Where can I donate firewood?

It is that time of year again, when people are taking down dead trees as part of summer property maintenance and then they ask us…

Dear Don’t Move Firewood,

Is there a place I can donate my wood in the Rockford, Ilinois area? / Is there anyone in the San Francisco, CA area that takes firewood donations? / I live in Fort Washington MD and I have firewood I want to donate. Where can I go?

Sincerely, 

Three Well Meaning Firewood Owners

Dear TWMFOs,

Every single town and area is different, so it is best to “let your fingers do the walking” as the old phone book ads used to say. Once you’ve positively confirmed that moving firewood in your area is legal in the first place using our Firewood Regulations Summary Map, I suggest the following:

  • Call up local food banks and ask if they take firewood donations
  • Call local churches or other types of aid organizations and ask if they take firewood donations
  • Use internet searches for the word “wood bank” and the names of towns in your immediate vicinity (i.e. Springfield Wood Bank, etc) to see if there is any mention of a wood bank anywhere near you.

Thanks for having good intentions with that extra firewood!

You might also want to read these archived blogs:

Editor’s Note: we edit, shorten, and make anonymous all Dear Don’t Move Firewood entries- but they are all derived from real emails or Facebook posts!

Burning Poles as an Idea

Dear Don’t Move Firewood,

Can we burn scrap utility power poles in campgrounds? Of course, these would be nail/screws/plate free, just wood.

Sincerely, 

Scrappy Idea

Dear Scrappy Idea,

Wood utility poles are nearly always heavily treated with one or several preservative chemicals to prevent rot and insect infestation. The chemicals that are most common in North America are pentachlorophenol, chromated copper arsenate, copper naphthenate, creosote, and ammoniacal copper zinc arsenate. These preservatives include heavy metals and other hazardous chemicals – and therefore this potential wood source would be very hazardous both to your health, and to air quality, to burn in a campfire, fire pit, or wood stove setting. I would highly urge you to find another source of wood for campfires, whether that’s gathering wood near your campsite when permitted, or purchasing local firewood.

Thank you for asking!

Editor’s Note: we edit, shorten, and make anonymous all Dear Don’t Move Firewood entries- but they are all derived from real emails or Facebook posts! 

Burning a fallen ash tree

Dear Don’t Move Firewood,

Our ash tree fell in a storm. We know about not using it for firewood or transporting it, but what can we do? It is a 20 year old tree that was 20 foot tall. Thanks.

Yours,

Hopeful Tree Reuser

Dear Hopeful Tree Reuser,

You are welcome to use your ash tree for firewood if you are burning it in the immediate vicinity of where the tree grew- whether in your own woodstove, your patio fire pit, or even your next door neighbor’s wood stove, too. The problem with ash trees and moving firewood is when you move the wood miles and miles away from where the tree grew, but burning it locally is fine. Please note, without knowing exactly where you live, I can’t say for sure that moving this wood off your own property is legal- so do check on local regulations if you intend to move the wood past your own property line, just to be safe. Regulations vary greatly across the country and even sometimes between cities.

The main practical alternative to burning it as firewood would be chipping it up into mulch. You can often rent chippers, or get a landscaping company to do this for a fee. Another idea is that if your area has municipal composting, you can bring it there to be chipped and turned into fresh soil. And last but not least, if the tree is in a place where it isn’t bothering anybody, you can just leave it there. Of course, that only makes sense if you have a large property, but it is an option!

Oh, and one last thing to keep in mind- if you believe your tree is/was infested with emerald ash borer, and you’d like to minimize the chance that the fallen tree allows more beetles to emerge this year, you should dispose of it as soon as possible.

Thank you for asking!

For more information, please visit:

Editor’s Note: we edit, shorten, and make anonymous all Dear Don’t Move Firewood entries- but they are all derived from real emails or Facebook posts! 

Free Downloads for Tree Check Month 2018

August is Tree Check Month! Everyone is encouraged to take 10 minutes to check their trees for signs of the Asian longhorned beetle. To help you learn about the beetle, or to provide materials for your outreach needs, we’ve rounded up all the best free resources that we could find! This list will be updated throughout the summer of 2018 as new materials are found or created!

Infographics and Handouts:

Fun Outreach Items for Kids:

Template text to paste into outreach statements:

  • Report findings by calling 1-866-702-9938 or completing an online form at www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com
  • (Your organization can help by encouraging the public to check / You can help by checking) trees for signs of the Asian longhorned beetle in August. Look for round exit holes, shallow scars in the bark, sawdust-like material on or around tree, and the beetle itself.

Blogs and News Releases:

Social Media Tips:

Educational Videos:

General Information:

Rules for moving firewood within Florida

Dear Don’t Move Firewood,

Can firewood be transported inside the state of Florida for approximately 450 miles?

Sincerely, 

Floridian

Dear Floridian,

Within the state of Florida, multiple state authorities highly encourage that everyone uses local sources of firewood- and local is define as cut/harvested within 50 miles of where it will be used. This recommendation is in place to prevent the movement of pests within Florida, such as laurel wilt disease, imported fire ant, giant African snail, and others. The answer to your question it therefore that while it is not illegal to move firewood 450 miles within Florida, it is very highly discouraged. Instead, we advise buying or harvesting firewood within 50 miles of your destination, to minimize the chances of moving invasive insects and diseases. Thank you for asking!

For more information, please visit:

Editor’s Note: we edit, shorten, and make anonymous all Dear Don’t Move Firewood entries- but they are all derived from real emails or Facebook posts! 

Bringing Firewood into Mount Rainier National Park?

Dear Don’t Move Firewood

Can we bring our own firewood to Cougar Rock campground in Mount Rainier National Park? Thanks.

