An Asian Long Horned Beetle attacks a Maple tree.

Non-native insects and diseases are having a significant impact on the forests of Sleeping Bear Dunes. Insects such as emerald ash borer, Asian long horned beetle, hemlock woolly adelgid, sirex wood wasp and gypsy moth can cause mass devastation. Diseases such as oak wilt, beech bark disease, thousand cankers and many others can hide amongst healthy trees or go undetected when the death of a tree is mistakenly believed to be natural. Some of these insects and diseases are already within Lakeshore boundaries while others are knocking on our door.

Oak leaves showing symptoms of Oak Wilt:dull green or bronze leaves that appear water-soaked and have begun to wilt.
Research has shown that the majority of non-native insects and disease are moved from one location to the next by hitching a ride on firewood. Firewood usually comes from a tree that is dead, dying, or diseased-higher quality wood is used for lumber or other products. Native and non-native insects and diseases can live within dead or dying wood for a number of years. When you bring firewood to your campsite, you are also bringing the non-native insects and diseases. Once here, fungal diseases such as oak wilt are difficult if not impossible to remove from the environment: established microscopic spores spread the disease from tree to tree. For more information about invasive insects and disease check out the following websites for the most up-to-date information.

What can you do to help protect the forest of Sleeping Bear Dunes?

  • Don't move firewood! As tempting as it is to bring firewood with you, it can be infested with an insect or disease that may not be visible to the naked eye. More information may be found at
  • Purchase firewood from approved vendors when burning firewood in the Lakeshore.
  • Don't take firewood home with you. Burn it all or give it to other campers to burn on site.
  • Be aware of Federal, State and Local regulations such as quarantines.

Last updated: January 24, 2018

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