It’s that time of year again! When the hot summer days turn into cool summer nights. The stars act as the night light for you and your friends. You are all sitting around the fire pit, catching up and enjoying each other’s company. But did you ever stop to think, where did the firewood come from? Of course not, right? Who thinks of something like that when the fire is burning bright? Well maybe this is something you should be thinking of…
If the wood fueling that fire came from a few county lines over from where you are, your ecosystem and your trees could be at risk! Now I know that this may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. If firewood is cut and transported more than 50 miles away from the site where it was cut, that wood may be carrying insects and diseases that could harm your trees.
So think about this. Wood in a familiar ecosystem may harbor bugs or diseases that it may be immune to. But if the wood is moved far enough away from its’ well-known ecosystem, it could introduce these bugs or diseases to this new area, paving the way for a serious problem. Moving the firewood gives these insects legs to move where they couldn’t once get. And if they can infect and harm other trees that means less trees, which means no pallets, which results in sad employees over at McIntosh Box and Pallet Company.
But, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation, there is a regulation in effect that prohibits the importing of firewood into NY unless it has been properly treated. The regulation also states that untreated wood can only be transported 50 miles from the source. Other sites discussing this issue will go as far as saying only 10 miles or less from the source is best practice.
Now this may come as a surprise to some of you readers. So let’s be clear, the fallen wood or brush in your back yard or that’s in your friend’s back yard a couple of houses down poses no threat to the surrounding trees. This only becomes an issue when you transport the wood from your back yard more than the recommended distance away.
You also may be wondering, what about those state of the art, freshly made Heat Treated Pallets from McIntosh Box and Pallet Company? How can those puppies travel thousands of miles without infesting any tree on foreign soil? Well that’s the beauty of Heat Treatment. This process mimics pasteurization; pallet manufacturers are heating up wood they wish to export overseas, clearing the wood of any harmful pests and diseases. Heating the core of the wood to 133°F for 30 minutes allows for the wood to be stamped and shipped overseas, minimizing the ecological damage done to foreign soil. McIntosh always follows the rules, saving the ecosystems one heat-treated pallet at a time.
So, what can you do to save the trees and allow McIntosh to keep supplying the best boxes, pallets and custom crates in the business?
- Keep the wood in the recommended mile range
- If you are going to move wood, make sure it has been properly treated
- Look to grocery stores for “fake firewood” as an alternative for mobile firewood
- If you see firewood on the side of the road for sale, but you’re going more than the recommended mile range, don’t buy the wood.
- If you are traveling and you know you’re going to need firewood, bring an axe to chop down wood at your final destination. You will save the surrounding ecosystem from disease and you can look and feel like a total bad ass (you get more bad ass points if you rock a Paul Bunyan style beard too).