The Kansas Department of Agriculture strongly advises that no out-of-state firewood be brought into Kansas and that firewood sourced from within the state should be bought and used locally. This is because moving firewood risks spreading invasive, tree-killing insects and diseases. Additionally, it is illegal to bring firewood into Kansas from states infested with thousand cankers disease.
Also, several counties in Kansas are infested with the highly destructive emerald ash borer; people in these areas should be extra mindful of the potential for spreading contaminated firewood. The Kansas Department of Agriculture have the following guidelines for firewood users:
- Buy or harvest locally.When you buy or harvest firewood from trees of local origin, then you reduce the risk of introducing a new pest into your neighborhood woodlands. Local origin is often defined as being within 30 to 30 miles.
- Season wood at or near the site of harvest. Some wood such as oak may take a year to two years to season. This provides a lot of time for insects or fungus spores to migrate out of the wood into nearby woodlands. To avoid moving pests, season near the site of harvest but away from specialty trees of higher value. Seasoning wood directly on bare ground increases the chance of termite infestation and something to be avoided.
- If you are buying firewood that is commercially sold, look for wood carrying a USDA emblem or state sticker/declaration regarding kiln drying or removed bark. Both treatments reduce the risk for movement of pests.
- Trees with mushrooms, galls, darkened discoloration of the bark or wood, borer holes, or trees such as elms, oaks and pines that suddenly die are at a higher risk for moving pests. The wood from these trees should be avoided and when cut should be burned as soon as possible in an outside burn pile (check local regulations regarding burning and burn permits). Chipping or burying wood are other methods for disposal of these trees susceptible to higher pest risks. If intended for firewood, do not move the wood from the local area.
- If moving to a new residence outside of your local area, leave the firewood at the old residence. The new residents will appreciate it.
This summary is accurate to the best of DMF staff abilities as of 8 September 2023.
- Firewood Information, Kansas Department of Agriculture
- Firewood in Kansas Rules and Regulations for Sale and Movement
- Buy Local Firewood to Protect Kansas Trees, K-State Research & Extension News, March ’21
- Moving Firewood Long Distance Can Spread Pests, Disease (press release 2017)
- Kansas Forest Health Specialist: (785) 532- 3276
- Spongy Moth North America Quarantine Map
- Thousand Cankers Disease information and map archives
- Thousand Cankers Disease Pest Alert, KS Dept. of Agriculture
- Emerald Ash Borer Information, KS Forest Service
- EAB Management Plan Change in Kansas, KS Dept. of Agriculture press release
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