When is the best time to cut down birch trees?

by Pamela Jeffers
(Nelson, BC, Canada)

Is there a proper time of year to harvest birch trees for firewood? Would it be spring, winter, summer, or fall? My understanding is that it takes some time to dry.


Answer

There is no particular time of year that is best for harvesting birch trees. My advice is to do it as soon as you can, because it does take time to properly season/dry the wood to get it ready for the wood stove.

If you are only pruning birch trees, I don't recommend doing it during the later winter or spring, as the sap runs heavily during these times. But for the purpose of harvesting the whole tree, the sooner the better.

Other things to consider would be obstacles or conditions during certain times of the year. For example, winter time is cold but you don't have to deal with any bugs. The ground is frozen and you don't have to deal with mud, but it's cold. However, I imagine that in BC you are pretty accustomed to dealing with cold temperatures so it's probably not a big deal.

The bottom line is that the quicker the wood is split and stacked, the sooner you'll be able to burn it.

Hope this helps!

-Firewood Matt

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