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

bulletMake sure that firewood you buy or sell in Minnesota is labeled with origin of harvest (MN Stat. 2006, Chapter 239, Weights and Measures)
bulletSale 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." More…
bulletSale 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…
bulletAny 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.
bulletHow to buy firewood – Minnesota Department of Commerce
bullet6 questions to answer before buying firewood – University of Minnesota Forest Resources Extension
bulletCheck 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:

bulletDNR: 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. More…
bulletNational Forests: The Chippewa and Superior National Forests prohibit firewood originating outside of Minnesota on their lands. More…
bulletVoyageurs National Park: Only DNR approved firewood may be brought into the park. More…
bulletArmy Corps of Engineers Recreation Areas: Firewood must be obtained within 100 miles of site, or certified as pest free.More…
bulletMany 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.
bulletCheck with your city before storing firewood.
bulletMany municipalities have ordinances prohibiting the storage of elm logs with bark intact due to the risk of spreading Dutch elm disease.
bulletMany 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.
bulletMake sure you are not in a quarantined area before moving firewood.
bulletAll firewood (along with other outdoor articles) is quarantined for gypsy moth in the northeastern U.S. - map, quarantine
bulletAll hardwood firewood is quarantined for emerald ash borer in some areas of Minnesota and elsewhere in the U.S. – Minnesota Quarantine & Regulatory Information
bulletAll hardwood firewood is quarantined for Asian longhorned beetle in some areas of the U.S. – map, quarantine

Keep firewood from spreading pests and disease:

Use local firewood whenever possible.

bullet When you move firewood long distances you may be introducing an invasive pest into a new area.
bullet Remember that infested wood may not show visible symptoms.
bullet Use properly seasoned or otherwise treated firewood whenever possible.

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


Seasoning (aging)

bullet Seasoned firewood is less likely to contain damaging pests. Pests of living trees usually cannot survive in dried firewood.
bullet In some cases, firewood should be covered during the spring and summer while seasoning.

Kiln drying

bullet Kiln dried firewood may also be considered heat treated if temperature requirements have been met to kill pests.
bullet Wood that is certified as heat treated by a government entity has been verified to have met temperature requirements.
bullet Another way firewood is sometimes treated is by debarking.
bullet Debarking will remove the threat of wood containing bark beetles or other phloem inhabiting pests provided all of the bark is removed.
bullet 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.
bullet It can be difficult to tell if, and how much, sapwood has been removed from a log.
bullet 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.
bullet If you take firewood with you on a trip, burn it all on that trip or bring it back home with you.
bullet 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:

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


bulletIf you suspect a tree or wood to be infested with an established pest such as Dutch elm disease, oak wilt or another pest that could damage other trees in the area, follow these guidelines for handling the wood:
bulletIf you don’t want to make firewood and only wish to protect other trees from the pest
bulletRemove the tree and debark (only effective for some pests), burn, bury or chip the wood prior to insect activity (April 1 for oak wilt, May 1 for most others)
bulletIf you want to make firewood and protect other trees from the pest:
bulletUltimately the pests contained in the wood will complete their lifecycle and emerge or die in the material from desiccation or other cause.
bulletYou need to cover the material during spring and summer so that emerging insects can not escape the covering until no insects or too few to cause problems will be emerging.

Cover material with tarp or heavy plastic (6 mil) during period of insect activity – April 1 to August 1.

bulletClear plastic may also provide a solarizing effect – heating the wood and speeding the death of the infesting pests.
bulletBury cover edges in ground, make sure no holes in covering.
bulletMaterial should be covered completely and loosely.
bulletIf the cover is stretched tight over wood, insects will chew through cover and escape. If cover is not tight against wood, insects will not be able to gain leverage to chew through the material.
bulletWhile woodborers (emerald ash borer, twolined chestnut borer, etc) will not attack cut wood, most bark beetles will.

By covering wood you are not only prohibiting insects from escaping, but also prohibiting the wood from becoming infested.

bulletThis is particularly important for elm as elm bark beetles vector Dutch elm disease.
bulletThe more rapidly wood desiccates, the fewer pests will survive.

Unfortunately, covering firewood reduces the rate of drying.

bulletUncover firewood except during insect activity period.
bulletSplit and stack wood prior to covering to promote air flow and drying.
bulletStack wood in areas receiving sunlight to speed drying.
bulletStack wood away from other wooden structures to avoid problems with carpenter ants.
bulletBark beetles will not survive in covered firewood for more that one summer. Woodborers may survive in covered firewood for one, two or possibly three summers.
bulletEvery summer that wood is covered reduces the number of individuals that may emerge.
bulletFor many pests, one summer is adequate, for some pests two summers is better.