Cleaning out Dead Wood

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Although our woodroom now holds enough to see us through until next summer, I’ve been asking Graham to take down just 1 more tree.

 

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Can you tell which one is the one I want down?

 

 

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This Spruce has been dead for a few years now and since we still have some room on our wood stacks, it’s time for this one to come down. I don’t really like having to see it when we’re sitting on the porch. So, Graham got out his chainsaw and got to it.

 

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Cutting and watching…

 

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Graham limbed and bucked the tree, and I brought the loads up to the woodroom using our utility trailer behind the quad. Since the tree was standing dead, the wood is bone dry and we can use it right away for heat if we like.

If you want to read more about how we heat with wood, here’s a link. If you’re new to woodland management, here’s a good resource book.

 

Filling the Wood Shed

woodstove

Things have been so busy around the homestead that I haven’t been able to keep up with posting new articles about what we have been up to. Now, as I sit in Vancouver, I finally have time to get caught up, at least a bit.

We use our woodstove almost exclusively for heating our house and it is not a small house. It’s almost 3000 square feet and we have the woodstove situated in the centre of the house on the main floor. Now, if we were to build a new house, we would be sure to install the woodstove in the basement. Since heat rises, the basement makes a lot more sense. As it is now, when the temperatures drop to -20Celsius, we go downstairs and turn on a few baseboard heaters. We don’t want pipes freezing and we don’t want the cold room freezing either. That room gets the benefit of the warmer rooms around it and we rarely have a problem in the cold room.

 

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Our woodstove is a DutchWest and it has performed really well for us. After 7 years of using this stove, it is still going strong. We make sure we clean it out regularly and Graham also climbs up on the roof to clean the chimney on a regular basis. A bonus with our stove is that although it is not a cookstove, we can use it as one. Since it has a flat top we can cook on it if we want or need to. If you are going to buy a woodstove, get one with a flat top!

 

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Earlier this year, we bought 2 cords of wood from a neighbour who delivered them, tossing the wood under the cover of the wood shed. Too bad I didn’t think to take the log splitter out of that side of the room first! I spent several hours stacking firewood that he had cut in halves, trying to find the splitter under all that firewood.

Splitting, stacking and filling a wood room is not a job that I can do in a day. Not even two or three days. The older I get, the less I get done, but that’s OK. As long as I committed to getting out to the wood room for two hours every day, within a week I would have the job done.

We use an electric wood splitter and it is well worth every penny we spent on it. Ours cost around $300 and we waited for it to come on sale. Once I started using it, I haven’t looked back – it is a much valued piece of equipment at our place.

 

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I like to split some of the wood into quarters, as I use them when getting a fire started. I fill the woodstove in this order – crumpled up paper, kindling, a bit more paper, quarters, then put a half on the top. Works well, at least for me. It’s funny that Graham and I build fires totally different. Both work.

So, another important job is finished with. A full wood room is a great way to end summer!