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Transporting Firewood

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
March 2, 2016        
           
Source:  Beth Berlin, Extension Educator-Horticulture
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns & Benton Counties

 

Transporting Firewood
By Beth Berlin, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (03/02/16) — Unfortunately the Emerald Ash Borer was found in Wabasha County recently. This invasive species has now been found in 13 counties in Minnesota including Anoka, Chisago, Dakota, Fillmore, Hennepin, Houston, Olmsted, Ramsey, Scott, Wabasha, Washington, Winona and on Park Point island area in Duluth in St. Louis County. This is yet another reminder to be aware of the quarantines and how to safely transport firewood.

Transporting firewood can not only distribute the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) to new locations within the state, but also inadvertently cause disease or other unwanted pests to travel.  Dutch elm disease, oak wilt, EAB, and gypsy moth are a few invasive species everyone should be concerned about.

In the state of Minnesota it is against the law to bring unapproved firewood into any state park, state forest or day-use area. In these locations, the recreational firewood must be purchased from the state park or be from a DNR approved firewood vendor who sells wood specifically approved for that area.

In addition it is against the law to transport the following out of the quarantined counties or areas previously listed: firewood from hardwood trees, entire ash trees, their limbs or branches, ash logs or untreated ash lumber with bark intact, or uncomposted ash chips or bark greater than 1-inch in two dimensions.

For other situations such as oak wilt and Dutch elm disease it is critical to know although it may not be illegal (check local regulations) to transport; the proper stewardship are to burn, bury, debark or chip the wood on site. This is the only sure way to prevent the disease from being introduced into an uninfected area.  For example to effectively interrupt the spread of Dutch elm disease by elm bark beetles, a tree and its wood should be de-barked, destroyed or used before the beetle emerges each spring. If it is during the growing season and bugs are present it should be taken care of immediately.  If it is impossible to burn, or destroy of the wood during dormant season, covering with 4 to 6 millimeter clear plastic has proven success to contain the disease if infested wood if tightly wrapped on all sides. Keep the wood covered for at least one full year after the tree has died.

The spread of invasive species can be reduced by simply not transporting firewood. It may seem so innocent, but transporting firewood can have deadly consequences to some of our beloved trees.

For more information or where to find an approved firewood vendor visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/firewood  or www.extension.umn.edu

 

photo source: morguefile.com

Contacts

Beth Berlin
Extension Educator, Horticulture
(320) 255-6169
adam0062@umn.edu
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