Top 10 Excellent Sources of Free Firewood for Heating

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You can find free firewood used for heating in dead or dying trees and pruning, storm wreckage, burn stacks, dumpsters, public lands, professionals who utilize wood, advertising media, wooden pallets, producers of scrap lumber, and through inquiring and networking.

Heating a home with the use of firewood is probably the cheapest way. But one problem is where to find free firewood, especially those who live in urban areas. But if there are firewood supplies, it’s either rare or expensive or maybe both. The answer is simple and it’s scavenging for free firewood. And when you do find the resources, you can either use an axe or a log splitter to cut them into pieces. Here are possible places that you may acquire what you need:

Dead or dying trees and pruning

Probably, you can site dead or dying trees on a neighbor’s land or commercial property and especially in forest trails. Oftentimes, the owner of the property does not have the time, money or energy to cut down these hazards. You see, dead or dying trees can easily be taken down by strong winds and might cause damage and injury. So, why not inquire and do the job while saving money at the same time.

Storm wreckage

Windstorms are most convenient to those who are scavenging for free firewood. In this case, have a chain saw or hefty saw in hand. You can see lots of fallen branches and trees all over the place. Always seek permission to the land owner or the authorities before doing any work.

Burn stacks

After a land is cleared for construction, professionals clear the trees and remove trees that can be sold and leaving those that won’t in stumps or its branches. These are piled using a bulldozer and leave behind to age or be burned soon. Burn stacks can supply truckloads of firewood. Ask the contractor or landowner and if you get their go ahead, check the wood keenly. Avoid those with rocks and dirt on it because it can damage a chainsaw blade instantly.


Rear ends of wood are often discarded in construction sites. Ask permission then select those that can be burned. Be wary of nails and discard painted and pretreated wood because these will give off harmful fumes and are therefore, not recommended. Another great sources are businesses which uses wooden crates to ship goods and equipment.

Public lands

Think about it, you pay taxes so you can also utilize government’s areas, though some require a permit or a minimal fee. Before chopping, check the grounds if you can find burnable trees. Contact certain government agencies or offices such as the public works and local highway departments, for leads on where trees and branches are being taken down. It is also possible to make good connections so you know where the thinning sites are. Remember to contact for permit information.

Professionals who utilize wood

Landscaping architects, tree medics and logging companies can supply firewood. Some employees moonlight and persuade people to buy firewood they could spare from their working sites. Inquire where their future sites will be so you can help hauling unwanted debris.

Advertising media

Check ads from local newspapers, church notice boards, bulletin boards on supermarkets, free ad papers or better yet, the Internet. There are loads of advertising sites such as Freecycle, Craigslist, Trading Post to name a few. Do not answer advertisements that will require a logger truck because these are for professionals or experienced ones.

Wooden pallets

Wooden pallets are used to load and transfer bulk goods in industries and these are mostly used only once. These are made of soft wood that makes it great for heating.

Producers of scrap lumber

Some occupations utilize wood in their work and some are as follows: cabinet makers, wood manufacturers, sawmills and furniture makers. Call and arrange if you can gather scrap lumber. You can even use the saw dust as kindling.

Inquiring and networking

One very effective way to find free firewood is through calling and inquiring on different people, company or site. Your hunt will certainly be easier and maybe, you won’t have to scavenge personally but just take leads from your contacts.

Before scavenging for free firewood, safety precautions are a must. Always be equipped with the right way to use a certain tool or equipment. Good luck and have fun.

I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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