USDA Forest Service

Forest Health Protection, Southern Region

Forest Service Headquarters
FHP Headquarters
Southern Region
State and Private Forestry
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USDA Forest Service
Forest Health Protection
Region 8
1720 Peachtree Road, NW
Room 816 N
Atlanta, GA 30309

Phone: (404) 347-7478
Fax: (404) 347-1880


Laurel Wilt

Don't Move Firewood

Protect our National Forests from Invasive Insects and Diseases

Asian Longhorned Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, and Sirex Woodwasp

When camping on the National Forest, please get your firewood from available sources provided on the forest or a vendor close to your destination. Don't pack your own! Invasive insects and diseases in firewood threaten our native trees and forests. If you move firewood, you could be giving these pests a free ride to new territory.

Our forests are severely threatened by non-native insects and diseases that can eliminate entire species of forest trees. Recently introduced insects and diseases such as emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, Sirex woodwasp, and laurel wilt are wood-infesting species that can and are being transported long distances in firewood. Other non-native pests such as Burning firewoodhemlock woolly adelgid, gypsy moth, thousand-cankers disease, Dutch elm disease, oak wilt, beech bark disease, and sudden oak death may also be moved to new areas in firewood. Once transported into new areas, these pests can become established and kill local trees. We must all do our part to stop the spread of these invasive pests and protect our forests and trees.

How You Can Help...

  • Leave firewood at home - do not transport it to campgrounds or parks.
  • Use firewood from local sources.
  • If you have moved firewood, burn all of it before leaving your campsite.



Follow these links for more information:

Laurel Wilt

[ Click images for larger version ]


  • First detected at Port Wentworth, GA in 2002; has since been located in SC, FL, and MS
  • Laurel wilt is transmitted to its host by the insect vector Redbay Ambrosia Beetle

Photo: Ronald F. Billings, Texas Forest Service


  • Laurel wilt is a vascular wilt pathogen that distrupts water and nutrient movement, susequently killing the host
  • Susceptible hosts are most species in the Lauracea family including: redbay, pondspice, pondberry, sasafras, and avacado

Photo: Albert (Bud) Mayfield, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services


  • Symptoms on infection on redbay trees include limb flagging and entire crown fading once the wilt fungus has blocked sap flow
  • Normally evergreen, infected Redbay trees may retain dead foliage for up to two years with initial leaf coloration a bright red fading to dull brown with age

Photo: Paul Merten, USDA Forest Service


For more information:




USDA Forest Service - Forest Health Protection, Southern Region
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:18:28 CST

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