Since its accidental introduction sometime in the 1990s, the emerald ash borer has killed nearly 50 million ash trees in the United States. The Asian beetle girdles trees under their bark, essentially strangling them.
The Cook County Forest Preserve District is in the process of cutting down 9,000 infected trees, including some in Morton Grove. Trees to be eliminated are marked with a red "X."
On Wednesday I asked a forest preserve worker in Miami Woods if the wood in the bonfire he was tending was from infected ash trees, "Some of it, yes," he replied.
Transporting wood for camp fires and fireplaces expands the range of the destructive bug. Emerald ash borers don't move more than a half mile from where they are born--so picking up a stray log and bringing it home or taking it on a trip can have devastating consequences for our forests and even your own back yard. Don't do it.