The Hidden Threat In Firewood: Invasive Forest Pests

David C. Shaw, Amy Grotta, Wyatt Williams, Raini Rippy and Steve Bowers
EM 9137 | Published March 2016, Reviewed 2020


Invasive forest pests are being transported throughout the continent in untreated firewood. Examples of these non-native threats that can occur in firewood include the emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, Sirex woodwasp, sudden oak death, oak wilt, and pitch canker, all of which can survive months in firewood. The purpose of this publication is to alert Oregonians to the threat posed by firewood for introducing or dispersing invasive forest pests. Although Oregon has a law that restricts import of untreated commercial firewood, there is a potential for movement of pests by people moving firewood. Across the continent, there is extensive evidence that interstate transport of firewood by people is one of the most important avenues for dispersal of many invasive forest pests. This has led to new calls: “Buy It Where You Burn It!”

About the authors

Wyatt Williams
Oregon Department of Forestry
Raini Rippy
Extension forestry and natural resources instructor
Douglas County
Steve Bowers
Extension forestry agent
Douglas County

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