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Tips for Buying Firewood

The Maryland Department of Agriculture offers advice for getting what you paid for and how to avoid wood with damaging insects.

As colder weather approaches and you prepare to build a fire to keep warm, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) offers some tips for buying firewood.

The department, which is headquartered in Annapolis, reminds residents that Maryland regulations require that firewood only be sold by the cord (or fractional parts of a cord). That means that any other unit of measurement for wood—such as truckload, rack, face cord, or pile—is illegal, according to the MDA.

The MDA offers these other tips in a press release:

A cord of wood is 128 cubic feet, typically stacked four feet wide, by eight feet long, by four feet high, with no internal gaps. (Cubic feet is calculated by multiplying the width of the stack by its height and length.) When properly stacked, the individual pieces of wood are in a line, parallel to and touching each other. Bulk sales of firewood must be accompanied by a delivery ticket containing the date of delivery, the name and address of the seller and buyer, the quantity of wood delivered, the cost of the wood, the type of wood delivered, and the license number or other identifying number of the vehicle that transports the wood. Any seller who refuses or is reluctant to provide complete information should be considered suspicious.

MDA recommends that residents be home when wood is delivered and to measure the stack immediately to make sure they receive the correct quantity. If buyers cannot be home, they should measure the stack as soon as possible. Consumers who think they have received less than a cord should first try to resolve the matter with the seller. If that doesn’t work, call the Weights and Measures office in Annapolis at 410-841-5790, or 1-800-492-5590.

Another Firewood Reminder: Don’t Move Firewood. Burn it Where You Buy It!

MDA reminds residents that it is illegal to move ash wood materials and all hardwood firewood from the 14 counties west of the Chesapeake Bay and Susquehanna River to the Eastern Shore. This restriction is an attempt to prevent the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive species that kills ash trees, from invading the Eastern Shore. The EAB arrived in Maryland on infested nursery stock and MDA has confirmed the presence of EAB in 9 of the 14 counties on the western shore. It has not yet been detected on the Eastern Shore. The EAB has destroyed hundreds of ash trees across the state and thousands across the country. USDA has estimated losses caused by the EAB could exceed $227.5 million in the Baltimore area alone. Ash is one of the most popular trees used in landscaping in Maryland. Officials urge county residents and sellers of firewood not to transport firewood but rather to burn it where you buy it. Ash wood, however, can be transported within the 14-county quarantine area. For more information about the EAB, see www.mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/eab/ or www.hungrypests.com/the-spread/maryland.php

See also:

  • Emerald Ash Borer Invades Anne Arundel County

 

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