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Firewood and Invasive Pests

Protect Our Trees! - Use Local Firewood

A regulation (leaves DEC website) is in effect that prohibits the import of firewood into New York unless it has been heat-treated to kill pests. The regulation also limits the transportation of untreated firewood to less than 50 miles from its source or origin.

European gypsy moths, chestnut blight, beech bark disease, Asian longhorned beetles, emerald ash borers, pine shoot beetles, Sirex woodwasps, oak wilt - the list goes on. For decades, New York's urban and rural forests have been under attack by invasive insects and diseases. Some, like Dutch elm disease, have already ripped through our landscape killing millions of trees and continue to prevent the recovery of certain iconic tree species. Others, such as the hemlock woolly adelgid, currently threaten to march through our state unless control activities are successful, and still more invasives loom just over the horizon.

Vehicle transporting firewood driving on a road
Vehicle transporting firewood that could contain
tree-killing invasive pests.

Moving untreated firewood is a main way invasive pests and diseases are spread to new areas. Many people take wood from their properties as they head out to camp, hunt, etc., but most don't realize their wood may be hiding the eggs, larvae, spores, or even adults of these invasive threats. Human assisted movement on/in firewood allows invasives to reach areas farther away and faster than they would have through their own ability to spread.

You can help stop the spread of invasive pests and save trees by following the New York State (NY) Firewood Regulation:

  • Untreated firewood may not be imported into NY from any other area.
  • Untreated firewood grown in NY may not be transported more than 50 miles from its source or origin unless it has been heat-treated to 71 degrees C (160̊ F) for 75 minutes.
  • When transporting firewood, the following documentation is required:
    • If transporting untreated firewood cut for personal use (i.e. not for sale) you must fill out a Self-Issued Certificate of Origin (PDF, 360 KB).
    • If purchasing and transporting untreated firewood, it must have a receipt or label that identifies the firewood source. NOTE! Source is sometimes, but not always, the same as where it was purchased. Consumers need to use the source to determine how far the firewood may be transported.
    • If purchasing and transporting heat-treated firewood, it must have a receipt or label that says, "New York Approved Heat-Treated Firewood/Pest Free". This is the producers' declaration that the firewood meets New York's heat-treatment requirements. Most "kiln-drying" processes meet the standard, but not all, so it is important to look for the appropriate label. Heat-treated firewood may be moved unrestricted.

The difference between source and origin:

Origin is where the wood was grown. Source was specifically created for producers of firewood since many acquire their wood from multiple origins. A firewood producer may collect wood grown within 50 miles of their business and must keep records detailing the amounts and locations, for at least two years. They may then declare their business as the source of the firewood and provide labels for the firewood with their business location information.

Federal and state quarantines for individual species, such as oak wilt and the Asian longhorned beetle, may further restrict the transport of firewood in specific areas.

As quarantines are lifted, expanded, or tightened, the firewood regulation will continue to remain in place to protect our forests against the spread of ALL invasive pests.

Other U.S. states and Canada have bans or regulations in place for the importation or movement of firewood of any species. If you are planning to travel outside of NY, it is important to research the regulations of the area you are traveling to.

For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions for Firewood Regulation. For additional questions regarding this regulation, please call the Division of Lands and Forests toll-free number: 1-866-640-0652 or e-mail: firewood@dec.ny.gov


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