detected in the western Massachusetts town of Dalton on August 31, 2012, and was confirmed by federal officials on September 6. Massachusetts is the 18th state in the country to detect EAB.


DCR and DAR officials are working together, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the USDA’s United States Forest Service to take a number of swift proactive steps aimed at preventing the spread of the invasive beetle, including:


  • Defining a quarantine area that would only allow the movement of certain wood products under certain conditions.
  • A de-limiting survey to help identify the extent of the infestation.
  • Working with stakeholders to ensure they know how to properly treat or dispose of infested trees and materials.
  • A survey with federal agencies to determine how long the area in which EAB has been present in our state, information which will help determine strategies in how to best address the threat.
  • DCR will also maintain a ban that has been in place against bringing any firewood into state parks and forests.


“The Emerald ash borer brings a very serious threat to our ash trees, and we are not taking its presence lightly,” said DCR Commissioner Ed Lambert. “We are taking swift action to address the infestation, and are working to mitigate any impact an infestation could bring.”


“Together with DCR, we are moving forward to develop and implement the best strategies to contain this invasive pest,” said DAR Commissioner Greg Watson.


Regulated items that would fall under quarantine include the following:


  • The Emerald ash borer, in any living stage of development;
  • Firewood of all hardwood species;
  • Nursery stock of the genus (Ash);
  • Green lumber of the genus (Ash);
  • Other material living, dead, cut, or fallen, including logs, stumps, roots, branches, and composted and uncomposted chips of the genus (Ash);
  • Any other article, product, or means of conveyance that an inspector determines presents a risk of spreading Emerald ash borer and notifies the person in possession of the article, product, or means of conveyance that it is subject to the restrictions of the regulations.


The EAB is a small, flying beetle, native to Asia. It was first discovered in North America in 2002, in the Detroit, Michigan area. Unlike other invasive beetles, the EAB can kill a tree fast, within just a few years, because it bores directly under the bark, where the tree’s conductive system is. Since its discovery in North America, it has killed millions of ash trees and has caused billions of dollars in economic loss across the nation.


Ash is a main component of the Northern Hardwood forest in Massachusetts and is a common species in the Berkshires.  Ash is also a common street tree in eastern Massachusetts.


Residents are urged to take the time to learn the signs of EAB tree damage and be sure to report any sightings.


  • Look for tiny, D-shaped exit holes in the bark of ash trees, die-back in the upper third of the tree canopy, and sprouting of branches just below this dead area.
  • The Emerald ash borer is a tiny, emerald-green metallic beetle, so small that seven of them could fit on the head of a penny.


To report suspicious tree damage or insect sightings, or to learn more about this pest, visit You can also call the toll free EAB hotline at 1-866-322-4512.


More information about EAB:


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100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA 02114-2119 — (617) 626-1000 office / (617) 626 1181 (fax)


That’s not what Don’t Move Firewood means

We got a confused email over the weekend here at Don't Move Firewood, claiming that our message is meant to discourage people from heating their homes with wood. Let us be very clear- this is not true! Don't Move Firewood is completely supportive of heating homes with wood, especially with high efficiency wood stoves and wood pellet stoves (as these are better for local air quality and heat efficiency). Don't Move Firewood also is completely OK with campfires at campgrounds and campsites whenever they are permitted, provided the wood is either harvested locally, collected on site, or heat treated (also called kiln dried) to kill any pests within.


So let's review the Do's and Don't of Don't Move Firewood:



– Burn wood in your wood stove or campfire if you want to

– Adhere to all local restrictions on safe burning, such as fire restrictions due to this year's drought conditions

– Buy wood that was cut locally whenever possible

– Collect wood on site whenever legal- whether in your own woodlot, local national forest with permit, or while camping as permissable by local rules

– Buy packaged wood that is certified heat treated or kiln dried to kill insects and diseases

– Store firewood from your own trees on your own property when needed



– Don't take wood from your home to your campsite, or from campsite to home, if over 10 miles away

– Don't buy wood from an unpermitted, unknown vendor that cannot tell you where their wood came from

– Don't violate fire restrictions when camping- forest fires are dangerous for everyone, and the rules are no joke

– Don't get cords of wood in preparation for wintertime from a vendor that isn't familar with state and local firewood regulations; bulk supplies of wood should certainly come from within 50 miles of your home or cabin, and best if under 10 miles

– Don't mistake Don't Move Firewood for an organization trying to ruin your camping trip or prevent you from heating your home from natural sources. We are actually trying to keep insects from spreading to new places and killing your trees. That's our real goal.

A beautiful evening with Tanglewood on Parade

Branching out on the Lawn at Tanglewood

by Sean Mahoney

While it may seem a deviation from our regular amped up musical taste of banjo and “bumping bass” (I must credit Natalie for introducing me to that phrase) the Don’t Move Firewood crew found ourselves fitting right in with the picnickers streaming onto the lawn in Lenox for the 66th Tanglewood on Parade.


The weather was perfect for the occasion. Not a menacing cloud was above us as the soothing sounds of string quartets made their way from the garden.  What a relaxing respite from a long summer on the road! I recommend to anyone traveling through the Berkshires to spend at least one night out on the lawn watching the night creep in over Stockbridge Bowl and experience what Tanglewood is all about.



In the spirit of Tanglewood I have included a small artistic expression of my emotions for such a wonderful place.


Warm Soft Grass

Rolling Hills Afar

Summer Wind

Woodwind Light

Maestro Conducts by Sight

Starry Cool Night

Candles Sleep

Notes Move Away

 Slumber Taunts

If you are curious to read more about how the Boston Symphony Orchestra made its summer home in the Berkshires please click here.


See you on the lawn with your Don’t Move Firewood fan in hand!

Oh, the places we go!

The Don’t Move Firewood  trip to the Newport Folk Festival can only be described by one word: Adventure.

by Natalie Garcia


The weather for the weekend called for rain. Fortunately all of day one, Poseidon was a fan of all the awesome music that was playing and decided to keep the rain away. We got the weekend started off right, and I was really excited by how many people we were able to talk to — more than 1,000 total! I was prize wheeling like it’s my job (wait, maybe that’s because it is?).


It was great to see the enthusiasm in people that knew about the firewood issue, and even more awesome to talk to new people that hadn’t heard about us, promised to let others know, and to not move their firewood anymore. One funny thing about the Newporters was that they kept telling us that handing out Frisbees was “against the rules” – who knew that all of these hipsters were such goodie two shoes?


Then of course, when it was time for us to pack up for the night, the heavens opened above Fort Adams State Park and the whole place was soaked. Great.


How were we and the 10,000 other people going to make it out of this Fort dry? The answer was, VERY SLOWLY. After the first sound of thunder, it was pretty much a mass exodus out of there, and since we were parked in the very back we were very stuck. It took us 1 hour of waiting – reading in our car – and one hour of traffic – watching a movie and getting a treat from happy festival streakers. Yup. Two gentlemen decided to let everyone stuck in traffic have a much needed giggle.



Then somehow on our return trip, Google maps decided to send us through Connecticut without me knowing. Basically I got us lost, and I had to navigate us to back to the Mass Turnpike. There was a silver lining to this detour, the Dirt Store and Lake Chargoggagoggmanchaug… two incredibly bizarre and random things we spotted on our short (de)tour of New England.



New signs in Massachusetts say Stop Invasive Pests, Keep Firewood Local

If you’ve been driving through Massachusetts lately, you may have seen electronic signs on the highway saying “Stop Invasive Pests. Keep Firewood Local.” Are you wondering what is up? Well, we’re here to help. When you keep firewood local, you are helping prevent the spread of unwanted invasive pests that can hitchhike on contaminated firewood. Pests like the Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer, and spongy moth kill your trees and cause serious damage to natural forests and landscapes.

