a cord of wood stacked in two rows at about four feet high and 8 feet long by four feet wide

4 Best Places To Get Free Firewood

Originally contributed by Ashley Hunte • last updated 1/15/2021

Whether you’re planning to heat your whole house or looking to have the occasional cozy night by the fire, you may be wondering where to get free firewood near you. You could just buy it, but the cost of firewood can add up pretty quickly. As it turns out, there are plenty of places to get firewood without having to travel too far, and at no or an extremely low cost to you.

Wood is used in pretty much everything, and there are so many instances where people have too much wood or wood that they no longer need and are looking to get rid of. If you’re looking for ways to be more frugal or less wasteful in your wood collecting, then you’re in luck, because there are plenty of ways to do this without breaking the bank, and while going about your day-to-day.

Here are four ways to look for and collect firewood for free in your area.

1. Get Free Firewood From Tree Removals In Your Area

If you live in or near a neighborhood with a lot of mature trees, you may find tree removals happening from time to time throughout the year. Sometimes a tree is on its last legs, or the owner simply doesn’t want the tree in their space, or a storm just happened, but it’s actually fairly common to see trees coming down from time to time.

Any tree removals that are happening near you are actually great places to get free firewood. Most people want nothing to do with the excess wood once it’s cut down, and having it removed and disposed of is an extra cost, so they’re likely to say yes if you ask if you can take the wood scraps. In fact, you’d probably be doing them a favor!

Keep in mind that you most likely won’t find someone cutting down a tree in their yard every single day. It’s better to keep an eye out when you go for your day-to-day outings and look for opportunities as they present themselves. You’ll also want to make sure to have room in your vehicle in case you find yourself bringing firewood home. The opportunity could present itself at any time, but the best time to look is after a storm, because trees that take damage will be taken down within days of the storm. Always be on the lookout!

2. Check Ads on Craigslist, Facebook For Free Firewood Near You

Just like with tree removals, be on the lookout for online listings for free firewood in your area through websites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Sometimes people have removed trees from their property, or have leftover wood from renovation and DIY projects, and they just want to get rid of the wood. They will post ads online for local pickup, and because they’re literally giving it away, they oftentimes won’t charge a dime!

You can also post your own ad as someone looking to get free or cheap firewood near you. Just as you’d be responding to ads looking to get rid of extra wood, there will be people looking for these ads to find people to give away whatever wood they don’t need. If you’re lucky, you may be able to get them to drop it off to you but be prepared to transport that firewood yourself. Make sure you have access to a vehicle that can carry off the wood.

You may also see ads for scrap pallets that people are just giving away, this also provides an excellent opportunity to get free firewood near you.

3. Free Leftover Pallets In Local Stores

You could actually find free firewood in stores near you. Many stores get their produce delivered on pallets, and then have no use for those pallets afterwards. They oftentimes quite literally try to give them away, so they’re open to people coming in to take them. Since pallets are made of wood and easy to break down, they are a perfect way to get free firewood.

Don’t be afraid to call your local hardware and grocery stores. Since they have no use for the pallets after the products have been delivered and unloaded, they’re more than likely happy to get rid of the extra wood. It doesn’t cost them anything, so you’ll be doing them a favor, and you’ll get plenty of free firewood too.

One thing to keep in mind is that pallets contain nails and screws to keep them intact, so make sure you either remove those or cut them out before you plan on burning the wood. Also keep a look out for any pallets that have been treated or stained, because they’ll release chemicals that are toxic when inhaled. So, make sure whatever pallets you’re picking up are made of plain, untreated wood.

4. Construction Sites Have Leftover Wood Too

Construction of all kinds is happening constantly, so there’s a good chance something is being built or renovated near you at any given time. This is actually an excellent place to get free firewood in your area. Because lumber is such a large part of construction, they’re bound to use a lot of it – and have a lot of it left over too. A lot of the time the leftover wood will just be hauled off and disposed of along with the rest of the scrap materials, so they’re usually pretty okay with people coming in to reclaim some of the wood.

Just like with tree removals, you’ll need to be on the lookout for construction sites. If you happen to see construction happening near you, think of it as a chance to get some free firewood. Make sure you ask permission, since it would probably be frowned upon to show up and start scavenging wood unannounced, but more times than not the workers will say yes and let you go on about your day with a score of newly found firewood.

Again, just like the pallets, make sure anything you plan to burn isn’t treated or stained. Safety first!