Today's winter storms across the eastern seaboard will likely bring down trees across the region- falling onto powerlines, into backyards, and across roads. Here at Don't Move Firewood, we'd like to remind you that once those trees are safely dealt with in the short term, there might be invasive pests in the remaining logs, branches, and even leaves for the long term.
Here are a few "Do's" for properly dealing with excess tree debris after a storm:
- Cut, stack, and dry the wood for firewood on the site in which it fell. There is nothing wrong with using firewood for home heating or outdoor enjoyment as long as you use it near where it fell.
- Inquire with your municipality if they will have a storm debris program, if you have too much to deal with on your own property. Sometimes there is free wood pickup by the city or county a few weeks after the immediate storm damage is dealt with.
- Giving away firewood to a nearby neighbor is generous and does not represent a significant pest hazard. Consider sharing it locally only.
- Treat all tree debris with care. Branches and leaves can also spread pests- never dump materials! Instead, use municipal services like large scale composting or landfills.
And here are the "Don'ts" for storm debris:
- Of course, don't get anywhere near wood that might be in contact with electrical wires. Wait for the authorities to ensure your safety!
- Don't later give away the wood at the side of the road. You might know not to move firewood- but not everybody does. Only share with local acquaintances.
- Don't take the wood with you for any camping trips, or take it to your cabin in the woods. Don't move firewood!
- Don't use tree care contractors without first checking out their credentials. Use the internet or call the city better business bureau to make sure they are in compliance with state and local wood disposal certifications.
Lastly, stay safe and warm, everyone.