For those of us lucky enough to have wood or multi-fuel stoves, we can lessen the impact of fuel prices by collecting our own wood!
SEASON IT WELL!
If wood is seasoned it will be lighter in weight and colour. It will likely be cracked at the ends. This is all good – it means it’s ready to burn. Most woods need seasoning for 5 months or more if they are cut fresh.
Ash is the exception to this rule. It’s so dry inside, you can burn it green if you have to.
HARDWOOD OR SOFTWOOD?
If you are buying the logs, check whether they are hardwood or softwood by digging your fingernail into the end of the wood (the cut bit!). If your fingernail sinks in, it’s very likely to be softwood from fast growing trees. If it doesn’t, it’s likely to be hardwood.
Hardwood burns for longer and burns hotter. This is why it’s more expensive. Beware of those passing off softwood logs as hardwood!
DIY WOODING – WARMS YOU TWICE!!
The old adage ‘warms you once, warms you twice’ rings very true here! You will be at least as warm as the burning wood makes you by the effort you are making to saw and axe it up!
You will need!
Greenwood saw/ Timber saw/Chainsaw
Long handled axe
Wheelbarrow/bike trailer/other receptacle
TIP: Branches with a diameter of more than 15cm are an absolute bejesus to saw through manually. For these, use a chainsaw. (Unless, like me, you are the owner of an excitable 8 year old who finds chainsaws rather too exciting.)
These babies will warm you all winter long. Regardless of whether you have pulled or not!
OAK – just make sure you’re not pinching someone’s prize forestry tree.
HAWTHORN – this purple-bark wood burns hot as coal and lasts almost as long.
ASH – burns well even when green (still damp)
CEDAR – burns with an amazing scent
CHERRY/APPLE – lovely scent and burns well
SORT OF OK WOODS
These will also burn well, but don’t last as long. They’re better for starting a fire.
PINE – spits a bit, so be careful. The resin in it makes it good for getting a fire going in wet weather.
WILLOW – not the best firewood, but it will do. Burns through very fast.
GORSE – a pain (literally) to harvest. A good tinder though.
BLACKTHORN – ditto above.
NEVER HARVEST THIS WOOD!
ELDER – this gives off poisonous fumes when burned!
This is what is looks like!
Best of wooding luck you lot!
Who would like me to do an article on using an axe with wood?
xx Hedgewitch Kat xx