Other than keeping an eye on craigslist, what kind of tips can you give a first timer. I 've ordered 3 cords of wood so far this season and may need one more to get to spring. I don't like paying for wood and the quality of wood is disappointing. Guy's will say it's seasoned only to dump the load and I find it's fairly green and needs further splitting. Ever since I got my stove, I can't help but subconsciously look for wood - as I am driving - I see lots of good stuff. I don't see the need to drop any trees - if there are good trees just laying around - as long as I knock and get permission. I already have a nice maul and wedges. I am looking to get a saw. I am considering the Stihl 270. I have some state parks close that allow me to cut down wood. I have been told to: Dec, Jan, Feb, cut your log rounds, Mar - split your wood and stack (the holz hausens are inspiring). Oct - get your wood stacked under dry cover, and Nov start burning. Here's what I would like to know: 1) Does green wood split easier than dead wood? Does wood split easier when it's cold and frozen? I know the sooner it's split the sooner you start the process - I like smaller splits that my wife can handle. 2) ID'ing dead would may be difficult, Any trees take longer than a others to season? I'm in NJ - any tree's types to avoid? 3) What's a good way of checking if a tree that's already down - is good to burn and not too wrotten? 4) If a tree has been down for a year and you cut it and split it - does this have a reduced drying time? Usually I can see wet in the grain and know it's not ready - plus logs are heavier green and smell sappy. I am planning on getting a meter. If I can get 8 - 10 pick up loads over the next month or so, I will be set for next year. I think it's doable. I've looked at splitters and I think I can get more done by hand splitting. Hydrolic splitters seem so slow. It's just for my own use and not a business, so I don't see a need for a splitter. Any tips for hand splitting firewood? I've been splitting on the driveway and I don't think that's good for the maul edge. Should I put something under it? Thanks for any tips you can pass.