Firewood Alert: Destructive Pests May Be Hitching a Ride!

Firewood Regulations: only heat-treated firewood that is bundled and certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or a state agency may be brought into the park. Campers may also collect dead and down wood found in the immediate vicinity of campgrounds and picnic areas.

Certified heat-treated firewood is packaged and clearly marked with a state or federal seal. Heat-treated wood is available from a growing list of private businesses in communities along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Concessioners at Peaks of Otter Sharp Top Store, Price Lake Boat Rentals, Linville Falls Visitor Center, and Pisgah Inn Country Store sell heat-treated wood during their operating season (typically May-November). Visit firewoodscout.org for a map of local stores and businesses that sell certified firewood. Additional information about this regulation.

Destructive Insect Pests

Destructive insects and diseases can be transported in firewood. The forests of the Blue Ridge Parkway could be devastated by these insects.

Emerald ash borer has killed tens of millions of ash trees in North America since its discovery here in 2002. The insect is originally from Asia, but was accidentally introduced to North America. The adult beetles eat ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. More information about emerald ash borer is available from: Asian longhorned beetle is native to Asia, but has been found in Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York recently. Most Asian longhorned beetle infested trees have been in landscape settings so far. These beetles lay eggs on trees and their young bore through trees as they grow. Infested trees must be cut, chipped, and burned to prevent spread. More information about Asian longhorned beetle is available from: European Gypsy Moth was first introduced to the northeast in 1869 in the attempt to start a silkworm industry. Efforts to eradicate Gypsy Moth started in 1889 but were soon abandoned when the methods of the time failed to halt the spread. The Gypsy Moth affects hundreds of species of trees especially oaks, which make up about 40% of the southern Appalachian forests. The presents of the Gypsy Moth has been confirmed on The Parkway in Virginia but not in North Carolina. Naturally, invasive pests spread quite slowly, accelerated scattering occurs when bugs are transported accidentally. More information about Gypsy Moth is available from:

Don't Move Firewood!

Visit the Don't Move Firewood! website for a wealth of information, including state-by-state updates on threats, interactive games, entertaining videos, insect identification, and ways you can help stop the spread of these and other destructive pests.

For additional information about other introduced insects and diseases that threaten the Parkway's forests, please visit: Safe, heat-treated firewood is available for sale at most campgrounds along the Parkway and in many stores in surrounding communities. Visit firewoodscout.org for a map of local stores and businesses that sell certified firewood. Firewood may not be brought into the park unless it bears the USDA-APHIS-PPQ certification. In addition, Parkway regulations allow visitors to collect dead and down wood found in the immediate vicinity of campgrounds and picnic areas for their campfires.

Last updated: April 6, 2017

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