Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Back to Wood Cutting
It finally dried out enough that I could get back into the woods and cut up some more of the old White Oak I had felled right before that arctic system moved in.
She was about the largest tree, at least in trunk diameter, I want to tangle with when using an 18" chainsaw and bar. I have brought down larger but that was with a 24" bar when I worked for a trimming company several years ago. She is just about the perfect size for the 18" bar to reach to the very middle of the trunk allowing me to fell her with two cuts in and four cuts total for the wedge out.
I got another almost dead old White Oak on my own property but it really got it's spread on at the base of the trunk and is, I estimate, at least four foot in diameter. Not sure how I am going to fell that one when the time comes.
You can see the rings and how far the saw went in buried to it's maximum depth from the two separate cuts. The rings were much more noticeable when I cut her down over a week ago. I started counting them but kept missing the count up around the 70's or so. I would estimate she was well over 100 when she died during the drought last year.
I had already cut one load off the limbs last week but this is a picture of what is left, at least on this side. I am taking all the small stuff and easily cut limbs off while she is down before I try rolling her off the stump with the tractor.
This is how far I got with today's cutting. There's about three limbs holding the trunk up at this point and I have maybe another half load of small stuff to cut before getting down to business with the main trunk.
I already unloaded this batch this afternoon and now have about three cords of ready to burn stuff once again filling the racks next to the furnace with about a cord still down in the "Needs to be Split" stack. I figure there is going to be about another cord of splitting sized stuff off this Oak yet. That ought to get me through February and into March easily unless we get more Arctic temperature blasts to deal with. I figure that one cold spell used up almost three times the amount of wood I usually try and stock for a week or about three cords total. For December, January and February I usually try and stock about 3 to 4 cords per month.
We will typically burn into April but usually by March I am mostly just burning at night and the overall consumption drops off dramatically. Still you never know and the problem with keeping up with firewood is that by the time you realize you don't have enough the conditions are usually so bad you can't easily get more regardless.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!