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Finding free firewood can save thousands of dollars every year!
Filling the woodroom – it’s one of our Top 5 “W” chores every spring. And we have been hard at it for the last several weeks. And we love heading out to the bush where we’ll find free firewood!
Once winter temperatures hit -20C, we turn on two basement baseboard heaters, just so water lines don’t freeze. The house stays toasty warm with our woodstove going all day and night.
We use quite a bit of firewood every winter. This is why we need to make sure we have a completely full wood room every year. There would be nothing worse than running out of dry firewood and having to buy it! In the middle of winter, we would be paying a huge premium on that firewood.
This year, we had to take down quite a few trees on the site of the new garlic curing sheds. Now, we have plenty of Aspen trees to buck up and turn into firewood. That solves our wood problems for the later part of this coming winter.
But, that wood won’t be totally dry until February or so. We have some leftover wood from last winter, but not enough to last us until this new wood is dry.
Finding Free Firewood
We need to find free firewood that is already dry and we have a lot of that in our bushes. Because of the pine beetle that devastated stands of timber in our area several years ago, there are still plenty of dead (but standing) pine trees out there.
Of course, there are also many felled trees that we can use for free wood. Fallen trees are the easiest because the tree is already dead and perhaps has been for a year.
Since the trees are already dead, the wood is dry. Quite nice being able to drop a tree, buck it up and throw it right in the woodstove for some nice heat!
We had a very bad windstorm last week, where the power went out again (thank goodness, we are prepared for outages!). After the storm passed, we went looking for newly fallen pine trees. Bonus that they had either fallen right on the bush road and right next to it.
A pretty lake along the way. The Cariboo has more lakes than the days in the year, seriously! It’s fishing is known world wide.
We were able to find a few trees that were still laying across these unused roads. We just take the limbs off using the chain saw, and then Graham bucks up the tree. I load the rounds into the back of the truck. And since this wood is dry already, it is quite light for me to load!
For the trees that needed to be hauled out onto the road, Graham attaches a shackle around the tree trunk and attaches the other end of the chain to the truck. Then we drive the truck along the road and pull the log out of the bush.
This makes it so easy to haul out and buck up. We found lots!
At the end of the day, we came home with our truck loaded with dry wood, ready for splitting and stacking. We use an electric wood splitter; we bought it a year after we moved here and it is still on my list as one of the best investments we ever made!
Remember, if you are in the market for a woodstove, be sure to buy one that has a flat top! There’s an important reason for that! Not only will your stove heat your home, you will be able to cook on it.
Permits for Finding Free Firewood
Check with your province or state for laws about finding free firewood in the bush. In some places, you need a permit to gather firewood – it is often free to get a permit, you just need to have one before cutting down trees.
If you live in town and can’t get out to the bush, there are other options for free firewood. Check with your local construction companies and go around to construction sites.
Many times they will allow you to take away their scrap lumber for free. It works out well for both, the company does not have to pay for hauling the lumber scraps and you get to have free fire wood.
Also you can check with your local tree company which takes down dangerous trees. They may allow you to take the wood for your own use. Your local Facebook marketplace is another resource you can use.
More related to finding free firewood:
Everything you need to know about how to clean out a wood stove
How to cook on a wood stove (that’s not a cook stove)
We use a wood stove fan to help push the heat – read our review here
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