Forest pest video

Greg Nolan

Because our hobby, obsession, addiction – wooden canoes – is so dependant on woods, this excellent video which I have just learned of, and which was made by member Mike Cavanaugh, is a “must see.”

It describes the depredation to our forests by three virulent tree pests – the Asian longhorn beetle, the emerald ash borer, and the sirex (or European) wood wasp.

Those of us who value our forests – the source of the fabric of our canoes and the environment of the rivers and lakes we paddle in – would do well to become aware of these pests and to learn what might be done to minimize their destruction.
Depredation of things wooden by pests

As one who has spent some time in the woods with Mr Cavanaugh, I can attest to his interest in the destruction of things wooden.

I had with me a rather long piece of maple (Acer saccharum) curiously shaped and especially wrought to enable me to propel a kayak with great efficiency.

Cavanaugh, in his enthusiasm for using up all the fuel (which I alone had gathered), stoked a large bonfire in a small campfire ring. The ensuing heat, light and blazing storm of flying embers was the highlight of the evening for all campers within 200 to 300 feet of our campsite -- especially those directly downwind.

It wasn't until the next morning when I examined my propulsion instrument, that I discovered -- although he claims to be an expert in all things forest, and professes to be a protector of trees, wood and such -- that Cavanaugh had indeed -- in the course of the previous evening's pyrotechnic display disguised as a warm and friedly campfire -- burned a hole in my cherished chunk of maple.

Do away with these pests we must! Or at least don't let them tend campfires.

Nice informative video. I think Maine just banned movement of firewood.

I found these critters this summer at a remote campsite in northern Maine. I feared the worst, but it turns out they are the sawyer beetle and not the asian longhorn. The sawyer beetle has one white spot just behind the head.


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Yes, they found the emerald ash borer in St paul also, it just arrived last/this year. They are a big concern as Mn has lots of ash trees and it would be impossible to do any kind of treatment.

I believe they(MN) also ask folks to not transport firewood.

The number I've heard is 900 million ash trees in Minnesota. Many ash trees were planted along city streets to replace Elms lost to Dutch Elm disease in the '70's and '80's. The DNR has signs posted around every state park imploring people not to transport firewood.

Though unrelated to canoe construction, I've also seen extensive brown mountainsides in Colorado - the pine trees falling prey to what the locals call "beetle kill" though at the moment the name of the specific predator escapes me. Not only an eyesore (and a disappointing end to perfectly good trees) but a fire danger.