Monday, January 23, 2012

Firewood Harvest

I love the forest!

When you heat with wood it is a big plus if you have your own supply of firewood. Instead of buying wood, then you are cutting it. By taking down all the dead wood, it gives more room and light to the new trees just coming in. Too many trees, too close together, limits the sunlight coming in down below, to the ones just trying to get started. I have replanted a few pine trees myself, putting them in my front yard along the road. Presently, we have room for a few more.

Woods behind our house

Many trees die and stand for years until a wind knocks them over. On our land, we had a tornado take down over 300 trees, which we used for firewood for many years. Often a tree doesn't even appear to be dead, grows leaves and like the apple trees, even fruit. Then all of a sudden the tree falls over and you find it is all rotted inside.

Their wild instinct is to eat wood!

Hardwood is a good choice for burning in your wood stove. Hardwood according to Wikipedia: "Hardwoods have a more complex structure than softwoods. The dominant feature separating "hardwoods" from softwoods is the presence of pores, or vessels.The vessels may show considerable variation in size, shape of perforation plates (simple, scalariform, reticulate, foraminate), and structure of cell wall, such as spiral thickenings."

Cherry, elm, pine and oak

The hardwood we have in our forest and surrounding area here in upstate NY are Maple, Oak, Elm, Cherry and Poplar (or Aspen, as it is referred to). Elm had some years ago been victims of Dutch Elm disease and were history. Now though, our forest and surrounding area is rich with elms. They are everywhere and our forest is full of them. When we first moved here, Cherry, was plentiful. And I so love a fire made of cherry. Oh, the smell is so comforting! The forest changes over time though, now the cherry is not as plentiful as it once was. More Oak is coming up. The seeds will lay dormant for many years and all of a sudden, trees come up that you hadn't seen before. Nature's surprise!

Trees surround us!

Some people say not to use pine, a softwood,  for wood stoves. We do though. It gives you a hot fire and will build up creosote in the chimney, but my husband cleans our chimney a lot, monthly. So its not much of a problem for us. If I need a hot fire for cooking something that requires a high temp, I will always make a fire with some pine. Pine is plentiful here and I'd hate to waste it. Mixing a softwood with a hardwood is something we do. It extends the softwood's burning time.

Ah........split firewood!

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole
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