Chasing after the eclipse? Leave tree pests behind…

On Monday April 8th 2024, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible in a roughly 115 mile wide swath (called the path of totality) crossing North America as it passes over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Millions of travelers are expected to camp out over the weekend so they can be in the best viewing area on Monday to see the amazing spectacle of a complete solar eclipse. The Nature Conservancy is asking everyone that plans to use firewood for the solar eclipse celebration weekend to buy local firewood near their destination, bring packaged certified heat-treated firewood, or gather their firewood responsibly on site if permitted by the campground or landowner.

“Make smart choices for your solar eclipse party; drink plenty of water, bring extra solar eclipse glasses, and buy or collect local firewood.” says Leigh Greenwood, Don’t Move Firewood campaign manager for The Nature Conservancy. “Your firewood choices during this solar eclipse celebration can prevent the spread of forest insects and diseases like the emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, spongy moth, and others on potentially infested wood.”

The path of the eclipse will cross into North America starting in Mexico, enter into the United States in Texas, and traveling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Some parts of Tennessee and Michigan will experience the total solar eclipse as well. State and federal agencies in these areas are preparing to welcome hundreds of thousands of additional tourists arriving just prior to the eclipse. Many of these states have regulations that affect the movement of firewood either INTO their states (to protect against new pest introductions) or OUT of their states (to prevent the further spread of existent pest infestations).

A prime example of a hitchhike pest that could easily spread as people travel out of quarantined areas is the spotted lanternfly. See the pictures below to compare the path of totality with a map of known infestation. Spotted lanternfly eggs blend in incredibly well with things like firewood.

Screenshot of NASA’s Eclipse Explorer. Visit
Reported spotted lanternfly distribution.
Spotted lanternfly egg masses on stump.

Many states and provinces in the path of the eclipse have regulations on the movement of firewood, with rules varying greatly according to local jurisdictions and pest situations. Some states, parks, and campgrounds prohibit the entry of outside firewood unless it is packaged with a certified stamp of heat treatment. Call ahead to check on your specific campground, or find state and federal regulations at the Don’t Move Firewood map, found at

Following are tips from the Don’t Move Firewood campaign:

  • Get your firewood as near as possible to where you will burn it!
  • The trees cut for firewood in your backyard or town often died due to insects or diseases. Don’t spread pests such as the emerald ash borer – don’t move firewood. Instead, buy it where you’ll burn it, buy certified heat treated firewood, or gather firewood on site if permitted.
  • Aged or seasoned wood is not considered safe to move, as some pests can infest stacked firewood at any time. Certified heat treated bundled firewood is a safer option if you must transport firewood.
  • Firewood cannot be deemed safe just by looking at it. Even firewood that looks “clean” could still harbor tiny insect eggs or microscopic fungal spores that could start a new and deadly infestation of forest pests.
  • Tell your friends and others about the risks of moving firewood – no one wants to be responsible for starting a new pest infestation.

For more information on the 2024 solar eclipse, see here:

For DMF digital graphics with eclipse art:


NOTE TO OUR PARTNERS IN FIREWOOD EDUCATION: This blog was written with the express intent of providing ideas and quotes that you can use in your own outreach efforts. You are free to use portions of this blog for your own needs in firewood education. Please do not alter any part of the three direct quotes without prior written permission. Please refer to the Don’t Move Firewood campaign in your release, and include either,, or as a reference. If you have questions about attribution, please email the Don’t Move Firewood staff via our Contact Us page.


WEBINAR: More Bugs are Coming

Mark your calendars for the upcoming webinar “More Bugs are Coming… What this means for your trees and what you can do about it!” on Wednesday, September 13th from 4PM to 5PM EDT. This webinar will discuss forest pest impacts in urban areas- which are some of the first places that forest pests usually establish and infest. Don’t Move Firewood’s team is promoting this webinar opportunity because firewood from urban and suburban backyards is at particularly high risk of containing forest pests for this exact reason- and it’s great to hear the other end of the conversation on what these pests mean to people and nature around cities, towns, and parks.

More Bugs are Coming… What this means for your trees and what you can do about it!

