As you may have already heard, the recent invasion of the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer Beetle (PSHB) in South Africa has caused concern. The PSHB Beetle can attack several species of trees, particularly those with compromised immune systems such as Box Elder, Maple, Avocado and many fruit trees. Whilst not impossible, it is unusual for the PSHB to attack the Eucalyptus (Blue gum) and Black Wattle trees as they contain a very high percentage of water which is not an ideal environment for this beetle to breed. The only species of trees our company uses for firewood production are Blue Gum and Black Wattle. Both species are alien, extremely water-greedy, invasive trees, that were earmarked by the SA Department of Agriculture in 2010 for removal where found up to 20 meters either side of any natural running water. However, even if the dead tree had been infested during its life, our production process ensures that any bugs are dead before bagging. The seasoning process of our logs is between 10-12 months. Logs are cut from the dead trees and left to “solarize” in open fields (left to the natural elements of wind, rain and sun through the seasons thus naturally removing moisture content to below 17% in our case – the optimal level for efficient combustion and vastly depleting any dangerous emissions towards air pollution). According to academic papers, the PSHB beetle can survive 6-8 weeks on dead logs, but certainly no longer. Given that our log processing takes place for over 40 weeks and far away from any living trees, any bugs that might escape the solarization process would die before finding a suitable host to reproduce.