Blog & News

Don’t Move Firewood (archive)

Published on Thursday June 18, 2015
Authored by PEIISC

Invasive Insect and Disease pests in your firewood can destroy our forests, trees along our streets, parks, businesses and potentially your yard! Purchase firewood locally, burn it on site and leave left over firewood behind!

To minimize the risk, the Invasive Species Council of P.E.I. encourages purchasing firewood locally, preferably from the campground or general area where the wood is to be burnt Invasive insects and diseases can exist in firewood. Moving untreated firewood, even just a few kilometres to or from a campground or a cottage, is a common way for invasive insects and diseases to spread.

Invasive pests affect air and water quality, deprives animals of habitat, damages private property and reduces land value, it can have devastating effects on Canada’s forestry industry and on our ability to trade with other countries that want to keep these pests out.

The emerald ash borer, for example, has killed millions of ash trees in Canada since it first arrived from Asia. On its own, it doesn’t move very far. Hiding in firewood, though, it can travel vast distances when that wood is moved by people. Then it kills more trees in new areas to which it has been moved.

Some examples of Invasive Species not known to exist on P.E.I. include, Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, Pine Shoot Beetle and Asian Longhorn Beetle. Some examples of Invasive Species present on P.E.I. include: European Larch Canker and Dutch Elm Disease.

Within Canada, existing CFIA plant protection policies are in effect to strictly control the movement of firewood from regulated areas of Canada.

Attention: Be aware of restrictions

Moving firewood from places where invasive insects and diseases have been found can be a violation of the Plant Protection Act, with penalties up to $50,000 and/or prosecution. Be aware of restrictions that may be in place before you move wood or wood products. If you want more information about these restrictions, contact your local Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) office.

– David Carmichael, PEIISC Member and Landscape Technician with PEI’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry

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