This is the second year that we have harvested some of our own trees for firewood. I have taken some alder down in the same corner down by the pond as last year, and some from the 2010 planting at the bottom of the main trackway by the river corner. The ones from the bottom were selected mainly to create a more clear area. I think that the regrowth will be better if the stumps have more light, rather than being shaded out. Most of the alders already had some twigs growing from the base of the trunks, and I tried not to damage this when I cut the main trunks down. This will give the regrowth a head start.
The new reciprocating saw definately makes the job much easier, although it does seem to chew through the battery life pretty quickly. I cut off the main side branches from the trunks before making the main cut. Some of the trees are pretty tall and it was tricky to get them to fall tidily. There’s still nowhere near enough to last us very long as fuel, but we have been very pleased with the way last year’s harvest has been burning. That is all nice and dry now, and stacked away in the wood shed. Mostly the diameters are pretty small, so the wood tends to burn quick and hot – very good for cooking on and starting up the fire.
I finally got round to building a little woodshelter down by the pond using some old pallets and roofing sheets from the old byre. I’ve started cutting the newly cut wood to length and stacking it away. This will keep the worst of the weather off the logs, keep them out of the grass/mud and let them dry in the wind a bit. I’m pretty happy with the structure – hopefully it will last a few years and not blow away. I got a bit of a blister on my thumb from the reciprocating saw, but it was much easier than sawing by hand. I’ll probably make a few of these shelters in strategic places as time goes on, so that I don’t have to do too much hauling of timber as I cut it in future. This can then go up to the house/shed in one vehicle load once cured.