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Paul Pless
04-25-2016, 02:49 PM
The cutting, splitting, and stacking time has arrived.

I've a decent start, a cord or so co cut at least, and another dozen and half locust trees skidded and stacked in the corner of the yard ready to be bucked. None split yet, and my stacks usually remain as pigpiles until winter arrives. My neighbor, in the two weeks that I was in Alabama, split and stacked five cords! Honestly the last thing I want to do on a beautiful spring day is work on firewood though. . .

skuthorp
04-25-2016, 02:57 PM
Well the trees are volunteering at a greater rate than I can use them her, as usual. One whole sub species of eucalypt is dying at a great rate and new saplings are not surviving. Too hot and dry says the science, these trees have been the dominant variety here for a few hundred years at least. The worrying thing is that the other major variety is beginning to die off as well.
Plenty of firewood though, tens of tons of it on my place.

Paul Pless
04-25-2016, 03:00 PM
Are you in an area where the ground clutter of dead trees must be cleaned up to prevent forest fires or to have a defensible are around your home in case of fire?

Figment
04-25-2016, 03:02 PM
It's quite the roadside attraction here.

Our utility company's War On Trees is still ongoing. Anything with a fair chance of falling on a main distribution line is coming down. They'll run the small limbs through the chipper, but the big stuff just gets left where it falls. Within an hour you'll either see option A: random guys with saws loading whatever they can lift into anything that can roll, or option B: the property owner putting up $50 worth of "no tresspassing" signs and painting "not free wood" on the logs in flourescent spraypaint.

skuthorp
04-25-2016, 03:12 PM
I'm not sure, different councils seem to have different regulations. That said the biggest avenues for the spread of fire are the roadsides, but they are also the best repository for the survival of native species not being grazed. Rotting fallen timber is part of that ecosystem. There are regulations in place that compels land owners to 'tidy up' their blocks, but large rural holding will have grass fence high awaiting harvest for hay, and the regulations do not apply to council and government land.
Of course maintaining roadsides would consume the whole council budget. And to compound the problem I keep my own roadside patch tidy, which is technically illegal as it belongs to the council. But I have been complimented by the council for doing so. Fun eh?

Paul Pless
04-25-2016, 03:20 PM
B: the property owner putting up $50 worth of "no tresspassing" signs and painting "not free wood" on the logs in flourescent spraypaint.that's funny

paulf
04-25-2016, 03:34 PM
I cut split and stack 5 cords per year. We only have wood heat. Heat pump is looking better every year.

Canoeyawl
04-25-2016, 04:31 PM
I only have wood heat, but haven't cut or split wood for 20 years.
Hire it done, drive the tractor.

Garret
04-25-2016, 04:58 PM
I hope you're not felling the trees right now! This is the height of the sap run (not just in maples). Felling in winter is best, summer OK. If you are felling around now, at least wait until they are fully leafed out & then leave them until the leaves are dry (usually 3-4 weeks).

Paul Pless
04-25-2016, 05:07 PM
I'm still, six years on, dragging windfall locusts out the woods that were down when we bought the place. The positives are there's no bark or punky pith remaining, the negatives are that cutting trees like this is hell on chains, and honestly its tough on the splitter. I reckon I still have better than a hundred trees down that are 18" in diameter or larger and twice that many smaller ones to drag out. A couple dozen of these trees usually set me for firewood each season, then I'm sick of dealing with them. We've been pulling these out in an ever expanding circle from our house. Skidding them out is also helpful in terms of dragging the underbrush out and leaving paths into the woods to bushhog later. We really like the look of mature trees with not much in the way of underbrush surrounding our home.

paulf
04-25-2016, 05:23 PM
I'm still, six years on, dragging windfall locusts out the woods that were down when we bought the place. The positives are there's no bark or punky pith remaining, the negatives are that cutting trees like this is hell on chains, and honestly its tough on the splitter. I reckon I still have better than a hundred trees down that are 18" in diameter or larger and twice that many smaller ones to drag out. A couple dozen of these trees usually set me for firewood each season, then I'm sick of dealing with them. We've been pulling these out in an ever expanding circle from our house. Skidding them out is also helpful in terms of dragging the underbrush out and leaving paths into the woods to bushhog later. We really like the look of mature trees with not much in the way of underbrush surrounding our home.