Don’t Move Firewood is a campaign to spread the word about this problem. We’re excited about the Massachusetts highways signs, and hope that you’ve come to our site because you saw one. To learn more about the firewood issue, please cruise this website. If you want to help us educate your friends and family, please friend us on facebook at

Thanks for visiting, and drive safe!

Unwanted firewood

What if you have firewood that you don't want? What's the best way to get rid of the stuff?


Dear Don't Move Firewood,

I recently bought a house that has a stack of firewood in the back corner of my lot. I won't be using the firewood due to allergies. 

What is the best removal plan?


Concerned Cara


Dear Concerned Cara,

Congratulations on buying a house! That's exciting. Getting rid of the firewood shouldn't be too hard, even if you don't want to burn it yourself. Here are some options:

– If you have a large lot and it isn't in the way, you could just leave it there forever. Depends on your planned use of the land, yes, but it is truly doing no harm ecologically by just sitting there, so that's the simplest method. (NOTE: after originally posting this blog, I was kindly reminded that in some parts of the country, piles of firewood near your house can increase the risks of other pests like carpenter ants, fire ants, or termites setting up shop in or near your home. Further, in the fire-prone parts of the country, firewood piles can be dangerous if there is wildfire in the area. Therefore, unused firewood piles should be a long distance from your house- I'd guess a safe distance is 100ft or more!)

– I recently read that firewood can be used on-site in the making of very water-efficient raised beds for gardening! How cool! So if you are planning on doing any raised flower beds or vegetable beds in the spring, please look up "Hugelkultur" online for a really neat way to use extra firewood in your gardens. It will reduce the amount of money you need to spend on gardening soil, too! Win-win.

– You don't want to burn it because of your allergies (I presume you are very sensitive to indoor wood particulates) but someone else could burn it, of course. One thing you could do is give it away to a local friend or neighbor that is very nearby. For instance, if you had someone just down the street that burns wood in the winter, you could offer it to them. Moving firewood less than a few miles is quite harmless from the perspective of spreading insects and diseases. It is best to keep it under 10 miles at the top limit, please. And don't cross any town, county or state borders, as this increases the likelyhood that you could inadvertantly be violating a law or regulation.

– At last resort, you could take it to either your solid waste disposal (i.e. town dump) or municipal composting facility, if you have one. I know in my town, the municipal composting place takes logs up to 16" in diameter- pretty huge and certainly bigger than cut firewood. So once you have the time, you could look up your new local services and figure that out.

Good luck, and thanks for asking!



Grey Foxes and Emerald Ash Borers

L.E.A.F.s rustling in the Bluegrass @ Grey Fox

by Sean Mahoney


Every summer, four thousand wayward travelers descend upon the pristine hayfields at the Walsh Farm in Oak Hill, NY to the Greyfox Bluegrass festival. Sounds of banjo and fiddle can be heard around nearly every campsite, and even a hoot and a holler from the dance stage.


Hanging out at the festival for four days is awesome enough, but on Friday morning after the rains lifted off the fields, something even more amazing than the actual festival happened; we were greeted by fresh outreach reinforcements courtesy of the Nature Conservancy’s LEAF program.


That day, Natalie and I had the pleasure of working with Bless, Gerardo, Mike, and their summer mentor Jim who were spending a month long internship learning and working alongside Conservancy staff in the western Massachusetts.


After getting acquainted with some of the quirks of folk life, including banjos, small children busking for change with scratchy covers of “She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain” and “Sally Goodin”, flowing tie-dyed pants, men in kilts, and the infamous caravans of VW busses, we were able to convince Bless and Jim to get in the festival spirit by putting on the emerald ash borer costume.

At first they were a little nervous about spreading the Don’t Move Firewood message, but soon enough it was hard  to keep them supplied with materials to hand out because they were moving in full swing and talking to nearly everyone that passed by. Ready with extra Frisbees in hand, Mike was ready to get the message out to campers of all ages.


