Sourcing firewood from local trees, disease-spread mitigation

Asked May 10, 2018, 4:10 PM EDT

Hi, I just installed an EPA-certified, low-emissions wood stove to heat my house. I live in the mid-town area of Fort Collins. I'm finding an abundance of firewood sources nearby, from neighbors and tree services that are removing trees. I like how close the fuel source is, it makes wood-based heating even more efficient and carbon-neutral, but I'm concerned about the potential to spread various tree diseases and pests. Quite a bit of the wood I'm finding is Elm or Ash, but I usually don't know the reason the tree was removed. Assuming these trees were infested, are there precautions I should take in transporting these logs and breaking them down into cordwood? I don't have Elm or Ash trees on my property, but my neighbors do (Ash, at least). Perhaps I should avoid these species altogether? Please advise. Thanks!

Larimer County Colorado

1 Response


Actually, what we recommend is that you buy your firewood from local sources to PREVENT the spread of tree insects and disease. Often, new insects or disease are introduced into our community via firewood from other states.

If you're buying the ash, pine or elm locally (from Larimer County), then there is not a concern of moving insects/disease. Do not, however, buy any firewood from Boulder County, as that county is quarantined for emerald ash borer.

Here's some information from the US Forest Service on moving wood: