We are able to get free ash tree chips from local landscapers. Most of the chips are less than 1 inch, but there are occasionally large wood chunks. Are these chips safe to use? Will we be bringing the emerald ash borer (EAB) into our yard? We do not have any ash trees, but can these insects cause harm to other plants?
Using the chips is not likely to introduce the ash borer, but it is possible. When Genesee County was outside of the EAB quarantine zone, some trees became infested near the processing plant that was burning the ash chips.
If you live outside of the quarantine zone (note that virtually all of southeastern Michigan is in the quarantine zone), do not bring in ash chips on the small chance of accidental infestation. If you live within the quarantine zone, feel free to use the chips.
So far there has been no known instances of the EAB infesting any plants other than ash trees.