Dear Don't Move Firewood,
We have firewood from Estill Springs, TN and would like to transport it to Chattanooga to use in our fireplace. It is white oak and hickory. Thank you! (editors note: edited to shorten)
Dear Fireplace User,
The state of Tennessee has several invasive forest pests and a couple different regulations at play, so I asked two local experts- Tim Phelps with the Tennessee Division of Forestry and Elizabeth Long from the University of Tennessee Extension Service – to give me formal opinions. Their quotes are below, but the super short version is this- Estill Springs to Chattanooga with oak and hickory is technically legal, but at that distance, it is really not a great idea.
And here it is, first from Tim:
“Thank you so much for helping to protect our forests by trying not to spread pests. Your attention to the Don’t Move Firewood message is very encouraging and we hope you’ll continue to help spread the word, not the bugs.
The short answer to your question is that it would best to get your firewood from a more local source. The reality is that moving firewood from an infested hill to the other side moves it that much further. It is best to try to keep it within 10 miles; 50 miles is pushing it and that’s about the distance you are looking at. That said, there are currently no state regulations for moving firewood out of Franklin Co. However, please note that if you were to move firewood from Franklin Co. into Hamilton Co., you would be restricted from transporting it back out. Hamilton Co. is currently under quarantine for Emerald Ash Borer, which kills ash trees, and buffer regulated for Thousand Cankers Disease, which kills walnut trees. Each restriction prohibits the transport of firewood outside the county line. More information on these and other forest pests of Tennessee can be found on ProtectTNForests.org.”
And then from Elizabeth:
"Officially under the Thousand Cankers Disease State of Tennessee Quarantine, moving hardwood firewood from Franklin county to Hamilton county is not illegal. The Quarantine prevents the movement of potentially infested hardwood firewood from inside the Quarantine area to (hopefully) non-infested areas outside the Quarantine area.
If the residents are absolutely sure that these trees are white oak and hickory, not black walnut, then there no risk of spreading TCD by moving the firewood as the insects and disease are primarily found infesting black walnut. The reason all hardwood firewood is regulated is that most people cannot tell hardwood tree species apart once the trees are cut into firewood.
More information on TCD and the quarantine may be found at: https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/regulatory/tcd.shtml"