The weather has turned colder and many of us are looking for firewood to help heat our homes. The question has been asked multiple times, is it illegal to move firewood out of Butler County? The answer is yes. In an effort to protect the trees of Ohio from Thousand Canker Disease (TCD), the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) quarantined Butler County in December of 2013, which is the only county in the State known to have TCD. The quarantine regulates the transportation of walnut tree products and firewood.
Citizens that use firewood are urged to utilize local sources. A shining light for firewood users (but heart breaking for owners of ash trees) is that firewood may not be too hard to find since many of our ash (Genus = Fraxinus) trees are now dead and dying as a result of the emerald ash borer. Ash makes excellent firewood because it seasons very quickly and burns well even when it is green.
So what is TCD? TCD is caused when Walnut Twig Beetles, which carry a fungus, bore into the branches and trunk tissue of walnut trees. The tree suffers repeated infections caused by the fungus and eventually dies. There is no known cure for TCD. The disease was first found in Colorado in 2003 and has since been detected in other states.
The quarantine prohibits anyone from removing regulated materials from Butler County. Regulated materials include walnut nursery stock, unprocessed walnut lumber, or any other walnut material, such as logs, stumps, roots, branches, mulch, wood chips, and any hardwood firewood.
The quarantine does not apply to nuts, nut meats, hulls, processed lumber (bark-free and kiln-dried) and finished wood products without bark, such as walnut furniture, instruments and gun stocks.
Landowners and homeowners are strongly encouraged to watch for signs of TCD on their walnut trees. Symptoms of TCD vary, but commonly include thinning crowns, yellowing or wilted leaves in the crown and limbs that died recently.
To see ODA’s press release in its entirety go to: http://www.agri.ohio.gov/public_docs/news/2013/12.20.13%20Butler%20County%20TCD%20Quarantine.pdf
The Ohio State University Extension Factsheet can be viewed at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/3000/pdf/HYG_3313_13.pdf
For more information on TCD, visit www.thousandcankers.com or call OSU Extension, Butler County at (513) 887-3722, or in Middletown call (513) 424-5351, ext. #3722. For up-to-date OSUE, Butler County program information, check out our website at: www.butler.osu.edu.
News Release provided by Cindy Meyer.