Processing is only part of the job for firewood sellers; they still need to load their product and drop it off to customers.
And while loading and transporting firewood is enough of a hassle, there are numerous rules and regulations concerning the transportation of firewood, but not without reason.
Firewood regulations vary between states and countries, but for the time being, we will focus on New York State firewood regulations and how to follow the rules while also making a profit.
What Are the Rules for Transporting Firewood in New York State?
In New York, untreated firewood may not be imported into the state from another country or state. Untreated firewood can also not be transported more than 50 miles in a linear distance from its source origin unless it has been heat-treated.
New York considers firewood to be “treated” once it has been heat-treated at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 75 minutes (Firewood and Invasive Pests - NYS Dept. Of Environmental Conservation, n.d.).
The New York State Department of Environmental Conversation writes, “Most ‘kiln-drying’ processes meet the standard, but not all, so it is important to look for the appropriate label. Heat-treated firewood may be moved unrestricted [within New York State].”
When transporting firewood, ensure you have documentation concerning the source/origin of your wood and proof of heat-treatment.
If transporting firewood for personal use, you must fill out a Self-Issued Certificate of Origin.
Why Are There So Many Rules for Transporting Firewood?
It may seem like New York State is just trying to be difficult, but there are legitimate reasons for firewood transportation regulations.
The main risk of transporting untreated firewood is introducing new infestations to new areas. So, without these regulations in place, you can see how problems would arise and multiply exponentially across the state.
Invasive species like the Asian Longhorn Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer are destroying trees, forests, and campsites across the country. These species cannot spread very far on their own, but when they have a ride in the back of a pickup truck, it is easy for them to infest numerous areas.
The rules for transporting firewood do not apply to transporting logs, as the invasive species are terminated during processing (Don’t Move Firewood, 2022).
What Do Firewood Regulations Mean for Firewood Sellers?
The slogan for dontmovefirewood.org, “Burn it where you buy it,” is the best rule of thumb for both sellers and buyers.
This means that firewood businesses should focus their sales within a 50-mile radius. Not only is this the rule, but it is a hassle to move firewood over 50 miles and it will take away from your profit.
Even if you are limited to selling locally, your customers are limited to buying locally, so it all works out. Plus you are protecting the trees in your area. And as a firewood seller, you should care about your raw materials.
What Is the Penalty for Illegally Transporting Firewood?
Those who transport firewood illegally in New York are subject to a $250 fine plus a $100 civil penalty and can be jailed for up to 15 days (Firewood and Invasive Pests - NYS Dept. Of Environmental Conservation, n.d.).
If you weren’t convinced to follow firewood regulations before, I hope you are now.
Yes, $250 isn’t the end of the world, but it sure is annoying when you are completing a delivery and see the red, white, and blue lights flashing behind you.
Is There an Easier Way to Transport Firewood?
The short answer is no. There will always be regulations in place and deliveries will always cost money - unless they make gas free.
However, you can make loading your truck much easier. In fact, you can automate the entire process with a Timberwolf firewood conveyor.
You can set up a firewood conveyor behind a log splitter or processor, or you can manually load logs onto the conveyor. No matter how you go about it, the logs will end up in your truck bed, ready to be sold.
We recommend adding a table grate to your log splitter - if one is not already equipped - in order to create a smooth transition from the splitter to the conveyor’s hopper.
Just Follow the Rules
You can try to think of loopholes for transporting firewood, but the only guaranteed way to run your business hassle-free is to simply follow the rules and regulations in place.
After all, if you are transporting invasive species, it is only your product that you are ruining.
So, keep your raw material healthy and happy. Your customers and employees alike will thank you.
Don’t Move Firewood. (2022, September 14). New York - Don’t move Firewood. Don’t Move Firewood - the Nature Conservancy. https://www.dontmovefirewood.org/map/new-york/
Firewood and Invasive Pests - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation. (n.d.). https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/28722.html
Firewood Transportation Laws: Prevent the spread of invasive species in NY State & the Adirondacks. (n.d.). Adirondack.net. https://www.adirondack.net/camping/firewood-transportation-laws/
Hite, L. (2022). New York firewood regulations. Cutting Edge Firewood. https://www.cuttingedgefirewood.com/blog/new-york-firewood-regulations/
NYup.com. (2018, May 24). Going camping in Upstate NY? Here are the firewood rules for your campfire. Newyorkupstate. https://www.newyorkupstate.com/outdoors/2018/05/going_camping_in_upstate_ny_here_are_the_firewood_rules_for_your_campfire.html