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Stay on the right side of the law with your firewood:


Make sure that firewood you buy or sell in Minnesota is labeled with origin of harvest (MN Stat. 2006, Chapter 239, Weights and Measures)

Sale by Package: "… As of August 1, 2007, firewood sold or distributed across state boundaries or more than 100 miles from its origin must include information regarding the harvest locations of the wood by county and state on each label or wrapper."

Sale from Bulk: "… As of August 1, 2007, firewood sold or distributed across state boundaries or more than 100 miles from its origin must include delivery ticket information regarding the harvest locations of the wood by county and state." More…

Any firewood with origin of harvest from a quarantined area must have a federal shield documenting that the wood has been treated to destroy the quarantined pest.

How to buy firewood – Minnesota Department of Commerce

6 questions to answer before buying firewood – University of Minnesota Forest Resources Extension

Check with your destination before bringing firewood on a trip.

Restrictions exist on what firewood may be brought onto lands owned / operated by these entities (among others) in Minnesota:

DNR: It is against the law to bring unapproved firewood into any state park, state forest or day-use area (M.S. 89.551 Sec 2 Subd.3b). Approved wood can be obtained from DNR approved firewood vendors.

National Forests: The Chippewa and Superior National Forests prohibit firewood originating outside of Minnesota on their lands.

Voyageurs National Park: Only DNR approved firewood may be brought into the park. 

Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Areas: Firewood must be obtained within 100 miles of site, or certified as pest free.

Many other public and privately owned camping and recreation areas in Minnesota have similar firewood restrictions in place. If you are unsure if your destination is one of them, plan to use local firewood or find out in advance of your trip whether it is ok to bring firewood.

Check with your city before storing firewood.

Many municipalities have ordinances prohibiting the storage of elm logs with bark intact due to the risk of spreading Dutch elm disease.

Many municipalities also ban the storage of oak logs with bark intact from trees killed by oak wilt due to the risk of spreading oak wilt to new trees.

Make sure you are not in a quarantined area before moving firewood.

All firewood (along with other outdoor articles) is quarantined for gypsy moth in the northeastern U.S. - 

All hardwood firewood is quarantined for emerald ash borer in some areas of Minnesota and elsewhere in the U.S. – Minnesota Quarantine & Regulatory Information

All hardwood firewood is quarantined for Asian longhorned beetle in some areas of the U.S. – mapquarantine


Keep firewood from spreading pests and disease:

Use local firewood whenever possible.

When you move firewood long distances you may be introducing an invasive pest into a new area.

Remember that infested wood may not show visible symptoms.

Use properly seasoned or otherwise treated firewood whenever possible.

Firewood must be dried to burn properly, drying can be accomplished by:

Seasoning (aging)

Seasoned firewood is less likely to contain damaging pests. Pests of living trees usually cannot survive in dried firewood.

In some cases, firewood should be covered during the spring and summer while seasoning.

Kiln drying

Kiln dried firewood may also be considered heat treated if temperature requirements have been met to kill pests.

Wood that is certified as heat treated by a government entity has been verified to have met temperature requirements.

Another way firewood is sometimes treated is by debarking.

Debarking will remove the threat of wood containing bark beetles or other phloem inhabiting pests provided all of the bark is removed.

If some sapwood is removed in addition to bark (1/2" of material total) then the wood can also be considered free of pests like emerald ash borer that tunnel into wood, but not deeply.

It can be difficult to tell if, and how much, sapwood has been removed from a log.


Debarking alone is not sufficient to make wood free of pests that tunnel deeply into the wood such as Asian longhorned beetle and Sirex woodwasp.

If you take firewood with you on a trip, burn it all on that trip or bring it back home with you.

There is a risk that pests could emerge during the trip, particularly if the trip is long and is taken during a pest’s active period (generally spring and summer).


Handling firewood that may be or may become infested with pests:

Many tree species have pests associated with them that may survive in cut wood and then emerge and infest nearby trees – particularly if those trees are stressed (see table below).

Some trees have very damaging pests associated with them – special care should be taken when handling wood from these tree species (see table below).


If you are in an area that is quarantined for a pest, you should consider all wood from that pest’s hosts infested and treat accordingly.

If you suspect a tree or wood to be infested with a pest that is not known to be established in your area such as emerald ash borer,gypsy mothAsian longhorned beetle or sirex woodwasp contact the "Arrest the Pest" hotline immediately:

"Arrest the Pest" Hotline
651-201-6684 - Metro Area 
1-888-545-6684 - Greater Minnesota





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