Wednesday, September 13th from 4PM to 5PM EDT.

Register via Zoom here: 

In just over two decades, the emerald ash borer has dealt a devastating blow to ash trees in our nation’s forests – in cities and beyond. New research suggests that as the climate changes, threats to trees like EAB will only increase. The Nature Conservancy will host an hour-long webinar about the future of insect and pathogen treats to trees, featuring guest researcher Emma J. Hudgins, a Lecturer at the University of Melbourne and author of the recent paper “Urban tree deaths from invasive alien forest insects in the United States, 2020- 2050.” Emma will present her work in collaboration with USDA Forest Service researchers on projections of tree mortality, the potential costs, and the cities at risk from invasive alien forest insects across the USA. The Nature Conservancy’s Asia Mae Somboonlakana, coordinator of Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities (HTHC), will share how tools like HTHC can be used by tree care professionals and civic ecologists alike to help get ahead of the next worst threat to our trees and forests by checking these trees for common signs and symptoms of known and unknown invasive alien forest insects in your community.

Shareable Flyer here: TreeInsectsWebinarFlyer

Webinar: New Date for Meet the Firewood Team

We have rescheduled our Meet the Don’t Move Firewood Team webinar for April 6th at 11am Mountain Time (1pm Eastern).

It’s a busy time of year for invasive species awareness. The last full week of February this year was National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW); International Day of Forests is March 21, and Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month is April. Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week and PlayCleanGo Week are right around the corner as well. In light of the events associated with these campaigns, here at Don’t Move Firewood, we thought it’d be great time to reach out with one of our popular Meet the Don’t Move Firewood Team webinars! We’ll discuss our education and outreach efforts- what the campaign does, why it’s important, how you can access our many resources, and what we’ve got to offer both the everyday firewood user as well as professionals in the field of forest health. And since the world of firewood regulations and outreach is an ever-changing landscape, we’ll be sure to go over our annual review of the nationally relevant Firewood Comparison Report to discuss updates since its publication early last year.

So tell your colleagues, tell your friends – let’s talk firewood!

UPDATE: thank you to all who participated in our Meeth the Firewood Team webinar!

Access the recording of this webinar on YouTube:

Click here to access the pdf version of the Power Point: DMF-TNC_Webinar_April6_2023

WEBINAR: Meet the Don’t Move Firewood Team for NISAW

National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is February 20-26th 2023, and here at Don’t Move Firewood we thought it’d be great to celebrate with one of our popular Meet the Don’t Move Firewood Team webinars! We’ll discuss our education and outreach efforts- what the campaign does, why it’s important, how you can access our many resources, and what we’ve got to offer both the everyday firewood user as well as professionals in the field of forest health.

UPDATE, WE HAVE POSTPONED this informative hour of talking about the Don’t Move Firewood Campaign! We will reschedule to April 2023. Stay tuned, and apologies for the inconvenience. The new date and time will be posted here once selected.

WEBINAR: Meet the Don’t Move Firewood Team

Check out a free FOCI webinar recording, Meet the Don’t Move Firewood Team. This October (a.k.a. Firewood Month!), we conducted three informal and interactive presentations on firewood outreach, resources, reporting, and opportunities for anyone who wants to better understand this work. We discussed our education and outreach efforts- what the campaign does, why it’s important, how you can access our many resources, and what we’ve got to offer both the everyday firewood user as well as professionals in the field of forest health.

We recorded two out of the the three webinars-  one on October 13th 2022 and another on October 27th.

  • The first (10/13/2022) recorded presentation is available here:
  • The second (10/27/2022) recorded presentation can be found here:
  • View the PowerPoint slides for the 10/13 or 10/27 Meet Don’t Move Firewood presentation.
  • Access the Firewood Comparison Report as well as the press release for the Solano et al (2022) publication “Strategies identified for successful outreach to reduce the spread of forest pests on firewood.” Both of these documents were discussed during the live presentations on 10/13/2022 and 10/27/2022.

campfire in a fire pan with don't move firewood logo

News Release: Strategies Identified for Successful Outreach to Reduce the Spread of Forest Pests on Firewood

Press Release for August 1, 2022
Contact: Angelica Solano:

Collaborative study determines effective messengers, language choices, and modes of delivery for disseminating educational information on how firewood choices can impact forest health.

A recent study done in collaboration between The Nature Conservancy’s Don’t Move Firewood campaign and researchers from Clemson University showed that most people in the United States don’t know firewood can harbor invasive forest insects and diseases, but when targeted education materials are used effectively, they can learn and are likely to change their behavior. Researchers analyzed data from five surveys conducted from 2005 to 2016 to investigate what outreach on the firewood pathway can accomplish, and what are the most effective messengers and methods when educating the public on invasive pests and forest health.

The study showed less than half of the public (39%) said they have heard or seen firewood messaging and less than a quarter (19%) were aware of state laws or firewood regulations. Angelica Solano, lead author of the recent study published in Biological Invasions, said “we got feedback directly from the public on how to communicate better with them about insects and diseases spreading through firewood. We found that while the Don’t Move Firewood campaign and its partners have demonstrably increased the public’s awareness, there’s a strong need for continued and improved collaborative outreach efforts via effective modes, messengers, language choices, and message framing.”

Findings from the study suggest that the two best ways to reach the public with firewood educational messages are through campsite reservation confirmation emails and flyers handed out at parks. Additionally, the results of the study indicate that people trust forestry-related public agencies the most to learn about forest health issues.

Combining both pre-visit digital messaging with physical outreach materials when a visitor arrives improves the likelihood that the public will encounter and incorporate safer firewood behaviors over time. As Solano states, “conveying information directly to the public in ways that they will pay attention to, rather than having them look for the information, should improve message delivery.”

For all types of outreach materials, success hinges on effective phrasing to generate attention, and a positive framing was found to be most effective. As Solano said, “messages should focus on encouraging the public to make better choices, including how they will benefit from such choices. Using clear examples and language that encourage a positive call to action or ‘promotion’ rather than a reactive or ‘prevention’ approach, should be the first choice by outreach professionals.”

Finally, outreach campaigns focused on invasive species and forest health are wise to collaborate with state agencies to coordinate educational outreach efforts. Forestry-related public agencies, including both state and federal forest professionals, are the most likely to be trusted and heard. According to Solano, “Outreach groups like non-profits, universities, and others that partner with trusted state and federal forest agencies will improve their message delivery, which in turn increases awareness.”

Awareness Increased over Time from Firewood Education Campaigns

Results of the study show that more than a decade of dedicated efforts by firewood educational campaigns like Don’t Move Firewood have led not only to increased awareness, but increased concern over the spread of harmful insects and pathogens via the firewood pathway.

“It’s great to see confirmation that our messages and outreach techniques are working- and it’s wonderful to have solid direction on where there is room for improvement,” said Leigh Greenwood, The Nature Conservancy’s Don’t Move Firewood program director. “Outreach needs to change with the times, so that we can reach people in the most effective ways possible. This study gives us the information we need to protect trees and forests from the pests that travel on the firewood pathway.”

To access the study in Biological Invasions, visit:
Solano, A., Rodriguez, S.L., Greenwood, L., Rosopa, P.J., and Coyle, D.R. 2022. Achieving effective outreach for invasive species: firewood case studies from 2005-2016. Biological Invasions.

To access the study via Springer Nature SharedIt, visit:

To request a copy of this study from the author, contact the lead author at

To learn more about Don’t Move Firewood and the ways you can help prevent the spread of harmful forest pests and diseases please visit

To download a pdf version of this press release click here: Solano 2022 press_release_FINAL

Free Downloads for Tree Check Month 2022

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!

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
  • (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.

Past blogs and News Releases:

Social Media Tips:

Educational Videos:

General Information:

Highlights: States with Excellent Firewood Outreach

We want to recognize the excellent efforts shown by the following states- each of which provide great examples of consistency and thoroughness in their outreach on firewood and forest health!

