Keep Firewood Local and Protect Trees

NOTE: This is a guest blog post from Leigh Greenwood, the Donít Move Firewood Campaign Manager for The Nature Conservancy.

Did you know that next time you go camping, you could accidentally kill thousands of trees with just a single piece of firewood? Surprisingly, Iím not talking about the huge wildfires that increasingly threaten forests around the world. Iím talking about the little known, but incredibly dangerous, threat of firewood that is contaminated with invasive insects or diseases. These pests can hitchhike on seemingly innocent pieces of firewood, lurking deep within the bark or wood, and then escape before being used in the campfire. A new infestation is born, and millions of trees are at stake.

Does this sound farfetched? Well, unbelievably, it happens all the time. There are many examples around the USA of campgrounds, RV parks, and recreation areas that have been devastated by forest pests brought in on firewood. Pests like the emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, goldspotted oak borer, and others can and do all travel on firewood. This has got to stop. The solution is so simple; donít move firewood. Instead, buy it where youíll burn it. Maybe thatís a local firewood dealer a few miles from your campsite. Maybe you can get a permit to gather wood when you get there. Or perhaps youíll need to buy some packaged kiln dried wood, where the high heat of the drying process has made it very unlikely to harbor insects or diseases. But donít bring wood from your backyard with you when you go camping. And please, donít stock up on a cord of wood for the winter from a supplier three counties over. Keep it local, and protect trees.

You can help us get the word out about this problem. Visit, friend us at†Check out some of our funny videos at But most of all, do the right thing. Donít take firewood with you when you camp, hike, hunt or fish. Tell your friends about this crazy thing you read on the Internet Ė that nasty invasive insects and diseases can hide in firewood for years, waiting under the bark or in the wood for just the right moment to infest another tree, kill another forest, and ruin your favorite beautiful places. Buy it where you burn it, and remember Ė donít move firewood.

The Donít Move Firewood campaign is managed by The Nature Conservancy in support of the. The Continental Dialogue is a group of organizations and individuals that work together to abate threats from invasive insects and diseases to North American forests.

Photo courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.


Josh M.
Past Member 5 years ago


Robert F.
MG p5 years ago

Very important information brought to public awareness.

Linda C.
Linda C5 years ago

Thank you for this important and little-known information.

Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

The Silent Witness
By John B. Lowe

Rooted to Mother Earth
Connecting ground to sky
In a cycle of rebirth
Where all must live and die
Stands the Silent Witness

Growing straight and tall
Against wind and rain
Surviving man’s fickle law
And the loggers chain
Stands the Silent Witness

Season after season
Towering high above
Reaching for the sun
Home to the nesting dove
Stands the Silent Witness

A millennium old
With a thousand rings
Stretching proud and bold
Its many branches sing
Stands the Silent Witness

Like a steeple’s spire
Over earthen pews
Its majesty inspires
The poet’s muse
Stands the Silent Witness

Fulfilling its mission
Of nature’s midwife
From God’s perfect vision
Home to all wildlife
Stands the Silent Witness

Observer of history
Of man’s flawed course
There is the mystery
Without remorse
For the Silent Witness

Who among us will speak
In the tree’s defense
Who among us will seek
Justice to dispense
For the Silent Witness

It is time to awake
To stand and be heard
Before it is too late
To utter the fateful words
To save the Silent Witness

Whatever befalls the trees
Will befall us all
So interconnected are we
To the natural law
Of the Silent Witness

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

Tell me and I'll forget.
Show me, and I may not remember.
Involve me, and I'll understand.
Native American Tribe Saying-

Every sixty seconds, thirty acres
of rain forest are destroyed in order
to raise beef for fast food restaurants that
sell it to people, giving them strokes and
heart attacks, which raise medical costs and
insurance rates, providing insurance companies
with more money to invest in large corporations
that branch out further into the Third World
so they can destroy more rain forests."
-George Carlin, comedian

Wherever you go there once was a forest
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

june t.
june t5 years ago

I'm surprised this is news now, it is not a new phenomenon.

Cynthia Blais
cynthia l5 years ago

Go local TY very informative

Stephanie Hungerford

Thanks for explaining diseases get spread to other areas

Florence Eaise
Florence Eaise5 years ago

great article very informative thanks for sharing

Virginia B.
Virginia B5 years ago

Thank you for bringing this problem to our attention. It looks as though a whole campaign of awareness should be launched about this problem!