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Fallen Wood or Standing Trees - which do you cut for firewood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by cgeiger, Jan 27, 2009.

?

If you cut and buck your own logs/rounds do you?

  1. Cut fallen timber only (100%)

    46.9%
  2. Cut fallen timber and some standing timber

    21.9%
  3. Cut mostly standing timber and some fallen

    3.1%
  4. Cut standing timber only (100%)

    28.1%
  5. Take it as it comes - (whatever type is good for me)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. cgeiger

    cgeiger New Member

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    So I spent some time on arboristsite.com stoking my curiosity about best practices for obtaining firewood and quickly realized much of what they were talking about was probably out of my league, at least without some training. So it got me to thinking, how do folks here get their wood when they aren't buying it. And so goes the poll. I'm very interested in hearing any exceptions to a category and why. For instance, "I will sometimes cut standing timber but only if it's dead and not hung up in another tree."

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    there is more risk with different cuts and scenario's you need to know what they are to know the risk. A leaner can be the worst scenario
  3. cgeiger

    cgeiger New Member

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    That's what I quickly realized after doing more reading. Common sense tells you it's dangerous but I had no idea why until I read about the scenarios and techniques :bug: Scary - to say the least. Most of the standing dead trees around me are relatively small (16" diameter or less) so I thought about trying to fell some of them. But that too - seems awfully fraught with danger compared to the relative ease of jacking up a fallen log and bucking away...
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    felling a tree is simple if done in 3 cuts and couple wedges, done right it looks very easy done wrong theres big problems Quick
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Well heck, if they are 16" or smaller, I just bear hug them and rip 'em out of the ground and lay them down.

    Oh, forgot to mention that I am from planet "Awsome". ;-P

    Really, 12-16" trees are the perfect training size. If you are unfamiliar with felling trees, its best to find/hang around someone who is experienced and learn. Ask lots of questions.
  6. fullbore

    fullbore New Member

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    Although you learn from your mistakes, You want to make them with no structures nearby. I'm always amazed at how many friends and neighbors "learn" next to a building.
  7. atvdave

    atvdave Member

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    Right now I only cut fallen trees, only dew to we have more than we can cut for fire wood on my land. When we finally get all the downed tree tops cut, I will then start cutting standing trees.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    The poll doesn't differentiate between standing dead and heathy. I cut standing diseased and dead so I voted "Cut mostly standing timber and some fallen". I buy logs that were standing healthy.
  9. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    I think to help manage your woodlot better you should cut all the fallen trees first. I would then move on th standing dead trees and trees that are crowding out others.
  10. chunkyal

    chunkyal New Member

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    I cut fallen dead 3 seasons. Save the standing dead for during the winter when I run out - like the end of January. Same as last year. Third year will be the charm...
  11. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    Last year I mostly cut stuff that was down already. As long as it's not punky, I don't mind using it. This year I'll probably have a mix of down stuff and standing timber. I'm not scared of felling trees, but I mostly avoid the hang-ups. I guess I could always use my FIL's skidders or processor to take those down if I needed to.
  12. garyh

    garyh New Member

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    I use mostly fallen and the occasional dead elm and cherry and oak etc.. Have more fuel laying on the ground than I can burn; am considering adding a stove to burn more.
  13. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    I cut fallen and dead standing. Live trees are too valuable for our renewable future. Why cut them!
  14. slowski74

    slowski74 New Member

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    St Charles michigan
    Here in michigan we are cutting mostly standing dead ash. Should have enough for many years to come.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I agree slowski. That's all I've cut this year and last. It will take a few more years to clean them up here. Such a shame. We had some good ones, but they look pretty sickly now.

    btw, we aren't that far apart. I'm about 7 miles SW of Brant.
  16. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    If I were a scrounger I'd cut whatever was easier....why make it any harder than it is?

    As a wood lot owner our cutting priority starts with the dead/diseased or fallen trees, split/multi-trunked trees, biggest trees.....and continues.

    We have never in over 30 years cut a tree just because it was there, or it was close, easy, or we wanted to burn this wood over that wood.
  17. cgeiger

    cgeiger New Member

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    Awesome feedback - keep it comin'!

    Interesting feedback on the live trees - it always seemed to me to be a lot of extra work since standing live trees have such a high moisture content. Standing dead seemed to make a lot more sense.

    I'm a woodlot owner but also cut on my dad's land which has many acres of woods. Most of my nonburning friends who own woodlots have offered their wood to me as well and I'm sure I won't run out of fallen dead (sounds like a band) anytime soon. We actually can get a tax break for clearing it out here in 'ole Virginny, or so I'm told.
  18. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    I take it as it comes, but it's typically standing since many of mine are paid jobs.
  19. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    I fortunately have a friend who is an arborist so get an occasional dump truck load dropped in my driveway but also cut in a friends woods, mostly downed, dead elm. Unfortunately, I'm sure we will be starting to cut lots of ash here in the next few years as the emerald ash borer is arriving.
  20. slowski74

    slowski74 New Member

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    Backwoods, I live right in town near the water tower.
    I Wish I could post some pics of the shiawassee state game area. There are thousands of white ash out there that will never get cut :down: .
  21. beau5278

    beau5278 Member

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    I usually take it as it comes.I've been cutting standing dead trees for most of the past few years,but if I'm working my way towards a dead tree,I'll pick up anything good that's laying in the way.I've been holding off on most of the live trees,I have cut a few that were damaged the last time that it was timbered but now we have had timber cut again so I'm going to start culling out more of the live trees that are left that aren't any good for saw logs.
  22. crazy_dan

    crazy_dan New Member

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    I cut what is already on the ground first if it is still worth cutting then I cut standing trees I want culled.
  23. sowaxeman

    sowaxeman New Member

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    I live in a pretty wooded neighborhood, and considering we are in tornado alley I have plenty of opportunities to gather fallen trees. I usually get 3-4 maples or oaks during the winter and early spring and split & stack them for the upcoming winter.
  24. cgeiger

    cgeiger New Member

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    I'm beginning to suspect that we've already had a few iterations of logging come through my wood patch. Most everything that's left is relatively small. So when we get stuff that blows over it tends to be pretty small (>16" diameter) and leaners :( There's plenty of stuff on the ground but the more I learn, the more I realize I probably don't want the punky wood. After seasoning it in my pile all summer all it did was rot faster. Ugh. I'm going to be picky this time through.
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