We started cutting our own firewood a few years ago. We found it to be a very enjoyable task, and it is a whole lot less expensive than buying it. On top of that, it’s a great excuse to get out to the woods and soak up some nature for a while.
The first couple of years we cut our own wood, we only took the smaller trees we found standing dead. They were easy to load in the truck, but it took a lot of them to get a full load. Most of them didn’t need to be split – we just cut them into 16-inch lengths and stacked them in the woodshed. But since they were small, they burned pretty fast when it came time to heat the house with them.
So last year, we sought out some big trees. And we found some. We cut down a few old dead trees that were about 24 inches in diameter. My oldest son has grown into quite the strapping young man, so I figured we could load these bigger logs into the truck without much trouble, and it would only take about half as many logs to make up a full truckload.
I was wrong about the ease of loading them. Even with Colby doing the bulk of the heaving and both Logan and Amy helping, we nearly killed ourselves getting some of those behemoth logs loaded. It did end up taking fewer of them to get a full load, but we probably put twice as much effort into loading those big logs.
And then we still had to split them. Those massive stumps didn’t split as easily as their smaller cousins. Even the easiest ones took 10 to 12 shots from the Monster Maul to split. It normally only takes one shot from that maul to cleave a log in two.
So it took me a year to work through that wood pile. And now it’s time to go get more. I think this year, I’m going to collect only smaller trees again. I learned my lesson from last year’s mistake.