An online outreach environment integrated across different state agencies and jurisdictions greatly increases the chance visitors will encounter important information on invasive species as they relate to forest health and the firewood pathway. This year we undertook the meticulous task of hunting through the internet in search of firewood outreach for every US state and territory across the following four key metrics: 1) state agency (non-parks) site, 2) cooperative extension site, 3) state lands/parks management site, and 4) recommendations found during the booking process for reserving a state parks campsite.

Out of the 50 US states and 5 territories, we’ve chosen some of the best online outreach examples among four states to highlight their excellent online firewood outreach. Easily accessible information as well as repetition and consistency work together to drive the message home that responsible firewood choices make a difference. Everyone has a part to play in the conservation of our natural resources! Below you’ll find some of the best firewood-focused pages as well as comments from some of the people hard at work in these states to spread the word on firewood and forest health.


Check out the centralized page that Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has on firewood outreach: Firewood Facts: Buy It Where You Burn It . Several related pages were found that really lay out the rules and best practices for firewood use in the state including: Firewood Local Rules and Laws, Firewood Education and Outreach: Spread of Invasives, and Firewood Certification and Standards. These pages provide easy to read information in multiple locations, increasing the chance that the messages reach their intended audience.

“Michigan has a strong commitment to healthy forests and urban landscapes, and we’ve experienced the devastating impacts of invasive species on these important resources,” said Joanne Foreman, Michigan Department of Natural Resources invasive species communications coordinator. “Early adoption of the “Don’t Move Firewood” campaign, state support for an interagency invasive species program and collaboration with Michigan State University Extension assures coordination of our firewood outreach and policy efforts.”

Icon with embedded link to firewood rules page found with high visibility on general Michigan State Parks page.


South Carolina

South Carolina Forestry Commission has an informative centralized Forest Health: Don’t Move Firewood page promoting responsible firewood use and best practices, as well as clearly written resources on Clemson’s Department of Plant Industry regulatory services page, Firewood Movement. Together, these two pages reinforce South Carolina’s firewood messages.

“We believe that addressing forest pest issues, like the movement of infested firewood, is best achieved through education that happens early and often- and we are fortunate in South Carolina to have so many other agencies and organizations proactively communicating with the public” says Haley Ritger of Clemson University’s Department of Plant Industry. “These collaborative efforts mean that people who live, work, or recreate around South Carolina forests are consistently learning how they can protect our natural resources from forest pests.”


Banner add found at the top of SC Forestry Commission page on firewood.



Indiana Department of Natural Resources has a centralized Firewood Rules page with clear and concise information on the firewood allowed on state lands. Links to this resource were found with complimentary imagery throughout related agency sites and pages, which increases the chance that visitors will find this resource without actively searching for it.

“Outreach is something we really concentrate on here in the Indiana DNR.” says Megan Abraham, the State Plant Regulatory Official in Indiana. “We have really great partners, including- our DNR staff (Parks and Forestry), agricultural extension in each of our 92 counties, our Purdue University Partners assisting us with Forest Pest Outreach and webinars like EAB University, and most importantly our landholders and members of the general public- and they are what makes us successful in discovering and managing the invasive species that Indiana has found within its borders.”


Firewood graphic with embedded link found on agency pest page in Indiana. We strongly recommend including firewood information and resources on all relevant pages.



Check out Nebraska’s Invasive Species Program page: Don’t Move Firewood! for some great ideas on how to highlight the firewood pathway. This is an excellent example of an invasive species program affiliated with a state university that gives firewood the attention it needs with clear firewood guidelines and plenty of resources for visitors to learn more. This page even has a DMF video!


NE also provides a great example of how to include firewood recommendations in a state with no regulations on the movement of firewood onto state lands. This tidbit is found with high visibility on the State Parks Camping page.

Firewood Month 2021 Partner Graphics Awards

We are excited to announce the Don’t Move Firewood campaign’s very first Firewood Month Partners Graphics Awards! We are so grateful for the amazing work our partners do to protect forests across North America, as well as the effort they put into amplifying the important messaging on best firewood practices. We were thrilled to see so many social media posts and e-newsletters sporting Don’t Move Firewood graphics, hashtags, and messaging. In addition to sharing our outreach materials, we saw many of you post your own awesome pictures, graphics, and infographics during the 2021 Firewood Month. And while they were all pretty great, we would like to highlight what we considered to be the best of the best!

