Monday, October 21, 2013
Catch Up Week of Wood Cutting - Day 1
I didn't get as early of a start as I wanted to. My Dad had a breakfast appointment so we didn't get out into the woods until about 11AM.
I have to say he took things like a trooper and lounged on the tailgate of the truck without complaint. This last bout with whatever he did to his arm and shoulder really put the hurt on him but he couldn't resist loading a few small sticks. He also took it on himself to put the chain back on my primary saw after it came off and I switched to the backup.
We spent more time fighting the brush and brambles than I did cutting to be honest. There just aren't any good standing deadwood trees to get anymore out in the open and until we get a good hard frost the undergrowth is just hell. There is also the wild grape vine. If I had to single out the most dangerous thing about cutting firewood around here it would be wild grape vines. They can cause all sorts of hang ups, bounce backs and miss falls.
Today's target were a couple of medium sized Burr or Swamp oaks I had cut down last year but left em lay to cure. One of them had been struck by lightening at some point and broke the top off but when I went to cut it down it got snagged by it's neighbor (Prolly brother) so they both had to come down.
To be honest in a grid or collapse situation I more than likely would have used these trees for something other than firewood. They had some nice straight trunks ranging from about 14 inch down to 9 inch in diameter and would have made some excellent building lumber or posts.Each one yielded up almost 20 to 25 foot of straight trunks before getting to the fork.
The Burr and Swamp oaks are hard to tell apart and apparently they often hybridize with each other so you get some varied leaves and can sometime even resemble a Post oak (Which I also think will hybridize with them).
Regardless they are some damned good burning wood. Properly cured but not over dried this is the type of hardwood you throw in on one of those cold snow blowing nights and know you will still have embers come morning.
What I really need to do is dig up a few of these for transplanting in my own wood lot. They are not super fast growing but maybe my grandchildren will get some use out of em. Apparently they are also quite easy to transplant as well with excellent survival rates.
With the brush and all it took me about 3 hours to cut a load for my truck. About twice as long as usual. I estimate maybe five days of burn time give or take but I haven't added in the time it will take to split the logs that are too big for the furnace yet.
Until we get a good hard frost it's going to be slow going.
They are predicting rain for tomorrow afternoon so I aim to hit the mixed bag of large branches and dead Elm I have in my own little wood lot before the rain comes in. The pasture tends to get a bit too muddy to traverse with much rain.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!