Unwanted firewood

What if you have firewood that you don't want? What's the best way to get rid of the stuff?


Dear Don't Move Firewood,

I recently bought a house that has a stack of firewood in the back corner of my lot. I won't be using the firewood due to allergies. 

What is the best removal plan?


Concerned Cara


Dear Concerned Cara,

Congratulations on buying a house! That's exciting. Getting rid of the firewood shouldn't be too hard, even if you don't want to burn it yourself. Here are some options:

– If you have a large lot and it isn't in the way, you could just leave it there forever. Depends on your planned use of the land, yes, but it is truly doing no harm ecologically by just sitting there, so that's the simplest method. (NOTE: after originally posting this blog, I was kindly reminded that in some parts of the country, piles of firewood near your house can increase the risks of other pests like carpenter ants, fire ants, or termites setting up shop in or near your home. Further, in the fire-prone parts of the country, firewood piles can be dangerous if there is wildfire in the area. Therefore, unused firewood piles should be a long distance from your house- I'd guess a safe distance is 100ft or more!)

– I recently read that firewood can be used on-site in the making of very water-efficient raised beds for gardening! How cool! So if you are planning on doing any raised flower beds or vegetable beds in the spring, please look up "Hugelkultur" online for a really neat way to use extra firewood in your gardens. It will reduce the amount of money you need to spend on gardening soil, too! Win-win.

– You don't want to burn it because of your allergies (I presume you are very sensitive to indoor wood particulates) but someone else could burn it, of course. One thing you could do is give it away to a local friend or neighbor that is very nearby. For instance, if you had someone just down the street that burns wood in the winter, you could offer it to them. Moving firewood less than a few miles is quite harmless from the perspective of spreading insects and diseases. It is best to keep it under 10 miles at the top limit, please. And don't cross any town, county or state borders, as this increases the likelyhood that you could inadvertantly be violating a law or regulation.

– At last resort, you could take it to either your solid waste disposal (i.e. town dump) or municipal composting facility, if you have one. I know in my town, the municipal composting place takes logs up to 16" in diameter- pretty huge and certainly bigger than cut firewood. So once you have the time, you could look up your new local services and figure that out.

Good luck, and thanks for asking!