Thanks to the help of the entire LEAF crew, we were able to reach over 2,400 people with the message that transporting firewood can be dangerous to the health of the forests and trees.  It was welcome change to have our outreach team nearly triple in size- I wish we could keep them for all of our future festivals lined up this summer! Natalie and I really missed their energy and humor on the road to Newport Folk Festival the following weekend.


So here’s a final message to the LEAF crew: Enjoy the rest of the summer guys, and keep an eye out for Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer when you return home to Boston.  

Hunting with the Wasp Watchers of Massachusetts

Wasp catching with the Wasp Watchers of Massachusetts

by Natalie Garcia


I have never hunted anything in my life, well not until now at least. In July, the DMF team was very lucky to be able to participate in Wasp Watchers Massachusetts, a citizen scientist program that uses native wasps to monitor for signs of the emerald ash borer. I was ecstatic to run around and hunt wasps that were returning with their prey, cause who doesn’t love the thrill of the chase?

First thing Monday morning on a hot, dry, beautiful summer day, we were off and it was perfect weather for pursuing Cerceris fumipennis or the smoky-winged wasp. This small wasp loves to prey upon buprestid beetles in order to raise their young and can be key to EAB early detection. We were searching for the females, because they build their nests in dry, sandy areas and are the ones that do the actual searching for beetles to provide food to their young.


And let me tell you, these are some hard working ladies. When we arrived almost all of the nests were empty; they were already out hunting for borers and beetles. After about 30 minutes of looking at nests and becoming familiar with the wasp homes, some Cerceris began to return to their nests with their fresh prey.


I felt like I was 8 years old again. It was fascinating how many different borers we were able to collect. In a little under an hour we caught 10 beetles. Not so bad for first timers! We were even able to catch an Agrilus species borer, which is in the same family as EAB and the genus that Wasp Watchers are really interested in finding. Total score. What more could we ask for?


Fortunately, this was not the only time that we’ll be able to adventure into the Berkshires and search for these beetles. Sean and I are going to be able to survey about once a week and we will make sure to keep you posted on any exciting finds we have in the future. Can’t wait to feel the wind in my hair, with my net in my hand, while monitoring for invasive bugs!




Editor's note:

The remarkable effectiveness of wasp monitoring was underscored by the recent discovery of emerald ash borer in Connecticut by state wasp monitoring efforts. To learn more, visit this press release:


The Continental Dialogue on Non-native Forest Insects and Diseases

Did you know that the Continental Dialogue on Non-native Forest Insects and Diseases is the organization that founded Don't Move Firewood? Yup, way back in the prehistory of 2007, the Dialogue (for short) obtained the necessary funding and motivation to start the Don't Move Firewood campaign. So it is with great pleasure that we announce the Dialogue's Eighth meeting, to be held in conjunction with the 2012 Arbor Day conference in Sacramento CA. Here's the full Save The Date notice:



NOVEMBER 13, 2012

The Eighth Meeting of the Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases


Location: Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento California


Date and Time: November 13th, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Details: The meeting will be held in conjunction with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Partners in Community Forestry National Conference. Information about the Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases meeting as well as the Arbor Day Partners Conference can be found online at:


Agenda: A draft agenda will soon be shared and made available on the Dialogue’s website ( This year’s speakers will include local partners, educators, business professionals, and Dialogue members. All are welcome, and a diverse range of topics will be covered.


Updates and expert discussions on current Dialogue activities:

  • –  Healthy Urban Tree Initiative
  • – Don’t Move Firewood and Firewood Outreach Coordinating Initiative
  • – Promoting the new documentary: Trees, Pests & People
  • – Prevention Initiative
  • – How to use Social Media to slow the spread
  • – Local Successes and Experiences


Registration: To register for the Dialogue meeting, please visit the Arbor Day Foundation Partners and Community Forestry Conference site (

Fees for the one day Dialogue Annual Meeting are $150/person ($175/person after October 22, 2012). This covers all meeting costs, lunch, snacks and an evening social mixer.


For more information about the Dialogue, or to join the Dialogue, please visit: For more information regarding meeting registration, please visit the Arbor Day conference website (