A Firewood Word to the Wise

Nov 18, 2011

Descanso's oak forest. Courtesy of Descanso Gardens.

Recently we received this missive from our intrepid garden correspondant, Sandy Gillis. Since the cool weather and holiday season means many of us are stocking up on firewood, the message is timely and important. Pass it on!

BUY FIREWOOD ONLY FROM REPUTABLE SOURCES! And REFRAIN FROM TRANSPORTING FIREWOOD FROM SAN DIEGO COUNTY! Oh, am I shouting? Yes! And get this: I’m jumping up and down, too, as I shout! The very scary Goldspotted Oak Borer larvae have eaten through 80,000 mature oaks in San Diego County since 2002. GSOB is killing huge numbers of oak trees, just south of here, my tree loving peeps! It arrived, probably in a load of firewood from Arizona or Mexico, most likely in the back of a pickup truck. As yet, there are no biological or chemical controls for GSOB, so containment is key. Thank you, thank you for not buying cheap oak firewood from that guy with the white pickup truck. If the Oak Borer invades our beloved Descanso Gardens (home to 1,400 oaks), LA County Arboretum, or our own backyards and neighborhood parks, it will be devastating. Thank you.

1 Response for “A Firewood Word to the Wise”

  1. Sandy Gillis says:

    Update: I will be spot-checking, or Goldspot-ted Oak Borer checking, various firewood vendors about town over the next few weeks. First report is good: Alpine Firewood, 314 North Altadena Drive
    Pasadena, (626) 584-9663, only sells local wood. They told me they do not buy firewood from San Diego County since “it’s quarantined with a bug.” No, not a cold or flu that it’ll shake in 10 days. The Alpine guys are straight up doing the right thing. 1/2 cord is $225, mixed wood. Clean, hot burning hardwood is a little bit more, and delivery is available. They’ll be getting local almond and plum wood in next week.



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