May 22, 2012
MADISON - State forest health specialists remind campers and travelers that firewood can carry harmful forest insects and diseases.
"Invasive species threaten the health of our forests and urban trees," said Andrea Diss-Torrance, forest health specialist with the Department of Natural Resources. "Insect pests such as emerald ash borer and gypsy moth and diseases like oak wilt and Dutch elm disease spread to new areas easily in firewood. Collectively, these invasive species have already killed millions of trees in Wisconsin."
All travelers should follow quarantine rules to help protect Wisconsin's trees and to avoid fines. Second homeowners are advised not to move firewood long distances between their properties, to reduce the risk to their trees. The only exception is firewood certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Certified wood can be freely moved around the state because it is free of invasive pests and diseases that harm trees. The current year and one of three treatments will be listed on the label to identify that the wood has either been seasoned for two years, debarked, or heat treated. A list of certified dealers is available online at emeraldashborer.wi.gov.
Certified wood will have a label like the one in this photo.
To help protect the health of public land in Wisconsin, firewood is only allowed on state managed properties if it is:
Most state parks and forests have local firewood available for sale on site or from sellers nearby the property. To check availability, contact the property. Contact information is online. Visit dnr.wi.gov and search "parks." Many federal, county and private campgrounds also restrict firewood on their properties. Prospective visitors should call ahead for details before travelling.
"A campsite surrounded by healthy, mature trees is basic to a quality camping experience, and so is having a campfire." says Diss-Torrance. "If we are going to enjoy both, we need to take some precautions to prevent introducing invasive pests and diseases to the parks and forests we enjoy the most. By using certified wood or wood from trees grown nearby, you help to prevent such introductions."
For more details about firewood in Wisconsin visit dnr.wi.gov and search the keyword "firewood" or call 1-877-303-WOOD (9663).
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Robinson Klug, DNR Forest Health Educator, (608) 266-2172 or Andrea Diss-Torrance, DNR Forest Health Specialist, (608) 264-9247