Firewood Alert: Destructive Insects May Be Hitching A Ride!
Beginning March 1, 2015 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 collect dead and down wood found in the park for campfires.
Certified heat-treated firewood is packaged and cearly marked with a state or federal seal. Heat-treated wood is available from a growing list of private businesses in communities around the park. Concessioners at Cades Cove, Smokemont, and Elkmont will provide heat-treated wood for sale during their operating season (typically March through October at Smokemont and Elkmont and through December at Cades Cove). Visit firewoodscout.org for a map of local stores and buisinesses that sell certified wood.
Destructive Insect Pests
Destructive insects and diseases can be transported in firewood. The forests of Great Smoky Mountains National Park could be devastated by these insects.
Emerald Ash Borer
The 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:
The 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 landscaped setting 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 their spread. More information about Asian longhorned beetle is available from:
Thousand Cankers Disease poses a serious threat to black walnut trees inside the park. The disease is caused by a non-native fungus which is transmitted by small twig beetles. For information about the disease please visit:
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.
Safe, heat-treated firewood is available for sale at most large campgrounds in the park 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, park regulations allow visitors to collect dead, fallen wood they find in the park for their campfires.