Written By Brendan Murphy.

Posted on October 24th, 2016.

Tagged with Wood Products.

Share it!

You’re probably familiar with “buy local,” the concept that buying goods and services made in your community helps your local economy. That applies for firewood too, but there’s more to it. Buying local firewood also helps protect your local forests, woodlands, and parks.

Apple cider, falling leaves, pumpkin everything. These are the common sights, sounds and smells of fall. But to me, nothing says autumn like the warm crackling of a genuine wood fire in a fireplace or wood stove.

Where that wood comes from matters. You’re probably familiar with the phrase “buy local,” the concept that buying goods and services made in your community helps your local economy. That applies for firewood too, but there’s more to it. Not only does buying local firewood benefit your community economically, it also helps protect your local forests, woodlands, and parks.

image1

How does buying local firewood protect local forests? It’s all about insects. Almost 50% of firewood has live insects in it, according to a study in the Journal of Ecological Entomology. When you buy and move firewood, you’re also buying and moving the insects inside it.

Most of these insects are harmless, but two in particular—the Asian longhorned beetle and the emerald ash borer—are big problems for forests. Together these two non-native insects can kill many common trees including maple, ash, birch, and sycamore. Combined, these trees make up more than half the trees in many New York forests.

That’s why buying local firewood is so important. If the wood stays local, then dangerous insects like the Asian longhorned beetle have a much harder time spreading from one area to another.

image2

Where do you find local firewood? If you’re in southeastern New York, check out our Resources page for some ideas. Elsewhere, try an Internet search for “[your county] [your state] firewood.” For example, in Westchester County, a Google search for “Westchester NY firewood” turns up multiple businesses.

But just because a business is local doesn’t mean their firewood is too. Before you buy, ask your supplier where they get their firewood. Look for wood harvested in your county or within 50 miles of the store’s location. By purchasing from suppliers who get their wood from close by, you’ll do your part to help protect local forests.

Another option to make sure your firewood is local is to cut it yourself. It doesn’t take a lot of land to sustainably grow your own firewood, especially if you only use wood now and then, like in a fireplace.

image3

Before you head outside with a chainsaw, though, take the time to get informed on chainsaw safety. Buy safety equipment like chainsaw chaps as well as eye and ear protection, and attend an in-person chainsaw safety course.

As the holidays approach and you find yourself sitting around the fireplace with friends and family, take comfort in your local firewood. It’s giving you more than warmth. It’s keeping your local forests as forests too.


Share it!