Donate firewood to a wood bank

Firewood is an important source of heat for many people- and you can help neighbors in need by donating extra firewood to a local wood bank. Donating extra firewood to a wood bank is a lot better then just giving it away on the roadside. The use of firewood given to a woodbank is almost always restricted to residents of the immediate town or city, as opposed to firewood just left to take at the roadside (which might be moved hundreds of miles by the end of a single day). Keeping firewood local is the best way to prevent the movement of forest pests.

Wood banks are usually run by a group like a church, senior center, community center, power company, or local tree service. Often they are in direct cooperation with state forestry agencies, ensuring that the wood is being sourced and given away with proper respect to pest quarantine boundaries. Wood banks typically provide firewood to residents experiencing financial difficulties, such as families in need or low income senior citizens. To find out if your city, town, or county has a wood bank, search on the internet for "wood bank firewood" and then the name of your municipality and state, such as "wood bank firewood springfield missouri." Not all areas have a wood bank, so if you try a few combinations of searchs and nothing comes up, there may not be a wood bank in your region.

Here are a few quick examples of places around the country that have a woodbank:

With the coldest part of winter coming soon, consider donating any extra firewood you have on your property to your community wood bank. You will be helping your community, and by keeping your firewood use local you will also be helping trees!

Firewood from elsewhere to my neighborhood?

Dear Don't Move Firewood,

I have a neighbor cutting up trees that he brings from another location in his driveway, that he then sells as firewood. We are in the middle of town, so not only is there a lot of noise, but I am worried he's bringing emerald ash borers or other bugs into our area. Is there anything I can do to find out if there are any issues with this? (question lightly edited for clarity)

Yours, Concerned Resident

 

Dear Concerned Resident,

That sounds like an annoying, and possibly illegal, activity for a residential neighborhood. Let's address the question of "emerald ash borers or other bugs" first. Without knowing where you live, I suggest you go to our Don't Move Firewood State Summary Map (dontmovefirewood.org/map), select your state, and figure out what pests might be quarantined or otherwise regulated in your state. All the state summaries have a collection of pertinent infestation or quarantine maps at the bottom. Keep in mind that an area under quarantine often (although not always) allows for movement within the quarantine boundary. However, it is also possible that your state's regulations, town's urban forestry department, tree manager, or city parks department has stricter rules- so you'll want to call them to ask.

The separate question of noise and possibly illegal use of a residential property for this activity isn't trivial. I'm not an expert on this one, but you might be able to call your town or city's zoning department to figure out if they are doing something against the law. Best of luck!

Yours, Don't Move Firewood team

 

For more information:

 

 

Firewood from Colorado to California?

Dear Don't Move Firewood,

Can I bring Aspen firewood to California?  All the firewood was cut from dead Aspen trees in (not Boulder county) Colorado. If I can, do I need a letter showing authorization?

Yours, Concerned Coloradoan

 

Dear Concerned Coloradoan,

It is not a good idea to take Aspen firewood, or any firewood, from your land in Colorado to California. If you lived in Boulder County, it would be illegal due to the presence of the emerald ash borer federal quarantine. However, you don't- so while it is not strictly speaking illegal- it is not a good idea and poses a real risk to the trees of California. You don't need a letter, but you also shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

It is entirely possible that insects native to Colorado but not otherwise found in California could emerge and infest the trees in and around your destination in Colorado, causing problems for years to come. For instance, scientists around the West are concerned about Aspen decline, which is very poorly understood and kills aspen trees. You would not want to be the person that introduces this tree issue into the state of California! I suggest you use the Aspen firewood at or near your home in Colorado, and either cut or purchase firewood in California near where you will use it in that state.

I also posed this question to my colleagues in California and they agreed- it would be highly preferred if you made the choice to not move firewood into California from Colorado. Just because it isn't illegal, strictly speaking, does not mean it is something without significant risk to tree health.

 

Yours,

Don't Move Firewood team

 

For more information:

Firewood from Texas to New Mexico?

Dear Don't Move Firewood,

I am trying to bring oak firewood into New Mexico from Texas. Is there any legal way this is possible?

Yours, Law Abiding Texan

 

Dear Law Abiding Texan,

The answer to your question is straightforward. If you live in an Imported Fire Ant quarantined county (see map here) within the state of Texas, it is illegal to move firewood that has been stored outside on the ground into the state of New Mexico. Now, if you live in a non-quarantined county (this is some of the Western-most and Northern-most sections of Texas) it would be technically legal, but not a great idea. Moving firewood more than 50 miles is not suggested- the risk that you are moving a pest or pathogen to a new region becomes much greater with each passing mile.

