Firewood diseases can cause severe damage to national forests, state parks or even your own backyard.
To help control the spread of unwanted diseases......Don't move firewood!
Why is it so important not to move firewood?
It's unlikely a pest or invasive species will travel hundreds on miles on their own.
Small insects travel vast distances buy using us as their means of transportation. Whether it's by car, boat or train chances are we helped them get there.
By moving firewood to distant cities, forests or campgrounds we are only helping these destructive pests find a new home.
Most experts agree moving firewood about 10 miles is okay and should be fairly safe. However, moving firewood 50 miles is not okay and many states have passed laws restricting the movement of firewood over these distances.
How can I find out about my states law's about moving firewood?
Contact your local Department of Natural Resources or Federal Forestry Office to inquire about laws, restrictions or quarantines in your area.
Because the laws and regulations can vary from state to state, it's important to educate yourself before you decide to move any type of firewood.
No, just because you can't see the insect or pest doesn't mean the wood is safe to move.
Most insect larvae are small....too small to see by just looking at the outside of a piece of wood.
Insects or larvae can be hidden inside the wood making it appear pest free.
Don't be fooled by the outside appearance of firewood.
An invasive or exotic pest can be extremely destructive to our local forests. Throughout thousands of years our local forests have adapted naturally to help fight against disease.
Natural predators also feed on pests to help keep their numbers in balance and prevent them from becoming out of control. An invasive species has no natural predators and the trees have no natural defense, allowing the pest to roam freely and reproduce at an alarming rate.
Would you like to know about what pests are in your area? Look here for State-by-State Information.
Here are some common firewood pests and firewood diseases:
Emerald Ash Borer - Responsible for killing millions of ash trees, the EAB is a small 1/2 long metallic green insect originating from Asia.
Beech Bark Disease - Caused when a beech scale insect attacks the bark of the beech tree leaving a wound. The wound allows fungi to enter the tree eventually causing it to die.
Oak Wilt - A fungal disease that can quickly kill an oak tree. The fungus is spread through insects or connections through tree roots. Oak wilt can spread quickly, killing many oak trees in one season.
Dutch Elm Disease - Spread by the elm bark beetle, the disease is first noticed when the trees branches begin to wilt, spreading to major branches and eventually killing the entire tree.
To help prevent the spread of pests and disease follow these simple steps:
- Going camping or hunting? Leave your firewood at home and buy it locally when you arrive at your destination.
- Leave any unused firewood behind. Don't take it home with you.
- Cut firewood close to home.
- Help educate others about the dangers of moving firewood.