Related Blogs

Mon, Mar 7th at 6:45 pm
Dear Don't Move Firewood- Can I transport firewood from Texas to Kentucky? Yours, Road Trip...
Wed, Jan 13th at 4:48 pm
Guest Blog by William David, Eagle Scout 2015, Boy Scout Troop 91, Daniel Boone Council, Asheville...
Thu, Jan 7th at 6:42 pm
Join us for the first FOCI webinar of the new year (and the last webinar within our 2015 series,...
Thu, Dec 10th at 12:24 pm
Firewood is an important source of heat for many people- and you can help neighbors in need by...
07/24/2013 2:01 PM
Posted by: L. Greenwood

One of the most perennial questions we get here at Don't Move Firewood is best described as the infinite variations of...can I burn pallets? move pallets? use pallet wood in my stove?


Dear Don't Move Firewood,

Is pallet wood okay to move?

Thank you, Karen


Here's the quick answer; not a good thing to do. Not often illegal, truly, but still something that we suggest not doing.



- Pallets are often stored outside for at least a few months, if not far longer. That means nearly anything can crawl onto them and lay eggs (for instance, gypsy moth), or contaminated soil can stick or splash onto them (for instance, sudden oak death).

- Pallets from other countries are now required to be heat treated, but some falsification of certificates and imperfectly applied treatment still occur. That means even new pallets could still contain pests within their wood.

- Campgrounds will sometimes confiscate cut pallets and construction waste as part of their own facilities safety needs. So even if you bring it, you might not get to use it.

 - Older pallets are sometimes impregnated with toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Particularly methyl bromide. You don't want to burn that and then inhale it, or contaminate your wood stove. And if you don't know how old your pallet is, you don't know if those chemicals are in there.


So the final answer is that if you know your pallet is recently manufactured, it probably is fine to burn it on site or within a few miles of where you got it. But it is not a good idea to move pallets long distances for the purposes of burning them for firewood, nor is it a good idea to burn older pallets at all, given that they could release dangerous chemicals upon burning.

Sign up to receive our newsletter

Monthly updates on firewood outreach, regulation, and industry
Quarterly updates on firewood and forest issues of general interest
4 + 5 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Monthly archive