I had a discussion (think argument) with a friend a few weeks ago about the details of the firewood quarantine that is effective in the entire lower peninsula in an effort to prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. I believed that even if all the counties had a quarantine, you could not take firewood out of one county, such as Lapeer, and move it to another county such as Genesee, even though the quarantine was effective in Genesee. My friend disagreed and promptly went to Google and proved m wrong. I can assure you, it’s tough being an “expert” and be proven downright wrong. Firewood can be moved within all counties of the lower peninsula, but not to the UP, Canada, or any other state.
I still, being obstinate at times, stick to my position. I don’t believe firewood should be moved to any other county, ever. The simple reason is that the Emerald Ash Borer is not the only invasive foreign pest insect to be found in firewood. Such pests as spores of Beech Bark Disease, Asian Longhorned Beetle, Sirex Woodwasp, and a new brand of Gypsy Moth can be unknowingly spread by moving firewood.
If you need firewood at a vacation spot out of your county, you should always try to buy firewood local to your vacation site and you should try to burn all you buy. It may cost more money, but reducing the spread of invasive destructive tree pests is an investment for the future.
Storing Firewood at Home
Speaking of firewood, I am a person very knowledgeable about how to make a serious mistake in choosing a place to store firewood at my own home. Years ago, when I was young and not always swift, I stacked five cords of split firewood right up against the back of my house, thinking it would be handy to the backdoor when I needed more wood for my wood stove. I was very lucky in discovering that some of that wood, still remaining in the spring, contained the eggs of carpenter ants and the eggs were hatching. I moved the wood immediately away from the house and we suffered no house damage from the carpenter ants. Lesson learned? Never stack firewood against the house.
The guide is to stack firewood at least 25–50 feet away from the house. Bring on two or three days supply of firewood to your deck or back porch at a time. The wood will not be infested or release adult pests in three days time.
It is best to stack your firewood at least six inches above the soil to insure some pests don’t move into the pile during the year. Yes, a spider or two might hitchhike into the house on firewood from time to time, but they are harmless and easy to control.