• emerald ash borer adult on leaf; photo credit: NW Siegert, U.S. Forest Service

The state of New Hampshire has announced that new parameters for transporting ash logs and products made from ash are now in effect. The change comes about after infestations of emerald ash borer were detected in Grafton and Carroll counties.

The change means that ash logs, ash products and firewood transportation and processing will no longer be regulated at the county level. It is, however, critical that people understand how best to move material potentially infested with EAB within New Hampshire’s borders in order to slow its establishment in state.

Recommendations to reduce the risk of introducing EAB to new landscapes include:

  • Transporting and processing ash logs and untreated ash products within the state only between September 1 and June 1.
  • Taking ash logs to mills willing to debark them immediately any time of year.
  • From June 2 to August 31, transport only ash logs that have been verified EABfree.

It is recommended that ash firewood is either delivered only within 5 miles of the point of harvest, or that it is seasoned on-site for 12 months or more before it is transported.

EAB is a non-native beetle whose larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting their ability to transport water and nutrients, eventually killing them. Signs of infestation include ash trees whose bark has been removed by birds – called “blonding” – and s-shaped patterns under the bark.

While ash trees make up a relatively small portion of New Hampshire’s forests, they are an important part of the forest ecosystem and their loss has serious impacts on both forest health and the state’s economy. Ash trees harvested in New Hampshire are used for tool handles, baseball bats, flooring, lumber and many other woodworking applications.

The quarantine on EAB in New Hampshire was part of a multi-agency response to EAB and provided time to develop and implement other responses that were critical in slowing introduction of EAB to counties with high populations of ash trees. The response helped delay rapid EAB population growth, allowed forest managers time to focus efforts on existing EAB populations, provided time and training for municipalities and landowners to develop and implement EAB response plans, establish biological control agents, and provide training and outreach for industry, landowners and municipalities about the risks associated with EAB and tools available to manage its spread.

The quarantine on all firewood remains in effect in New Hampshire; no untreated firewood may be brought into the state. Anyone using firewood is asked to follow the “Buy it where you burn it” rule to help slow the spread of EAB and other invasives.

More information about steps that residents, visitors, municipalities and industries can take to help control the spread of EAB can be found at NHBugs.org.

photo credit: NW Siegert, U.S. Forest Service

About the N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food

The mission of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food is to support and promote agriculture and serve consumers and business for the benefit of the public health, environment and economy. For more information, visit agriculture.nh.gov.

About the N.H. Division of Forest and Lands

The Division of Forests and Lands protects and promotes the values provided by trees, forests, and natural communities. Our work is accomplished through responsible management of the state’s forested resources; by providing forest resource information and education to the public; and through the protection of these resources for the continuing benefit of the state’s citizens, visitors, and forest industry. For more information visit nhdfl.org.

About UNH Cooperative Extension

The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension (UNH Extension) improves citizen’s lives by providing research based information and non-formal education programs on topics important to the state. UNH Extension offices are located in each of N.H.’s 10 counties. UNH Extension works in four broad topic areas: Youth and Family Development, Community and Economic Development, Natural Resources and Food and Agriculture. For more information, visit extension.unh.edu.