Scrounging Firewood

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Do you folks have any suggestions for finding firewood that doesn't come with a $250 per cord price tag? I've seen from the posts here that some of you have scored free wood cut down by utilities and homeowners who didn't want the wood. I'll keep my eyes open for those opportunities, but if anyone has other ideas, I'm all ears. I was thinking of looking for pallets from lumber yards and perhaps buying slabs from sawmills.
 

Jay106n

Minister of Fire
Apr 1, 2015
764
Litchfield County, CT
Word of mouth is best. There is always somebody who wants a downed tree gone or somebody clearing a lot somewhere. My wife thinks I'm crazy because whenever I talk to somebody I mention that I burn wood. Over time, people will remember, and they have started to call me when they have some wood that they want gone.
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,157
Southern IN
Yeah, slab wood might be pretty dry. Lotta sapwood though. If you have a saw, and a woodlot you can cut, look for small, dead standing trees with the bark off; Chances are those will be ready to burn. However you find wood, try to buck it to length yourself, or you will get a lot of odd sizes that need to be cut again, and hard-to-handle stuff...."tree-man chunks." :rolleyes:
 

iluvjazznjava

Member
Oct 26, 2014
168
British Columbia
If you are looking for wood that you can burn now, it may be harder to find. I have a small local sawmill that cuts large dimensional support beams, mostly out of douglas fir. There are a ton of side slabs off the logs that they just pile out in their yard. Some of it has been sitting there for years, so its good to burn. They let me bring my 8'x5' utility trailer there and load as much as I can haul away for $100 a load. If there are any mills close by, consider giving them a call.

Pallets are ok, but they are a lot of work to take apart to get ready to burn.
 

tigeroak

Feeling the Heat
Nov 4, 2012
355
kansas illinois
I look several places-- golf areas, farmers [ a big one for me], city and township wood dumps, tree guys and so on. Around here one saw mill is 5.00 for all you can haul in pickup or 10.00 for a 16 foot trailer and the other 2 are first come first server FREE you load or cut your own and load . 100% of my wood is less than 3 miles from my house. Over half is less than 1/2 round trip.
 
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claydogg84

Minister of Fire
Sep 9, 2013
1,792
Salt Point, NY
Do you have a saw and splitter? If so, a log load is usually guaranteed 8 cord for $800. If you don't mind doing the work that is a solid deal.
 

drz1050

Minister of Fire
Sep 11, 2014
791
Ballston Lake, NY
I haven't had a whole lot of luck scrounging up around the Saratoga area of NY, but there is a sawmill up here that gives away their slab wood for free. Maybe try taking a drive out to the Catskills and look around.. there's always a ton of wind fallen trees in those woods.
 

Timberwolf530

Member
Feb 12, 2014
38
Carmel, IN
Do you folks have any suggestions for finding firewood that doesn't come with a $250 per cord price tag? I've seen from the posts here that some of you have scored free wood cut down by utilities and homeowners who didn't want the wood. I'll keep my eyes open for those opportunities, but if anyone has other ideas, I'm all ears. I was thinking of looking for pallets from lumber yards and perhaps buying slabs from sawmills.
Networking. Just like anything else, you need to get other people working for you. Everyone I know knows that I burn, so any time anyone sees a dead tree in a friend or relative's yard, they let them know I'll take it down for free to get the wood. I don't cut anything that is within range of landing on anything valuable, but I don't really have to scrounge any strangers any more, and my days of burning nasty muddy crotches is over. Also, tree guys will charge less to just drop the tree, so I have told all my neighbors that if they need a tree removed, to just have the guy drop it, and I will remove the wood, and clean up all the limbs. I have enough to keep me busy for the next year and beyond. In the mean time, before you get your wood network set up, Craigs List is your friend. You just have to be prepared to go get it immediately, or someone will beat you to it.
 
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heavy hammer

Minister of Fire
Jul 18, 2015
1,624
Kirtland Ohio
I agree with timberwolf530 talk to neighbors tree guys utility forestry guys the more people that know you are looking for wood will pay off I have had neighbors the last two years that are having large 50 to 100 year old oak and maple trees removed they are older couples that do not burn have always offered to split cost of tree being dropped but have never had to pay yet this last summer I got 3 to 5 cords of red oak from guy across the street from me I have pretty good relationship with all my neighbors though help them out with lawn care leave removal but enough on that the main thing I'm getting at is to ask you will be amazed at the response
 

axeman628

New Member
Nov 10, 2015
41
Long Island, NY
Keep your eyes open and tell everyone you know that you have a wood stove. Friends and family waste no time in telling me where they've seen wood. Sometimes it doesn't help but a few dud leads are worth it.

If you hear any tree work going on in the neighborhood, doesn't hurt to ask what they are doing with the wood.

As far as pallets, a few of the building supply places near me give them away.
 

edge-of-the-woods

Feeling the Heat
Nov 21, 2014
291
Hamden, CT USA
Also, tree guys will charge less to just drop the tree, so I have told all my neighbors that if they need a tree removed, to just have the guy drop it, and I will remove the wood, and clean up all the limbs.
Here in CT that's sadly not the case, at least in my area. Tree services didn't want to leave the wood, and when I told them I wanted it, they said they wouldn't charge any less for leaving it there.
 

rowerwet

Minister of Fire
CL gets me most of my wood, the rest is by letting people I know know that I remove trees
 

bag of hammers

Minister of Fire
Jan 7, 2010
1,447
Northern ON
+1 on mills as a potential source. We have a lumber yard / sawmill in town - they process 6x6 and 4x4 and they stack the odds and ends tight on 54" pallets and put them out roadside. Mix of hardwoods, weight wise probably 2/3 of a cord or more, great stuff. Its not dry, I pile them here for a couple years. An occasional / weekend burner would not have to look any further for a steady supply.
 

Bigsby

Burning Hunk
Dec 7, 2014
115
Southern Wisconsin
Word of mouth works for me too. Started out wondering how I'd ever get three years ahead without owning any wooded property to having wood coming out of my ears. Also scored about five cord of split maple stored in a corn crib that the new owner had no interest in, all because I spread the word that I'm looking for firewood.
 

Omaha419

Burning Hunk
Jul 19, 2015
188
Falling Waters, WV
I have a local recycling center I go to. Most of the time I leave with a load. Sometimes it's oak/cherry/maple, others days not so good poplar/pine/sycamore.

I'll also run into tree companies dumping wood there. I'll give them my info. So far that has gotten me a load of chestnut oak.

Do you have access to one? If so, check it out!
 

fire_man

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
2,364
North Eastern MA
Here in CT that's sadly not the case, at least in my area. Tree services didn't want to leave the wood, and when I told them I wanted it, they said they wouldn't charge any less for leaving it there.

I can't believe how many CT posts saying how hard it is to find wood. It's North of $350/cord in my area, but at least the tree guys will leave it behind for less $$.

Like others have said, networking finds the best scrounges, except for my wife who has the best wood scrounging eagle eye :)
 

7acres

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2013
652
South East USA
The thing that's done more for me is having my wood stacked where it's visible from the road. Word has gotten around that I'll clean up and haul off any downed trees for free. I also fall trees if they are easy and not near structures. My neighbors save a lot of time and money letting me do the grunt work.

I've only been at this for two years. But I've scrounged upwards of 15 cords totally free. I've got three neighbors in my backlog. I've got a week off this week and I'm eager to get out there in the woods with my trailer and saws and bring it all home !
 
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