Heat-treated firewood
Heat-Treated Firewood Using certified, heat-treated firewood prevents the spread of invasive, tree-killing pests. © Byron Jorjorian

Stories in Tennessee

Protect Our Forests by Using Pest-Free Firewood

Where to buy heat-treated firewood, and how to produce and sell heat-treated firewood. Click on the map to find stores in Tennessee that sell heat-treated firewood.

Kiln inset photo
Kiln inset photo Inside view of a firewood kiln. © Cheryl Ruehling
  • The majestic forests of Tennessee are at risk.
  • Foreign insect pests and diseases threaten to kill hundreds of thousands of trees.
  • You can help in either of these 2 big ways.
  • #1 - Don't bring firewood from home when camping. Buy certified, heat-treated, or locally sourced firewood.
  • #2 - Learn about creating a business to heat-treat firewood using a firewood kiln.

Tree-killing insects and diseases are becoming an increasing problem in Tennessee and all over the United States. These insects and diseases can't move far on their own, but when people move firewood these pests can move with it, jumping hundreds of miles. New infestations destroy forests, reduce property values, and cost huge sums of money to control.

Some of Tennessee's most majestic forests, including those in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, are at risk!

The Nature Conservancy is working hard to control the spread and impact of these tree-killing pests. Preventing the transportation of firewood is a major way that all of us can help protect our trees. 

►Step One: Make the Switch to Heat-Treated Firewood
TNC is making it easier for campers to purchase heat-treated firewood in and around national parks across the state. We're also working with other park managers throughout Tennessee to improve their firewood practices. People like you can play a pivotal role in the conservation of our beautiful parks and forests by adopting safe firewood practices.

Stores around Tennessee sell heat-treated firewood. The Firewood Scout website is a reliable tool for finding certified vendors for heat-treated firewood in Tennessee and additional states in our area such as North Carolina. 

►Step Two: Learn How to Produce Heat-Treated Firewood Using a Kiln
An alliance of state, federal and non-governmental partners have announced a new public opportunity for learning how to develop a business to heat-treat firewood in kilns. Heat treatment kills insects by heating firewood to a certain core temperature and for a certain amount of time. Heat treatment takes place in a kiln, which can control the temperature and the amount of time that heat is applied depending on what type of pest insect you are trying to kill.

Here are the steps involved in getting firewood kiln certification from the USDA.

This is a good article on how to evaluate the potential profitability of a heat-treated firewood business.

Interested in learning more about selling your own firewood?
Contact The Nature Conservancy at tn@tnc.org about occasional workshops on how to run a firewood kiln business. During the workshop, the group will:

  • learn about the pests that travel in firewood
  • learn about the risk to our forest and trees,
  • learn about federal and state regulations as well as campground rules for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Tennessee State Parks,
  • have a hands-on opportunity to prepare firewood and use the tools to measure the wood for moisture content,
  • listen to success stories from people who have built their own business and learn about other firewood activities going on in and around Tennessee.

Resources:
For more information about Tennessee's forest pests: protecttnforests.org
For more information about risks associated with movement of firewood: dontmovefirewood.org
For more information on starting a small wood product business click here