In recognition of next week’s Emerald Ash Borer Awareness
week, Louisville Slugger and The Nature Conservancy are teaming up to encourage
the public to learn how to spot the signs of the emerald ash borer and take simple steps to help avoid the spread of this
damaging foreign pest. 

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a small green beetle
destructive to all ash trees, including northern white ash, the wood of choice
for baseball bats.  Often the damage these beetles do is far more apparent
than the beetles themselves: ash trees with nearly leafless tops and odd leafy
sprouts at the base of the tree.

While no one can say for certain when the EAB arrived in the U.S., it was first
discovered in southeastern Michigan in 2002.  It has since spread to at
least 14 states and 2 Canadian provinces, including Pennsylvania and New York,
the ‘sweet spot for growing the
highest-quality ash trees for baseball bats.  Millions of trees are being
lost to this devastating insect.

As many new infestations are found near campgrounds or parks, the direct result of the emerald ash borer being accidentally
transported on firewood, Louisville Slugger and The Nature
Conservancy are asking the
public not to move firewood from one location
to another during this upcoming camping season.  People can get tips and
watch fun videos on how to avoid spreading EAB by visiting The Nature
Conservancy‘s Dont Move Firewood website,

Foreign invasive species, such as the
emerald ash borer, cause billions of dollars worth of damage to the U.S.
economy each year, said Terry Cook, Director of The
Nature Conservancy in Kentucky. EAB is
indiscriminate in that it attacks and kills all species of ash trees. 
This includes ash that have been planted urban landscapes and those living
naturally in our national parks and forests.  It can drastically alter the
ecology of a forest and devastate industries that rely on ash for many consumer

Louisville Slugger‘s timber division is working closely
with the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, the state department of
agriculture in Pennsylvania and other states to monitor the situation as these
government agencies try to stop the emerald ash borers
spread.  By not
moving firewood, respecting state regulations on
moving timber, and staying alert to dead and dying ash trees, members of the
public can make a difference.

“Louisville Slugger has been making ash baseball bats
for 127 years, said the company‘s VP of Corporate Communications Rick Redman. “Weve made bats
for the greatest players in history, from Babe Ruth to Jackie Robinson, from
Roberto Clemente to Cal Ripken Jr., and for stars of today like A-Rod, Derek
Jeter, and Joey Votto, to name just a few.  As the Official Bat Supplier
for Major League Baseball, Louisville Slugger is committed to providing the
highest quality wood to MLB players for decades to come. The
assistance were getting from state and federal
agencies and the public to slow the spread of the EAB is helping ensure we can
do that.

Louisville Slugger is confident that it will find alternative sources of timber
for MLB bats in the event the worst case scenario would become reality: the
destruction of northern white ash trees in the Pennsylvania/New York border