Kaibab National Forest firewood permit holders advised to not cut live oak

Firewood permit holders should check oak trees carefully this season to ensure the tree is dead.

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Firewood permit holders should check oak trees carefully this season to ensure the tree is dead.

TUSAYAN, Ariz. — The Kaibab National Forest advises permitted fuelwood harvesters to not accidentally cut live oak.

Some areas of the forest, especially on the Tusayan Ranger District, experienced a late-season freeze that may have killed some leaves on oak trees. The trees may look dead, but Kaibab National Forest (KNF) said the trees are not dead. Fuelwood permits are valid only for oak trees that are dead and down or standing dead but are not valid for live oak.

Josh Giles, silviculturist for the Williams and Tusayan ranger districts, urges permit holders to be extra careful.

“Be vigilant in ensuring that oak trees are actually dead when harvesting them for firewood,” he said.

KNF advises the following test to ensure oak trees are dead prior to cutting:

Check to see if you can bend the limbs without them breaking. Be sure to check several limbs of varying sizes. If the limbs are pliable, then the tree is still green and should not be harvested. 

Scratch the surface of the oak tree with a knife or similar object. If you can see green just under the bark surface, then the tree is still alive and should not be harvested.  

“The late freeze may look like it had a drastic effect on the oaks, they will bounce back in a very short time,” Giles added.

Firewood cutting permits can be purchased at the following locations, during specified hours Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays:

Williams Ranger District, 742 S. Clover Road, Williams; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; (928) 635-5600

Tusayan Ranger District, 176 Lincoln Log Loop, Tusayan; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; (928) 638-2443

North Kaibab Ranger District, 430 S. Main St., Fredonia; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; (928) 643-7395

More information and detailed firewood cutting maps for each ranger district are available on the Kaibab National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/kaibab/fuelwood.

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