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:
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.
Don't Move Firewood team
For more information:
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).
Don’t Move Firewood staff
For more information, we suggest:
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:
Jacobi WR, Hardin JG, Goodrich BA, Cleaver CM, 2012. Retail firewood can transport live tree pests. Journal of Economic Entomology
Hearth, Patio, and Barbeque Association, accessed 2015
Haack RA, Petrice TR, Wiedenhoeft AC, 2010 Incidence of bark- and wood-boring insects in firewood: a survey at Michigan's Mackinac Bridge. Journal of Economic Entomology
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!