One of the best things about heating with a wood stove is getting free wood. Nobody ever walks up to you and says, hey, I have some extra money I need out of my way, do you want some for your gas furnace?
But when people know you heat with wood, it’s not unheard of that they’ll come up to you and ask if you want firewood that they need moved out of their yard.
The best time to look for free firewood is in the spring and summer, especially when people are trimming trees. Summer is a great time of year to start picking up scrap wood, and letting it season on your own property. Once pieces are pretty seasoned move them into your garage/wood shed/barn/laundry room/workshop/wherever your wood is out of the weather. Most people are cleaning up their properties and are more than willing to have someone come haul it away. Usually trickiest part about free wood is getting there in time before anyone else asks to take it.
Related Posts: Why You Need a Wood Burning Stove and Why You Need a Wood Burning Stove.
If you live in a super nice area of town it might be worth it to cruise the more industrial area and see if any businesses have pallets or other scraps to give away. Just a few blocks from my home is a construction company that has a bin next to their dumpsters where they put odds and ends for anyone to take. I’ve also found wood illegally dumped on the bike path that goes right next to my house. Not only did I get free wood, but I also cleaned up the neighborhood.
Websites like www.craigslist.com or chipdrop.com are great for hooking up people who are trimming their trees, or cleaning out scrap lumber. I’ve also gotten free wood from neighbors who just wanted it hauled away. It never hurts to ask, and usually people are happy to have you take it off their hands.
Here is a list of 10 places to start searching for free firewood:
- Ask around at construction sites
- Wood dumped on the side of the road
- Neighbors cutting down tress
- Church/community bulletins
- Businesses with extra (untreated) pallets
- Walk or drive around a new area of town
Tips for Bringing Home Free Wood
If you have a truck, you’re totally lucky! If you don’t have a truck, you can lay big tarps down in your car and load on top of the tarp to protect your upholstery. Alternatively, you can rent a pick up from Uhaul pretty cheap if you need to.
If you are getting lumber or untreated pallets, I’ve found the best way to split those into burnable lengths is simply to cut them down with a cheap circular saw.
Some wood isn’t going to be split, or even the right length for your stove. If you are regularly getting large pieces of wood, it might be a good idea to invest in a chain saw to cut the length down, or also a hydraulic log splitter. It’s possible to split big logs with a wedge, and since we never had a log splitter that is how we do all our wood.
In fact, in this video it looks so easy!
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Friday 9th of September 2022
Just cut down a tree free wood. You will have to load it and take it from my back yard. Please call 240-416-5671.
Monday 23rd of November 2020
Burning scrap wood, pallets etc in your logburner will produce nails screws and other bits of metal in the ash residue. I run a magnet over the ash to remove such material. All household metal waste including tin cans bottle tops etc is accumulated and can be sold to the nearest scrap metal recovery dealer. it is not worth a huge amount but it is recycled which has to be good for our planet. I have a supply of 20 litre vegatable oil cans from a local takeaway food store and with the top cut half open and folded in side leaving the handle for carrying and these make ideal containers for this "waste". I use an old hand axe and stout gloves to protect my hand cutting the tops open-THINK personal safety
Tuesday 24th of November 2020
Yes, a magnet is a great way to pick out old hardware!
Monday 14th of September 2020
I put a 1,000 litre plastic tank outside the back of the house near the greywater outlet & I collect the greywater before the sewerage connection. I also fitter a submersible water pump with waste line around the back yard gardens which I turn on when the tank is full. If I don't turn on the tap it flows down the original grey water line & into the system.
Wednesday 16th of September 2020
Sounds like a good design!
Wednesday 6th of November 2019
I have a very tall pine that has just died with no sign of beatle infestation or rot and would like to know if anyone would remove the tree in exchange for the wood.
Monday 18th of March 2019
I have a yard full of free firewood spend cut into large logs you bring a chainsaw gas powered what you want and take it free Warren Michigan 8446 toepfer between Van Dyke and Hoover
Monday 14th of September 2020
I wish you were in Australia!
Wednesday 20th of March 2019
Hope someone gets them from you!