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How To Cut Your Own Firewood







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The reason for many for owning a chainsaw, is to cut their own firewood. And this is no surprise as what can be the ambience of sitting in a room in front of a log fire, reading a great novel and sipping your favourite single malt? Not much in our opinion.


For cutting firewood you do not need the largest chainsaw and despite the fact that this site is predominantly about the petrol chainsaw, an electric chainsaw will also suffice for cutting your own firewood.


Now the thing with firewood is that it is not simply a case of using the chainsaw and cutting a branch off a tree and throwing it on your fire. It is a little more complex than that.


You need a good burning firewood that has been well seasoned in order to have yourself the perfect fire.


This means that firewood has to be selected and stored correctly until it is ready for the fire.


An alternative is of course to purchase firewood, but this proves to be an expensive alternative over time and at times unreliable.



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Drying firewood properly is a must. Firewood that has not been seasoned properly will cause you many problems. A fire will be difficult to light and keep alight if the wood is not properly dried out. Wood will only burn properly when all the moisture has left it. So using wood that is not seasoned will result in heat loss as all the energy from the fire is being used to remove moisture. Also unseasoned wood will produce creosote which will build up in the chimney and cause a potential chimney fire.


When planning your firewood you should really cut the trees a year before you need the firewood and then cut them in to firewood lengths. Once cut to length you should split them and then stack them in order for them to dry in an orderly manner. To dry the firewood properly there are two elements you require, air and sunlight. You want the sun to do it’s job on the firewood and ensure that there is air flow throughout your whole stack. So choose an area where the sun has access to. Try to avoid covering your firewood with a tarp until it is properly dried out.





To Care Is To Share

Cutting your own firewood is easy enough to do as long as you have the right equipment and necessary knowledge of trees. Basically the process involves identifying a suitable tree for firewood, felling the tree and then splitting the logs for firewood.


The step is to identify a suitable tree. Something like a maple tree, oak tree, Beech or birch tree will give you great firewood. In fact any hardwood tree is more than suitable as they will give you a slow burning wood. Something like pine for example will burn quickly and you will need to keep feeding the fire and use a lot of wood.


Once you have identified a suitable tree you need to fell it. This is done using your chainsaw. Cutting trees and using a petrol chainsaw provide many safety issues and you need to check back in this site on how to use the chainsaw safely, the protective gear to wear and how to fell a tree. In order to use the chainsaw you need to have had some chainsaw education.


Once you have felled the tree, limbed and bucked it, you are ready to split the firewood. This can be done with an axe or your chainsaw. You need to split the firewood correctly in order for it to burn properly. When splitting logs the diameter of the log is a factor. The larger the diameter the more of a job it will be. Also check out knots when you split firewood. Trying to split logs where the knots are prove to be a tough job. Split around the knots if possible.


Trees Ideal For Firewood



There are many species of tree to select from when it comes to firewood. However not every species is suitable, and those which are suitable for firewood do have different characteristics which may influence your selection process. You will find that some woods will burn very hot and very quickly whilst others will burn very hot and very slowly. And there are the woods that simply do not burn very well at all.


Pine - Pine is not really a suitable wood for you log fire. When pine dries out it becomes an extremely light wood. It does burn hot yet it burns super quickly that you need piles and piles of it for an ordinary home fire.


Elm - These trees can grow to a great height and it’s easy to assume that they will provide a substantial amount of firewood. They do but they are a tough log to split because of the twisted grain they have. To split elm will take you time and effort. Elm is a firm wood and does burn rather well. However it does only have an average heating capability.


Oak - Oak is perhaps the best firewood available. It burn slow and long and is very hot. Though it can be difficult to split at times, this is far outweighed by the burning qualities. If oak is available it is my choice of firewood every time.


Beech - I like beech as well as a firewood. On the heating front it provides an above average heating amount and should be used for firewood whenever available.


Maple - There are several species of the maple tree. Black maple is a very good firewood. Red maple is an average firewood whilst silver maple is not so good and does not have a good heating value.


Cedar - Cedar firewood will heat and burn very quickly. Because it burns so quickly it is good for using as kindling. It splits easily enough but because of the oil in it you will need a guard in front of your fire.


Birch - Birch is good to use as firewood. White and grey birch will split very easily and give an above average heating quality. They burn long and hot.


Ash - Of all the woods out there ash is by far the easiest to split. It will light very easily and has a heating value above average. What we really like about ash is the fact that it dries out a lot quicker than the majority of woods. So for a simple and good performing firewood we would recommend ash.


Drying Firewood



Firewood Storage


Firewood storage is all important if you want to have the best firewood possible. The process of collecting firewood, splitting it and then seasoning it will be a complete waste of time if you do not store it properly. By storing firewood correctly you will assist in the seasoning of it and also keep it thoroughly dry when it has seasoned.


When storing firewood you need to keep it elevated. It doesn’t matter how you do this, just as long as you do. If you leave your firewood on the ground it will eventually rot. This is because it will get wet and start to decompose.


The key to efficient seasoning is air circulation. Without it firewood will never completely season properly. You want your split logs exposed to sunlight with adequate air circulation.


When you store your firewood is very important too. You want it in a convenient situation but if you store it too close to your home you may end up with a pest problem. The thing is that insects love to live in and feed on dead wood. So find a storage spot away from your home, but not too far or else you are going to struggle to bring the logs in. You can store some logs in your home or next to it but ensure that you use these logs on the fire first.


There are many options available for storing firewood and some of the solutions are:


Firewood shed


Firewood rack


Firewood holder


Firewood boxes


Firewood stacker


You can view all of these options at a suitable gardening superstore to see which is the best option for you.