How to cut firewood???
You just need to know where to start

It's pretty simple to learn how to cut firewood. You just need to have the right equipment and the knowledge. We'll start off with the basic steps that will take you from a tree in the woods to wood in your stove.

  • Find and identify appropriate trees for firewood.

  • Fell, limb and buck the trees that you would like to use.

  • Split the pieces of firewood

That is the long and short of it. Sounds like a lot of work, huh? That's because it is! As Henry Ford once said, "chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice".

Okay, lets get into the nuts and bolts of each step now.

Identifying the right trees

Whether you own a woodlot or just have some trees on your property, you probably have some firewood trees. But how do you determine which trees to cut down? It's important that you choose a species that will suit your wood burning needs.

If you are only looking to have the occassional campfire outdoors, just about any species will do. But if you are using wood to heat your home, you will only want to use the best firewood species that will burn long and hot.

If you're hiring a professional arborist or logger to fell your trees, I suggest that you ask their opinion on the situation. Otherwise it's time that you learn some basic tree identification skills if you're going to learn how to cut firewood on your own property.

Tree ID is not always an exact science and it can be tricky at times. Luckily you'll only need to learn a handful of species for the purpose of cutting firewood.

Click here for a guide to firewood tree identification

Felling your trees

The most difficult part of learning how to cut firewood is dropping or felling trees. It is NOT something you should initially try without the supervision of a professional. It is extremely dangerous and should not be attempted without proper safety gear and basic knowledge of felling techniques.

In firewood cutting, you should be familiar with how to use a chainsaw. A chainsaw, like many pieces of equipment should be respected but not feared. Click here to learn some basic chainsaw safety. Also, check for local courses in your area on chainsaw safety.

Secondly, you need to learn how to properly fell a tree. There are several acceptable methods. Click here to learn about one method.

Limbing and bucking is less dangerous than felling the tree, but don't get too relaxed. The secret to safely limbing and bucking a fallen tree is to understand where the weight of the tree is resting.

Splitting Firewood

Splitting firewood is all part of the fun! There are several different options to help you get the job done. You can use an axe/maul (the old fashioned way), or use a wood splitter to get the job done much faster and easier (but without the satisfaction of doing it by hand). Either way when learning how to cut firewood, it's important to split the wood properly. Unless it's small wood, splitting is necessary for wood to burn properly in a normal woodstove or fireplace. Click here for tips on splitting by hand. There you will find out the best tips of how to split efficiently.


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