You may or may not be aware that there is now a considerable amount of imported firewood coming in from Eastern Europe and the volume has exploded over the last 3-4 years and as you can see from the latest Mail on Sunday article, there are increasing concerns over the integrity of this supply. To be sure that any pests and diseases are eliminated, wood will need to be kiln dried at temperatures greater than 100oC for a period of time. Having looked at the quality of some of the imported wood and the fact that it is often not dried sufficiently would suggest that it has certainly not been dried for long enough and at high temperatures. The chances therefore of pests under the bark surviving the kiln process are potentially very high – can we afford to be taking the risk?
It is recommended that you look very carefully at what firewood you are buying, particularly online and it is advisable that you ask your supplier the following questions:
- Where is the wood sourced from?
- Has it been kiln dried and if you want to get technical, ask at what temperatures and for how long?
- Is the wood quality assured with Woodsure/HETAS? – this is the only recommended quality assured scheme for wood fuel.
- What is the moisture content? (needs to be below 20%) – and can they prove this to you with their moisture meter!
And a few things you need to be aware of and tell-tale signs that the wood is imported:
- If the wood is stacked in crates it is almost certainly imported
- If the wood is in large plain nets and sold by the litre, it is almost certainly imported – UK suppliers supply by weight or volume, not litres
- If its 100% silver birch or alder, it is almost definitely imported and these species will also burn much faster than the likes of oak, beech and ash. (Eastern Europe can have larger volumes of silver birch and alder woodlands, whereas the UK is more mixed woodlands of native species such as oak, ash and beech)
Find the article from the Mail on Sunday here