Free firewood: from me to your fireplace or wood stove

woman drinking coffee

I am giving away free firewood to anyone with a wood stove or fireplace who needs help heating their home this winter. I'll give first preference to elderly folks, single women, and disabled men. I will gladly cut the logs to a specified length if desired and load them as you sip on a cup of coffee or tea (also free) and possibly munch on a tasty treat I made, if I've recently baked something yummy.

The price for firewood is shockingly high: sometimes $400 per cord. Yikes! Back in the days when I walked a mile to my school bus stop (yes, really :-), I helped my stepfather sell apple firewood for $40 per cord. My, how times have changed! Burning apple wood emits a heavenly scent, so it commanded a higher price than other hardwoods.

My firewood isn't apple, but it is otherwise premium hardwood. I use STIHL® BioPlus™ bar and chain oil for my chainsaw, which is made with vegetable oil. That's pricey but better for the environment—and you! In the process of cutting firewood, some bar and chain oil is transferred to the ends of logs, and eventually goes up in smoke along with the rest of the log when burned. Burning vegetable oil is less hazardous than burning petroleum-based oil. Vegetable oil isn't benign but it is certainly safer, which likely explains why employees of fast food restaurants don't drop like flies. :-)

My firewood also does not (to the best of my knowledge) contain any bullets or shotgun pellets, which can be invisibly embedded in logs. Lead is a potent neurotoxin that can adversely affect IQ and cause other health problems.

My firewood is cut from trees on my property that has soil with exceptionally low lead levels. All soil contains some lead. When trees grow, they absorb the nutrients they want along with some of the toxins in the soil, including lead, which ends up in firewood logs. Clearly, it is better to have logs from trees harvested from low-lead areas, such as mine.

In an effort to economize, some people put used motor oil in their chainsaws to lubricate the bar and chain. That's very bad for the environment and anyone who burns logs cut with it. Why? Used motor oil contains many harmful chemicals, often including lead, arsenic, and cadmium. I'm probably the only firewood supplier who graduated from medical school, so I know what such toxins can do to you.

In summary, my logs are better for your body and brain, and they're free! To get them, contact me. Please note: I do not sell any firewood, so I reserve the right to decide who shall receive my free logs.

If you want to thank me for the logs, please consider donating to help Liz Larios and her husband. I'm selling my Sea-doo, Ski-doo, and shed to raise money to help them return to Traverse City.

OK, what's the catch?

There is none. I simply believe in being generous. Many years ago, I was the recipient of unexpected generosity that warmed my heart, thereby teaching me a valuable lesson.

Model (not the woman who fed me) cooking in a kitchen

In one case, during my college days, I was mowing the lawn of a wealthy oral and maxillofacial surgeon when his neighbor approached me and invited me into her lavish home on a beautiful lake. She led me into the most exquisite kitchen I'd ever seen and told me, dirty from mowing, to sit at her table as she gave me delicious food that included things I couldn't afford, such as fresh berries mixed with yogurt. Neither she nor her husband, who sat across from me, were eating at the time, but they seemed to enjoy watching me get full—something I rarely did during lean years in which most of my money went toward tuition, books, and basic living expenses.

In another case, also during college, my duplex neighbors were a Professor from Saudi Arabia and his family. One of their children asked me to assemble a pool they purchased, saying her father was very intelligent but mechanically inept. The day after I assembled the pool they showered me with several plates full of food that was unbelievably tasty! This came at a time when successfully scrimping on meals was one of my main sources of pleasure; a 25-cent meal was good, and a 7-cent meal made my day. Eating lots of five-star food for days was a pleasant respite from the hunger I often felt, so I greatly appreciated their gift.

woman and child near fireplace
Stay warm this winter!

UPDATE: The demand for valuable free things (like my firewood) is predictably high and usually exceeds the ability of the producer to produce them. I reinjured my neck while cutting firewood this fall, which further limited my ability to supply an almost unlimited demand. While recuperating, I stumbled upon this quote:

“Chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice.”
Henry Ford

That made me realize that it is better to limit my free firewood to people who are elderly or disabled. If you are physically able to cut wood, you can do that on my property (after signing a release) or state land, which accumulates dead trees and brush that contributes to the fire hazard. By performing this useful public service, you would be warmed three times, with the additional warmth coming from the warmth in your heart.


  1. Matching Gardeners to Pantries Brings A Harvest of Caring
    Comment: Good idea, but I've done that for decades with food, firewood, and many other things. Hence what intrigues me about that article is why an old idea is suddenly newsworthy — but who gets traction in the news isn't a meritocracy.
  2. Nearly 50% of Retail Firewood Infested With Insects, Study Finds
  3. Heart-Warming Memories: Nostalgia Can Make You Feel Warmer
    Excerpt: “Research from the University of Southampton has shown that feeling nostalgic can make us feel warmer.”
The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

Comments (2)

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Comment #372 by Saundra
November 21 2017 08:12:42 AM

Nice People

It is heartwarming to see there are still nice people in the world. I'm looking for help for my Dad. He can't cut wood any more (age 79) and he heats his home with wood. I know you can't help but I still wanted to praise you for being nice!

REPLY FROM KEVIN PEZZI: Thank you for your kind words. I wish I could help him, too, but as you know firewood is (obviously) not practical to ship because of its weight, size, and potential to spread diseases and pests, such as the emerald ash borer.

Your comment reminded me of a man I saw a year ago picking up a few logs by the side of the road left there after the local electric power company trimmed trees. I told him I had lots more cut firewood on my land, so he and his wife came over with a truck and trailer several times over the next few months to collect wood to heat his home.

Comment #227 by Ben • Website: http//
August 3 2012 08:32:33 PM


I love the quote about firewood. I do tree care and firewood. But I wanted to leave a comment saying right on, concerning ways to avoid criticism.

REPLY FROM KEVIN PEZZI: Regarding criticism: Elbert Hubbard, an American editor, publisher, and writer who died aboard the RMS Lusitania after it was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine, had great advice for avoiding criticism: “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”

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