Buy Local, Burn Local
The beauty and productivity of North Carolina’s forests is threatened by non-native plants, animals and insects. The common but often overlooked way that these invasive species make it into the state’s parks, forests, and private campgrounds (even our neighborhoods) is through the long distance movement of firewood.
Some invasive insects, such as the European gypsy moth, can lay eggs on pieces of firewood. Others, such as the emerald ash borer, Sirex woodwasp, the Asian longhorned beetle, redbay ambrosia beetle, walnut twig beetle and common pine shoot beetle, spend parts of their life-cycle within wood and can emerge from firewood as adults ready to infest new trees.
You can help prevent the spread of these damaging invasive species by using heat-treated or local firewood. When burning untreated wood, it is best to burn it as close its origin as possible – typically, within 10 miles is ideal, within 50 miles is acceptable. The use of local firewood is an important factor in preventing the spread of potentially devastating invasive species to our state’s forests. Please keep this in mind as you prepare for your outdoor recreation activities: The health of our forests depends on it!
For North Carolina-specific information on pests that threaten our forests, please visit these pages: