BALTIMORE - Baltimore officials have implemented a 185-square-mile lumber quarantine in the city and the surrounding area.
The quarantine, which prevents the movement of walnut and hardwood firewood, was prompted by the spread of thousand cankers disease, which primarily affects and kills black walnut trees.
Thousand cankers is spread by fungus-carrying beetles, which tunnel through walnut bark and cause small cankers - slowly starving a tree of nutrients. The beetles, dark brown and about the size of a poppy seed, are extremely difficult to detect. As more beetles attack, cankers increase, slowly starving the tree of nutrients, killing it within 10 years of initial infestation.
The quarantine is pretty extensive - covering nursery stock, budwood, scionwood, green lumber and firewood. It applies to material that is living, dead, cut or fallen, including stumps, roots, branches, mulch and composted and un-composted chips. And because hardwood firewood species are hard to distinguish, all of it is quarantined.
Processed lumber and finished wood products without bark are exempt, according to the news release. Failure to comply will result in criminal or civil penalties.
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