Sunday, December 7, 2014
Sunday Reading - Trash Trees
I cut and burn a fair amount of trees most people who cut would completely ignore. To be honest though if I burned in an open fireplace or used a smaller wood stove I might think twice before chucking some types of logs into the fire. I know Cedar particularly likes to pop and throw burning embers several feet sometimes. For my purposes though trash trees provide a very useful benefit. They burn fast, flame under lower oxygen levels and produce a bit more ash than the premium woods like Oak, Hickory or Locust but the flame quality alone helps unlock the higher BTUs trapped inside the denser woods. Oak particularly seems to need a bit more oxygen flow than my outside furnace is able to produce sometimes. Under normal temperatures this is a good thing but when that North wind is blowing and the temps drop into the low teens or single digits the hardwoods need that extra flame boost to really keep up.
Another good thing about trash trees are when I start cutting them it is usually because they are in a problem spot. After several days of rain on and off the ground around here is so saturated getting off the beaten path right now requires 4WD and is guaranteed to leave ruts. I hate ruts. So on a day like today it becomes trash tree day. With such a long driveway over at the old farm it gets many problem trees that die over hanging the roadway and thinning them out is simply made for days like today.
Nothing gets a fire going from dying embers quite as fast as some dried out old light wood. If the bed of coals isn't quite enough to kick the large split Oak pieces going just open the door and toss a couple of these old Redbud logs in and the flames will start roaring.
One of my readers once commented on here that when he was a kid no stick was wasted. It all had a purpose and a use keeping the house warm or the food cooked. A pickup load of trash trees may not have the overall heating potential but if used properly it certainly hits above it's weight class before Winter is done.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!