Any worth having a sawmill turn into lumber?

Phil Y
04-25-2016, 05:28 PM
I got me one of those big old deadly circular saws which runs off the tractor for cutting lengths into fire logs. So much quicker and easier than a chain saw.

Paul Pless
04-25-2016, 05:30 PM
Any worth having a sawmill turn into lumber?I've had a bit of a go at it. Knocking logs into quarters with wedges then running them through my shop bandsaw, but its tough work, and locust is a high high defect tree. Further, you can buy it locally for around $2 bd ft already milled so hardly worth it.

paulf
04-25-2016, 05:39 PM
Yes, I see what ya mean.

paulf
04-25-2016, 05:42 PM
I only have wood heat, but haven't cut or split wood for 20 years.
Hire it done, drive the tractor.

Is it cost effective?

gilberj
04-25-2016, 05:58 PM
I have put up about a chord and a half so far, lots more to do, but may saw is broken so I have to take a break.

Garret
04-25-2016, 06:11 PM
I have put up about a chord and a half so far, lots more to do, but may saw is broken so I have to take a break.

And you're bummed, right? ;)

paulf
04-25-2016, 06:21 PM
And you're bummed, right? ;)

How depressing! Get a bottle of Scotch and determine what to do next!

PeterSibley
04-25-2016, 06:56 PM
I have 1.5 cords sawn and in the woodshed, sufficient for our mild winter.

Rich Jones
04-25-2016, 07:01 PM
Over the years, I've cut all my firewood from my own land. But, I don't want to clear any more land. I'm still pondering whether to buy 16' logs and cut/split them myself or just go the lazy route and buy green (cheaper) split cord wood. Then, all I'd have to do is stack it. Lot less mess and bother. I have plenty of dry wood for next winter, but need to start replenishing the pile.
As Paul said in post #7, a heat pump is looking better every year. It's wearing me out telling the wife to go out and get more wood...:D

The Bigfella
04-25-2016, 07:59 PM
The missus has carted most of the wood around the back (hey, it's her wheelbarrow... a birthday present a few years back)... but sheesh, this lot is hard to split. Getting close to having to light the fire at night.

Garret
04-25-2016, 08:00 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWpYQjuJ0u0

Old Dryfoot
04-25-2016, 08:33 PM
I only have wood heat, but haven't cut or split wood for 20 years.
Hire it done, drive the tractor.

Sounds like a prefect job for some local teen over the coming summer.

paulf
04-25-2016, 08:44 PM
Sounds like a prefect job for some local teen over the coming summer.

Until he cuts himself on your property with your tools.

Rich Jones
04-25-2016, 09:39 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWpYQjuJ0u0 I've only heard the first verse of that song up until now. Great song!

Canoeyawl
04-25-2016, 10:03 PM
Is it cost effective?

Yes it is.
Generally I barter for it. I can weld up a truck frame or rebuild a hydraulic pump or something on the wood cutters chipper/ truck and that's it - wood just shows up here, happily delivered and stacked in the woodshed. If he is broken down on a job-site he is very grateful to be rescued.

Our old Vermont wood stove is small, only 16" wood and it is a pain to cut it up that short, but the stove runs hot and clean. We use 2-3 cords a year, but it's cheating because it doesn't really get "cold" here on the Ca. coast. It is a rare thing if it drops below 35f and that will only be for a day or two. My wife keeps the house at about 74f, the "same as Maui"... That's her excuse. We have to open the doors to cool it down!
This shamefully goes against everything I know, having grown up in northern New England.

gilberj
04-25-2016, 11:14 PM
And you're bummed, right? ;)

Actually yes. We have a fairly short window of time between winter rain and dry summer. Cannot cut in summer, so I have about a month or perhaps 6 weeks in the spring and perhaps 3 weeks in the fall. The other stuff does not stop so it leaves my surprisingly little time.

PeterSibley
04-25-2016, 11:24 PM
Why can't you cut in summer ?

gilberj
04-25-2016, 11:50 PM
Why can't you cut in summer ?
Too dry....fire hazard.

