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06/24/2013 12:32 PM
Posted by: L. Greenwood

Dear Don't Move Firewood,

I live in Missouri and I camp often. Is it ok to use lumber without bark?


Concerned Camper


Dear Concerned Camper,

What a deceptively complicated question- and a good one to ask. Lumber (I assume you mean cut firewood, not construction lumber here) without bark is indeed a bit less likely to contain bark dwelling insects, or insects that burrow between the bark and the heartwood (like emerald ash borer). But it is NOT safe 100%, and thus it often violates state or federal quarantines regardless of what part of the tree that an insect might prefer. Firewood without bark is not OK to transport from a practical, and often legal, perspective.


I found this nice brochure on the specifics of emerald ash borer in Missouri. From there, you can learn about one pest in Missouri- but there are others, like thousand cankers disease, that also spread on firewood (and in the heartwood, so de-barking doesn't help at all) and are also a big threat.


Verdict? Not a good idea. Please either keep firewood local, or buy it near your destination. Thanks for asking.



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