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January 2, 2014

Buying Firewood

DURHAM – As New Hampshire residents begin purchasing firewood for the winter, UNH Cooperative Extension offers insight, tips, and a reminder about two firewood quarantines in effect in New Hampshire.

The state of New Hampshire has two firewood quarantines in place to help prevent the arrival of damaging insects. A 2011 firewood quarantine prohibits uncertified firewood from other states from being brought into New Hampshire. A quarantine put in place earlier this year after the Emerald Ash Borer was discovered in Concord prevents the movement of all hardwood firewood, ash wood products and ash nursery stock from moving outside of Merrimack County. UNH Cooperative Extension encourages homeowners to ask their firewood dealers to confirm that their firewood meets the requirements of the quarantines. To learn more about the quarantines, go to nhbugs.org/firewood.

Extension Professor Karen Bennett says consumers should treat the purchase of firewood as they would any other business transaction—using good business practices. “It’s best to be clear about what you want when speaking to a firewood dealer,” she says.

Bennett offers the following guidelines:

How to Purchase Firewood

• Specify how much firewood you want to buy—do you want a cord or a fraction of a cord? A cord is the amount of wood that is contained in a space of 128 cubic feet when the pieces of wood are placed in a row, with individual pieces touching and parallel to one another and stacked in a compact manner.

• Let the dealer know how long you would like the pieces to be; they should be short enough to fit in your woodstove or fireplace.

• Talk to the firewood dealer about the types of wood you wish to purchase, as different woods have different properties. Overall, a mix of hardwoods is best, with a small amount of kindling wood mixed in.

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