PeterSibley
04-25-2016, 11:52 PM
Really ? Chainsaws usually have spark arresters ..... but then I don't know your local conditions.

skuthorp
04-26-2016, 05:14 AM
I have about 2.5 cords under cover, and about 4 times that much stacked elsewhere. Then there's a cord in one tree trunk on the ground. We use about 1 -1.5 cords a winter, but much less last winter.
( I had o look up what a cord was precisely, we don't use the term here. Once it was super feet, cubic meters is usual).

mmd
04-26-2016, 07:36 AM
Quote by paulf Is it cost effective?

Up until three years ago, wood was my primary source of heat in my house (we have since moved to a new house without wood heat). Over the previous twenty-two years in the former house, and about fifteen years before that in various rented houses, I have gone through just about every permutation of methods of getting wood ready for the furnace - from felling trees from my own property thru to having stove-length wood cut, split, delivered, & stacked. I also kept accurate records of costs and labour hours (I am a bit obsessive about that kind stuff). By far, the most cost effective was cutting my own trees, but it also was the most labour-intensive, often time that I really did not have to spare. So if you toss that method out, and consider buying wood, I discovered that the cost per cord between having 8-ft logs dropped in the yard for me to buck, split, & stack, vs. having 16-inch lengths of pre-cut & split wood dumped in my yard for me to stack varied by about $10 - $15 per cord. As I grew older and friends willing & able to come over for a bit of shared work and pizza and beer became fewer, I found that I did not begrudge paying the extra $100 per year for my firewood to have it arrive already cut & split. Besides, that is about the cost of pizza & beer to have friends over for a splittin' party.

So, the bottom line is that I like wood heat, and will probably install a wood stove in my new house sometime in the future, but I don't think that I will ever go back to felling, cutting, & splitting my firewood again. I understand Paul & Kat's situation, and if I had a lot of land to clear hardwood deadfalls from, I certainly would use that windfall (pun intended) as he is. However, the amount of windfalls on my present property is just enough for me to get a bit of wood for the outdoor fire pit, and that does not have the imperative of necessity that heating my home has.

Garret
04-26-2016, 09:31 AM
I'm basically with mmd on this.

When I need to clear, I do - but it supplements my firewood supply - does not fill it. My new house needs about 5 cords (aka too damn much) - so I will buy 4 cords - as I have about a cord or a bit more I cut last year. While I buy it cut & split now - I find I have to "resplit" about 1/3 of it - as the chunks are just too big. Thank you hydraulics!

PhaseLockedLoop
04-26-2016, 10:19 AM
Paul--do you have lots of dead ash? I had several on my place.

gilberj
04-26-2016, 10:34 AM
so do you need your ashes hauled??

StevenBauer
04-26-2016, 11:32 AM
We burned less wood than usual this past winter. For one thing it was a really warm winter. And the other was how cheap oil was. At $1.35 a gallon it was cheaper to heat with oil than to buy firewood. I did get almost a cord for free that was cut to length and just needed to be split, that was nice..
I wish we had upgraded the insulation and windows when we first bought the house instead of doing it over the next 15 years. We used to use between 5 and 6 270 gallon tanks of oil per winter when we first bought the house. Now we use between 1 and 2 tanks.

People fuss over which heat system is most efficient when sometimes they should spend more effort on keeping the heat in the building and less on how it is generated.


Steven

gilberj
04-26-2016, 01:29 PM
Really ? Chainsaws usually have spark arresters ..... but then I don't know your local conditions.
The forest industry shuts down during the really dry parts of the summer. I have a farm and the pasture dries out much more than the woods. dried grass catches fire easily. Last year there was a fairly large grass (hay) fire about 3 km from my place, fortunately I was upwind, and we were able to accommodate a horse for neighbour from a farm closer to the fire.

Chip-skiff
04-26-2016, 01:50 PM
Birch is lovely fireplace woodó got any on your lot? I used to look for copper birch along the creeks out here.

I heated with wood and had no electricity for about fifteen years. Also no plumbing.

Then I got married.