 

So when would it be both legal and generally permissable to move firewood from Texas to New Mexico? If you lived on a western border county in Texas and were bringing it just to a nearby town in New Mexico. That'd be fine, as it would both be legal (not quarantined) and not too far (within roughly 50 miles).

 

Sincerely,

Don't Move Firewood staff

 

For more information, we suggest:

 

Firewood for Home Heating Infographic made by Don’t Move Firewood

Heating your home or cabin with wood is an inexpensive and efficient way to get through the cold months. Here at Don't Move Firewood, we support the use of firewood when properly sourced (locally harvested or heat treated!) and to help educate people on the topic of home heating with firewood, we've released our first in our new series of infographics: Firewood for Home Heating.

Download options: Full Resolution PDF | Low Resolution JPG for Web or Powerpoint

Looking for our Ohio specific versions? Ohio Infographic Information | Ohio Full Resolution PDF | Ohio Low Resolution JPG for Web or Powerpoint

 

We could not have made such an informative resource without the information from these excellent sources (listed by roughly three rows of content):

Top left to right:

Middle left to right:

  • The Nature Conservancy, 2010. A Survey of Pests, Pathogens, and the Public. For complete information on this survey, contact Leigh Greenwood at LGreenwood at TNC.org.
  • Diss-Torrance, A, Peterson, K, Robinson, C. 2015 Changing movement of firewood by campers: an eight year study of effect of regulation and education, in prep. Access a recent webinar covering this research on the Don't Move Firewood blog or email Andrea Diss-Torrance, Invasive Forest Insects Program Coordinator for the State of Wisconsin, for more information.

Bottom left to right:

Please note that this infographic was revised slightly in December 2015 to clarify the wording and intent of the moisture content information on the bottom right.

 

Do you love this graphic so much that you'd like to share a little piece of it on a social media account? Here are three pieces for you to choose from!

 

 

 

Emerald ash borer and firewood awareness in Boulder County, Colorado

Guest blog by Brett Stadsvold, EAB Coordinator for Boulder County Parks & Open Space, Colorado

In the dry and sunny Colorado climate, ash trees provide welcomed shade in our cities and backyards -but now those trees and the shade they provided are threatened by emerald ash borer (EAB). The invasive insect, EAB was discovered in Boulder, Colorado in September 2013 and is now presumed to be located throughout the city.  Foresters that are familiar with EAB know that once it is found in an area there is little hope for ash trees surviving the wave of ash decline without intervention.

Boulder County advertisement on the Denver RTD buses stationed in the Boulder Terminal

Most cities and towns in Boulder County have taken action to manage public ash trees, but a high percentage of the ash tree population in the county is located on private property. One of the biggest advantages agencies can gain when managing EAB is more time. In an effort to increase the time Boulder County and its cities and towns have for EAB management, agency staff are proactively educating residents on ash tree identification, private EAB plan development, and proper firewood practices.

With grant assistance from the Western IPM Center, Boulder County was able hire one dedicated staff person to attend public events and provide free EAB education for county residents. The grant also provided funding for a campaign to target property owners via direct mailers, social media, and six weeks of bus advertisements urging residents to learn how to identify ash trees and create an EAB management plan for private ash trees.

"Buy it Where You Burn it" firewood sign encouraging residents to obtain and burn local wood

Boulder County is a tourist destination for camping and recreation enthusiasts with many modern campgrounds and abundant dispersed camping areas in the surrounding mountains. Firewood often accompanies campers destined for the mountains, and we are concerned that EAB could be dispersed further as campers move with firewood across the county. In 2016, Boulder County plans to print firewood signs and work with the United States Forest Service and firewood sellers to place signage encouraging firewood users to obtain and burn firewood locally. DontMoveFirewood.org produced the digital content that will be both printed on yard signs in the National Forest Campgrounds in Boulder County, and used for a related social media campaign.

Proactive public education and outreach in multiple formats is necessary to build the local knowledge base on EAB and proper firewood practices. Boulder County thanks The Western IPM Center, DontMoveFirewood.org, and the United States Forest Service as being wonderful partners on this collaborative education effort.

Webinar: Changing Movement of Firewood by Campers, on October 21st

Join us for the 2nd edition of the 2015 FOCI webinar series, “Changing movement of firewood by campers: an eight year study of the effect of regulation and education” on October 21st, 2015 at 2pm Eastern. Learn about how Wisconsin used a combination of limited regulation and targeted persuasion to change public movement of firewood, what motivates people to move firewood (or not move firewood), and how the firewood professionals community can use this information to slow the spread of forest pests. Presentation will be led by Andrea Diss-Torrance, Invasive Forest Insects Program Coordinator with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

WEBINAR RECORDING NOW AVAILABLE: Changing movement of firewood by campers – stream recorded webinar (1hr 2min)

Note: the first 30 seconds while the webinar loads it may appear to be malfunctioning- and it gives a misleading message as if you have already watched the webinar. If you give it a minute to buffer and load, it should work well after that. Thanks for your understanding!

