It’s all about the S’more

by | May 18, 2016


Sweet summertime, fireflies, campfires and roasted marshmallows. They just go together. School will be out soon and camping will commence. When making your checklist for items to bring on your camping trip, there’s one that should be left off the list if you’re traveling farther than 50 miles from home: firewood! That’s right, leave that wood to burn in your own backyard.

To prevent the movement of invasive species, keep firewood local! Image: S. Thompson, NCFS.

To prevent the movement of invasive species, keep firewood local! Image: S. Thompson, NCFS.

Transporting firewood could mean moving destructive little pests to new areas. To help slow the spread, purchase firewood when you get to the campground. Wood available at campsites is usually local or has been heat treated to kill any potential insects hiding under the bark. Buying local means buying wood from a tree within 50 miles of your intended burn site. Play it safe and don’t bring unused wood home. You don’t want to introduce unwanted pests to your backyard either.

Several invasive insects have arrived in North Carolina the past few years. Some are selective with their host and some attack a variety of tree species. The emerald ash borer, redbay ambrosia beetle and European gypsy moth are already in our state in limited areas. With everyone’s help in reducing their spread, we can minimize their impact. The Asian longhorned beetle is an example of a potential threat. It could easily arrive here through people unknowingly transporting the beetle from its current location in the northeast U.S. This beetle attacks 15 families of trees that are common to North Carolina. is a great resource for learning about threats to our forest. Visit this website for information on all invasive species. Activities and videos for young campers are also found on this site.

Remember, when it comes to firewood: buy local, burn local. We need YOU to help protect our forest!

Here’s a tip for the s’more enthusiast: try a peanut butter cup in place of the chocolate next time you’re around the campfire. You won’t regret it!