Moving firewood can spread the Emerald Ash Borer

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — If you choose to use your fireplace in these colder months, where you purchase your firewood is important.

One of the main ways the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive species that attacks ash trees, has been spread throughout the state is by the movement of firewood.

"It is throughout the area, and it has been found in most counties throughout the state," said Jason Cooper, a Virginia Cooperative Extension Horticulturist. "I would be very cautious if you have ash trees on your property or if you have ash trees around. Do not bring firewood from other areas because it could be very possible that you could bring the borer with it."

Ash wood is common for burning, and it is safe to burn borer infested wood of a dying tree, as long as it is not moved from your home.

"Your own self, yes, use it," Cooper said. "Just do not move the firewood, especially towards, say, taking it camping in the national forest or issues like that. Just do not move the firewood."

Cooper says if you believe a tree on your property may be affected, call a local arborist quickly, because you may be able to treat the infestation or stop the spread to other ash trees.