Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Always More Wood

Lately, DH has been doing a lot of chain saw work out in the woods.  With the warmer, and drier, weather we've been having he's spent many an hour on the weekends with his chain saw in hand cleaning up the hundreds of trees that blew over or broke off last fall and winter.  It has became clear to us that there will always be more wood; we don't have to worry that in using it for heat we are deforesting the property, because in our lifetime we can't burn more than what nature has all ready provided.  And through the natural processes of seeds sprouting into new trees, and old trees dying, or younger trees breaking off or blowing down due to ice or heavy snow or sixty mile an hour winds, there will always be wood needing to be cut.

Now, I do admit that part of that blessing of unending wood is on land that we do not own.  That, in itself, is another blessing: that the owner of the neighboring woods does not heat with wood and has said he would rather we cut up and use his blow-downs than have them be a tangled mass rotting away on his property.  And so, with our own 10 acres of woods, and the storm damages on another 40 acres or so of trees, there will always be more wood to cut, haul, and burn.

Along with cutting wood, DH has also been using the tractor to pull stumps from those blown down/broken off trees and hauling them to the edge of the field.  They will make many long-burning bonfires in coming years (and also this summer, as we are the hosts of DH's family reunion for 2014; a reunion which encompasses all the descendants of his paternal grandparents--who begat nine children!).  Right now, the stumps he's pulled and hauled out of the woods sit in a pile on the edge of the field, awaiting the time he will drag them over to our fire pit.

Nearby, there is also a pile of mostly limbless trees he pulled in early winter.  They were the first casualties, blowing down over the woods road and across shooting lanes in the huge wind storm we had n the third day of firearm deer season last year.  They are more 'junk wood' than long burning oak, so will be more bonfire/campfire fodder rather than being split and stacked for use in the wood boiler in coming heating seasons.

When DH cuts wood, in the woods, he does not haul it in and burn it right away.  He, or often he and I, make stacks near where it was cut, and there it stays for at least a year before being loaded onto our wood hauler trailer and towed up to the vicinity of the wood boiler, where it will be split and then stacked for at least another half-year before being burned.

So, with all the cutting we did last spring, and all the cutting DH has done so far this one, it is hard to go anywhere in the woods without seeing piles of tree trunks cut into fire wood length pieces.

Even with all those piles, there are still many leaners, aka widow makers, all over the woods that need to be taken care of.  One section at a time, they too will become stacks of wood squirreled away for winter warmth.

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