From Canada to the USA?

Dear Don't Move Firewood,

I have broken pieces of 1×12 spruce that is kiln dried. It is used for building shelves, etc. It is not pressure treated, stained or painted. Can I bring it from Canada to the USA to burn as firewood?


Firewood User


Dear Firewood User,
Your question initially had me stumped, because the regulations for border crossing depend on your direction of crossing, and also what type of wood you are bringing over the border. So let's review: you are going from Canada to the USA, so we need to know the US Customs and Border Protection regulation. And spruce is a "softwood" species (like pine).


Here's your answer; it can be brought from Canada to the US if it is clearly labeled as per this excerpt from the US Customs and Border Protection Firewood FAQ

Softwood (such as spruce, pine, fir, etc.) firewood (non-commercial) must be accompanied by a treatment certificate or attached commercial treatment label declaring that the firewood was heat treated at 56 C (minimal core temperature) for 30 minutes and an inspection free from pest.


There! So, if your 1×12 spruce has heat treatment stamps, or stapled on labels that indicate that it is kiln dried (both are possible) then you should probably be OK. But if your wood is entirely unlabeled, you stand a fair chance of having it confiscated at the border, which would be a waste of wood and you might be subject to fines. Now, I sort of doubt that your scrap wood is labeled, so even though kiln dried clean scrap that was stored inside is pretty darn safe firewood, you are still subject to the regulation as written… so it might be best to just use it on site and not try to bring it over the border.


Good luck, and I hope you enjoy your trip!