New threat to Hawaiian trees underscores need for prevention of spread

Guest blog by Faith Campbell with the Center for Invasive Species Prevention

The Hawaiian Islands’ remaining native forests are dominated by the ʻōhiʻa lehua tree (Metrosideros polymorpha). The tree provides nectar for the Islands’ unique honeycreepers- a subfamily of native Hawaiian birds. These birds, the Islands’ one native terrestrial mammal (Hawaiian hoary bat), and many of its endangered plant species depend on ʻōhiʻa-dominated forests. ‘Ōhi‘a also has significant cultural values to the Hawaiian people through its connection to the deities Ku, Pele (volcanoes) and Laka (hula).

‘Ōhi‘a trees on the “Big Island” (the island of Hawaii) are being killed by Ceratocystis Wilt of ‘Ōhi‘a or Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (Ceratocystis fimbriata).  First detected in 2010, the new disease had killed more than half the ʻōhiʻa lehua trees on an area totaling 6,000 acres by 2014. Another 10,000 acres had lower but still significant mortality. The infestation is approaching Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

At this time, there is no known protective treatment or cure for the disease but thankfully the disease has not yet been reported on any of the other Hawaiian Islands. Because it is not yet known exactly how the disease spreads, to protect the other islands, the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture has adopted an emergency quarantine prohibiting movement of ʻōhiʻa lehua flowers, leaves, twigs, wood (including firewood), mulch, and greenwaste, off the Big Island. To learn more about the specifics of the quarantine, visit: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/ohiaquarantine/

Forestry officials also urge people to avoid transporting wood of affected ʻōhiʻa trees to any new areas on the Big Island and to clean pruning tools, chain saws, vehicles, and shoes used off-road in infected forest areas.  People with homes at higher elevations and on the windward (wet) slopes – such as those living outside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – do have wood-burning fires, and movement of ʻōhiʻa tree firewood to these homes should be avoided as a precaution. The native forests of Hawaii have many threats to their unique trees – making the need to avoid spreading this new and damaging tree disease all the more important.

  

For more information and complete citations, please visit the Ceratocystis Wilt of ‘Ōhi‘a gallery page

Two new features in the Gallery of Pests

Don't Move Firewood, in cooperation with Faith Campbell of the Center for Invasive Species Prevention, maintains the Gallery of Pests. The Gallery of Pests is an extremely thorough look into the history, biology, and systems surrounding invasive pests that affect trees and tree-like perennial plants (such as columnar cacti) native and urban forest, desert, island, and rangeland systems in North America, Hawai'i, and the Caribbean. The Gallery is a unique resource in that its contents are thoroughly vetted and cited- and we are excited to reveal two new features to the Gallery.

The first feature is the new list of reputable web resources that has been added to the bottom of the more well-known and researched pests. For instance, the Asian longhorned beetle Gallery of Pests page includes the public eradication program's website, the USDA APHIS programmatic website, the USFS website, Canada's CFIA website, and several online outreach options. This list is not exhaustive, but rather it is selected for the most helpful, accurate, and informative resources.

The second new feature is that we have now clearly indicated all Gallery of Pests species that are either extremely unlikely, or completely unable, to be transported via the firewood vector. This include pests as varied as cactus moth, hemlock wooly adelgid, and spruce aphid. This additional information, found at the top of any Gallery of Pests entry for a species that qualifies as not transported on firewood, has been added to prevent confusion by readers of the Gallery.

Thanks for reading, and we hope this information is useful to all users of the Don't Move Firewood website!

 

 

Webinar: Introduction to Firewood Scout on August 14

Join us for a FOCI webinar, Introduction to Firewood Scout, on August 14th at noon Eastern. This webinar will focus on Firewood Scout – a website designed to help the public find local firewood, and here at Don’t Move Firewood we are working with the folks at the Southeast Michigan Resource Conservation and Development Council and the Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy’s Forest Conservation program to promote this resource and encourage new states to sign up. Currently the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, California, and Tennesse are listed- and more states are wanted!

If you are a state agency employee, federal agency employee, or non-profit professional that wishes to learn more about how your state might join the Firewood Scout effort, we’re holding a webinar on August 14th at noon Eastern just for you! The webinar will cover what Firewood Scout is, how it works (in brief non-technical terms), how the membership model works, how much it might roughly cost to participate, and how states can join. Please note while this webinar is certainly open to the public, it will be tailored to professionals in the field- not to general interest.

This webinar is now completed:

 

Thanks for your interest!

firewood scout beaver and url