Buy Local, Burn Local

The movement of firewood threatens PEI's forested environment. Although we might not see them, invasive insects and disease can easily hide in firewood. When firewood moves, so do these pests, potentially establishing new populations that cause damage our beautiful Acadian forested landscape.

If you move firewood, for example from your home to your cottage or campsite, you could unwittingly spread pests like emerald ash borer, Dutch elm disease or beech leaf mining weevil to a new area.

When you need firewood, remember to:
  • Buy firewood where you intend to burn it or at the most convenient nearby location.
  • Buy certified heat-treated (kiln-dried) firewood if you must travel with wood.
  • Check with parks or campgrounds before you visit for their rules about firewood

Emerald Ash Borer
(Agrilus Planipennis)

  • Location:
    Confirmed in areas of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, and in Manitoba's capital city (as of 2022).
  • Host:
    Larvae develop in the hardwood of true ash trees.
  • Impact:
    Kills 99% of true ash trees. On PEI white and black ash are at risk, the later of which is a culturally significant tree to the Mi'kmaq people.

Find out more


Beech Leaf Mining Weevil
(Orchestes fagi)

  • Location:
    Confirmed in PEI, and Nova Scotia (as of 2022).
  • Host:
    Adults overwinter under the bark of any tree species.
  • Impact:
    Defoliates beech trees which, after several years, results in tree mortality.

Find out more


Spongy Moth
(Lymantria dispar dispar)

  • Location:
    Confirmed in PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario (as of 2022).
  • Host:
    Eggs are laid on many surfaces, including on or under the bark of any tree.
  • Impact:
    Over 300 species affected. Caterpillars cause significant defoliation, which eventually results in the death of the host.

Find out more


Spotted Lantern Fly
(Lycorma delicatula)

  • Location:
    Not in Canada but in the U.S.
  • Host:
    Eggs are laid on a wide range of smooth surfaces including bark.
  • Impact:
    Targets a variety of hosts, its preferred is and invasive species known as tree of heaven.

Find out more


Asian Longhorned Beetle
(Anoplophora glabripennis)

  • Location:
    Has been found twice in Canada, was successfully eradicated both times (as of 2022).
  • Host:
    Eggs are and larvae can be found in a variety of hardwood species, preferred hosts include maples, poplars, willows and elms.
  • Impact:
    Can result in the death of the host species and reduce timber quality.

Find out more


Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
(Adelges tsugae)

  • Location:
    Confirmed in Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia.
  • Host:
    All Hemlocks are affected; Eastern Hemlock is a species we are concerned for in PEI.
  • Impact:
    Sucks fluid and nutrients from the base of hemlock needles, resulting in their death after an average of 10 yrs.

Find out more

The Acadian Forest

Prince Edward Island is part of the Acadian Forest Region (AFR), which is one of the eight distinct forest regions in Canada. The Acadian Forest is located between the boreal and northern deciduous forests, it is a transitional forest featuring trees species from both.

Today, PEI's forested landscape is degraded and heavily fragmented in comparison to pre-settlement. A fragmented forest is one that is separated into patches that are disconnected from each other. While this fragmentation can sometimes occur naturally, on PEI it is man-made disturbances like roads, housing, and agriculture that are the leading cause of this disturbance. These smaller patches now have an increased amount of edge habitat, which results in plants in these areas being exposed to higher temperatures, light levels and wind. This change in conditions often displaces native species and therefore invasive species have an increased opportunity to become established. Invasive species can have far-reaching and potentially long-term impacts on forest ecosystem health by reducing biodiversity, altering water cycles, contributing to forest fires and ultimately changing the overall make-up of the forest.

Canada's Forest Regions (NRCan, 2012)

Present Day Acadian Forest

The present-day PEI forest is highly simplified, dominated by white spruce, balsam fir and black spruce accounting for 42.9% of all forest trees. With the most common three deciduous trees, red maple, white birch and trembling aspen accounting for 39.5%. Collectively these six species account for 82.4% of all tree species across PEI. A majority of these species (white spruce, balsam fir and black spruce and white birch) are expected to dramatically decline on PEI over the rest of the century as a result of climate change creating opportunities for invasives species to become dominant.

Pre-settlement Acadian Forest

The pre-settlement Acadian Forest on PEI was characterized by a diverse mix of coniferous and deciduous species varying based on their location in upland or lowland areas. Upland areas were characterized by species such as American beech, sugar maple, and yellow birch, red spruce, eastern hemlock, red oak, balsam fir and white pine. Lowland area species included red maple, black spruce, eastern white cedar, American elm, black ash, and white ash. The table below details the common species that made up the pre-settlement Acadian Forest on PEI.

Pre-settlement Acadian Forest Species *
Hardwood Species Softwood Species
American beech
(Fagus grandifolia)
Red spruce
(Picea rubens)
Sugar maple
(Acer saccharum)
Black spruce
(Picea mariana)
Red maple
(Acer rubrum)
White Spruce
(Picea glauca)
Stripped Maple
(Acer pensylvanicum)
Eastern white cedar
(Thuja occidentalis)
Yellow birch
(Betula alleghaniensis)
Eastern hemlock
(Tsuga canadensis)
Grey Birch
(Betula populifolia)
Balsam fir
(Abies balsamea)
White Birch
(Betula papyrifera)
White pine
(Pinus strobus)
(Juglans cinereal)
Red Pine
(Pinus resinosa)
(Ostrya virginiana)
Jack Pine
(Pinus banksiana)
(Amelanchier Spp.)
Eastern Larch
(Larix laricina)
Northern Red oak
(Quercus rubra)
White Ash
(Fraxinus americana)
Black ash
(Fraxinus nigra)
American elm
(Ulmus americana)
Largetooth Aspen
(Populus grandidentata)
Trembling Aspen
(Populus tremuloides)
* Based on Research by MacQuarrie & Lacroix (2003), Simpson (2015) and Noseworthy & Beckley (2020)

These changes have been so dramatic that the World Wildlife Fund has listed the Acadian Forest as an endangered forest.

Tree Species at Risk on PEI

Black Ash
Critically Imperiled
Red Pine
Eastern Hemlock
Eastern White Cedar

Read more about native trees of the Acadian Forest at MacPhail Woods – Ecological Forestry Projects

Conservation status ranks are based on information gathered from the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Center (AC CDC), 2022. AC CDC maintains a comprehensive provincial list of plant and animal species in the Atlantic Region:

For more information
  • PWI Forestry, Fish and Wildlife (2013) State of the Forest Report 2010.
  • MacQuarrie, K., & Lacroix, C. (2003). The upland hardwood component of Prince Edward Island's remnant Acadian forest: determination of depth of edge and patterns of exotic plant invasion. Canadian Journal of Botany, 81(11), 1113-1128
  • Morrison, A., Sweeney, J., Hughes, C., & Johns, R. C. (2017). Hitching a ride: firewood as a potential pathway for range expansion of an exotic beech leaf-mining weevil, Orchestes fagi (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). The Canadian Entomologist, 149(1), 129-137.
  • Noseworthy, J., & Beckley, T. M. (2020). Borealization of the New England - Acadian Forest: A review of the evidence. Environmental Reviews, 28(3), 284-293.
  • Simpson, J., 2015. Restoring The Acadian Forest. 2nd ed. Halifax: Nimbus Publishing.
  • With, K. A. (2002). The landscape ecology of invasive spread. Conservation Biology, 16(5), 1192-1203.