Ready for the best email we've gotten in weeks? Maybe months?
Dear Don't Move Firewood,
Please clarify for me – if I live in Snohomish county, it's best to get my firewood in Snohomish county? Also, I should not bring this firewood to a campsite out of my county? Thank you!
Kathryn in Washington
Yes! That's exactly right. Exactly!
I bet you didn't know that the Viburnum Leaf Beetle, a major pest originally from Europe, is found in your county. And not knowing that is fine. It actually completely supports the idea that you and everyone else in the world doesn't need to know about each pest, each infestation, and each type of affected tree and shrub. You just need to know EXACTLY what you've said in your email- that wood should be burned near its origin, preferably never leaving the county or nearby region. Ideally, firewood and other untreated wood products should travel under 50 miles- and better closer to 25 or 10 miles whenever feasible.
Other insects like the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug are found in the Pacific Northwest, and can hitchhike in firewood or brush. And have you heard of Sudden Oak Death? It is a really bad tree killer, found around Northern California and limited areas of Southern Oregon. You certainly wouldn't want to risk spreading that by buying untreated (and likely illegally transported) firewood from that region. But you don't need to know about these things, really. Just stick to the basics- exotic and damaging beetles, diseases, stink bugs… they can spread on firewood, unseen, unknown. So buy it where you burn it, and thanks for writing in!