So, without further ado…

The 2021 Partner Award: Best Firewood Month Infographic goes to Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources!
Shared by PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on October 29, 2021 via Facebook and Twitter


The 2021 Partner Award: Most Compelling Firewood Month Visuals goes to BOTH Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry AND Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Image created by Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Shared, with permission, by Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry on October 7, 2021 via Facebook


The 2021 Partner Award: Best Pest Profile with Call to Action goes to Mississippi Bug Blues
Shared by Mississippi Bug Blues on October 25, 2021 via Facebook and Twitter


Finally, the 2021 Partner Honorable Mention: Best Firewood Month Turn of Phrase goes to Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service! This was posted during Firewood Month LAST year (2020), but we loved it so much we decided to give it an award anyway.
Shared by the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service on October 19, 2020 via Facebook


Thank you to all our partners for sharing your important and creative content; these messages encourage best firewood practices, protect forests from harmful forest pests and diseases, and work together to create a comprehensive Firewood Month approach across the country. We would not have the impact we do without YOUR help and support. And remember, while Firewood Month 2021 may be over, your firewood choices matter all year long!

Look for Pests During Spring Garden and Backyard Cleanup


Tree-killing insects and diseases can be spread when disposing of yard waste

February 20, 2020 – On the first day of spring, the snow is finally gone (if you’re lucky) and it is time to survey the damage and debris winter has left behind in our yards. Homeowners and gardeners nationwide begin to consider the annual task of cleaning up their yards and gardens to prepare for the growing season. This past winter has brought ample snow, rain and wind in most parts of the nation, knocking down branches and even entire trees. Gardeners, landscapers, and anyone working outside this spring should be aware that tree branches, firewood, and cleared brush can harbor invasive insects and diseases, making proper use or disposal critical to preventing the spread of tree-killing pests. Many kinds of pests can emerge as the weather warms, and you don’t want to accidentally carry them to a new home.

“Even experts can’t always detect a couple of pin-head size insect eggs or a few microscopic fungus spores hidden in wood; however, these tiny threats are enough to destroy an entire forest,” said Leigh Greenwood, Don’t Move Firewood campaign manager, The Nature Conservancy.  “Disposing of tree debris, brush, and other yard waste either on site or through municipal composting is the best way that homeowners can prevent spreading tree-killing pests as they clean up their yards and gardens this spring.”

Tips for Spring Cleanup:

  • If you don’t want to keep your firewood until next winter, don’t be tempted to take it with you when camping this spring or summer. Instead, you can give it to your next-door neighbor, burn or chip it on site, or dispose of it locally (50 miles is too far, 10 miles or less is best).
  • Hire a tree service or rent a tree chipper to shred fallen trees and branches and brush into mulch for your own garden beds and landscaping projects.
  • If you are pruning trees and shrubs, remember to dispose of wood debris locally.
  • Many areas now offer a yard waste recycling program. Contact your municipal solid waste management department for information specific to your area.
  • Many municipalities also offer a fall and spring “cleanup day” where they will collect seasonal waste. Check if your town participates in a cleanup day!
  • If a yard waste recycling or composting program is not available, and you cannot keep it on site, brush logs, and branches, should be disposed of in a local landfill.
  • Take care to respect all state and local regulations on the movement of firewood and other unprocessed wood – some areas are subject to serious fines for violations. For more information visit our Don’t Move Firewood Regulations Map.
  • During your spring cleanup, if you notice an insect or tree disease you don’t recognize, take a photo or obtain a specimen of it- then look up how to report it on our Report a Pest page.

As the weather warms but the trees are still bare, take inventory of your trees and their health. Are branches shriveled up? Is that damage from a winter storm or perhaps an unwelcome pest? Look for unusual holes, late or damaged leaf buds, or a pattern of dead tips on otherwise healthy branches. Do not hesitate to report anything that looks unusual!

All of these tips and tricks can be used during fall cleanup as well!


Previous Press Release from 2013