Sincerely,

Upcoming Washington Camper

Dear Upcoming Washington Camper,

Yes, it looks like Cougar Rock Campground in Mount Rainier National Park allows you to bring your own firewood- but they highly recommend it was gathered or purchased within 50 miles of the park. The park itself prohibits collecting firewood within the boundaries, so bringing in local firewood is going to be the best option for sure. Washington state as a whole recommends buying or gathering firewood locally, and not bringing in wood from out of state- so if you are traveling to the park from Oregon, Idaho, or elsewhere, please make sure to buy firewood once you reach the area of Mount Rainier!

TL/DR the answer to your question is that if you are bringing in your own local firewood from a local source, that’s fine- but please don’t bring in firewood from more than 50 miles away.

For more information, please visit:

Editor’s Note: we edit, shorten, and make anonymous all Dear Don’t Move Firewood entries- but they are all derived from real emails or Facebook posts! 

Processed log firewood to Kings Canyon?

Dear Don’t Move Firewood,

I’m bringing my son to Kings Canyon National Park to camp pretty soon. I’m trying to figure if the (brand removed “fake” firewood) logs are OK for us to bring. I understand your policy doesn’t permit you to endorse products but I’m not asking for that. I’m just trying to make sure I line up everything as needed before we set off for our 2nd camping trip of our lives 🙂 Thank you so much.

Yours, 

Upcoming Camper

Dear Upcoming Camper,

All the pre-packaged compressed wood products that I’ve seen on the market are typically fine to bring into campgrounds. I have never seen them prohibited, and certainly to the very best of my knowledge they are fine in Kings Canyon National Park. You should be totally good to go!

For more information on these products and the Don’t Move Firewood opinion on “fake” firewood, see the following archived blogs.

Editor’s Note: we edit, shorten, and make anonymous all Dear Don’t Move Firewood entries- but they are all derived from real emails or Facebook posts!

Top 5 Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week Ideas for 2018

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle that infests and kills ash trees in North America. Right now, the EAB is found across most of the Central and Eastern US, as well as increasingly the Great Plains and Southeastern states. Once a tree has been infested with emerald ash borer for several years, it is very difficult to save that particular tree- but if caught early enough, ash trees in yards, parks, and streets can usually be successfully treated and protected. To help your community successfully find emerald ash borer infestations before they get so severe that they cannot be treated, we need your help!

During Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (May 20th to 26th, 2018) everyone is encouraged to take a few minutes to learn about the signs and symptoms of emerald ash borer infestation on ash trees, so that the infestations can be better managed by local tree professionals and foresters.

Here are our Top Five Resources for Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week!

  1. Check out this short and awesome video on how to identify ash trees and damage from the emerald ash borer: Emerald Ash Borer ID Video
  2. Do you need some more technical handouts? Check out the great reference list here at EmeraldAshBorer.info under “How to Identify EAB” 
  3. Looking for kid friendly EAB resources like a coloring page or a bug mask? Look through our awesome “For Kids” page! 
  4. Want something quick to download for a social media account? Here’s a fun banner that works well for Facebook, Twitter, and more: 
  5. Or do you just want it all? Take a look at our Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week Toolkit, where we list all the Resources that we think can help you make it a successful week.

If you think you have found signs of emerald ash borer on your ash tree, click here to learn about how to report it in your state.

The best way to slow the spread of emerald ash borer and other forest pests is avoid moving firewood long distances. Instead, buy local firewood, buy heat treated certified firewood, or gather firewood on site when permitted.

 

(image credit for EAB image used in Facebook Advertisement, Spring 2018: Steven Valley, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org Image 5445431)

Scrap lumber for firewood in the West

Dear Don’t Move Firewood,

What about scrap lumber, 2x4s and such? Since the original lumber is moved around the country before I buy it at the lumber yard, it doesn’t seem that restricting its movement could have any impact on the pest problem. Can I safely carry around a box of 2×4 scraps to use as kindling….and obtain “real” wood at the site? Would California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Colorado have any problem with that?

Yours,

Thifty Lumber Saver

Dear Thrifty,

Scrap 2×4 lumber (or similar) that has been stored in a clean and dry indoor location- to prevent infestation from insects or soil after the lumber was cut- is typically fine to use, and generally not prohibited by the states you listed. The only exception that is worth noting is that some campgrounds prohibit the use of scrap lumber because of safety risk to their workers of nails, brackets, strongties, etc being left in fire pits. Check ahead of time, just in case that’s the case.

For more information on this topic, please visit:

Editor’s Note: we edit, shorten, and make anonymous all Dear Don’t Move Firewood entries- but they are all derived from real emails or Facebook posts!

From Texas to New Mexico

Dear Don’t Move Firewood,

Could you please provide information on buying wood in NM? I’m traveling from Texas to a campground in New Mexico, and if I get pulled over by police, how are they going to know the wood we have attached to our RV was purchased in NM and is legal? Are there specific requirements regarding the purchase I need to have on hand to document the wood is legal? Thanks for your help.

Sincerely, 

RVing into the Land of Enchantment

Dear RVer,

The enforcement of firewood regulations in your area (Texas and New Mexico) relies almost entirely on stated origin- that is to say, if you say “I bought all this in New Mexico” then any enforcing officer would be expected take you at your word. Now, if you are concerned about this process- and I understand you may be- just keep the receipts for the purchase if possible. That is by far the easiest and simplest solution. Then, in the very unlikely chance you run into a problem, you have paperwork to help you out.

Thank you for your diligence and have a great time in New Mexico!

For more information, please visit:

Editor’s Note: we edit, shorten, and make anonymous all Dear Don’t Move Firewood entries- but they are all derived from real emails or Facebook posts!