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What to do with to much wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Gboutdoors, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Gboutdoors

    Gboutdoors Member

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    I know no such thing but hear me out. We bought 22 acres of pine,oak,and maple forest land to build our new home 4 years ago. We have a Harmand TL300 stove heating the house nicely and have used 3-4 cord per year.

    Just before we bought the land there was a bad winter mouth infestation then some other beetle the next spring, this killed and or weakened 200+ of the oaks. The dead oaks are standing most with no bark and very dry. These are what I have been cutting and stacking but also have many oaks and pines that have been blown over in the past 2 years with all the wind storms we have been having.

    I find that I could not cut or use all these trees before they start to rot. So how do I go about getting someone into cut the trees and maybe split the wood fifty /fifty with me hauling it out after it is cut. I don't think I want a wood processor in here with a skidder trashing the woods.

    Would I be opening my self up to trouble if someone came in and got hurt cutting wood? Looking for some direction as I hate to see the wood I can't use go to waste
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013

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  2. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    If you hire someone they should have their own insurance on their staff. If you do something like that make sure they do before hiring anyone.
    I agree with you on getting those trees out of there before it's too late, it would be a big loss if they went bad before being taken down.
    I'm not quite sure how you would get into the woods and get the trees out without having some machinery of some sort. How many trees do you
    think is in there?
  3. Splittah

    Splittah New Member

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    Check Boston craigslist under fire wood. There was a guy cutting and splitting for $26 an hour..
  4. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    Try a craiglist ad and interview prospective "scroungers . You may find an honest guy out there who is kinda like those of us here on the forum.
  5. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    Hey you type fast and stole my idea.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You will never keep up to 22 acres of established woods burning it through a single stove. 6 to 9 acres is a round about figure for the amount of deadfall a household can burn per year. Just throwing that out there for a bit of a sanity check.
    bag of hammers and TreePointer like this.
  7. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    Cordwood on the stump is worth about $10-15 per cord, it isn't very profitable.

    I suggest you call your county forester and see if he can help you or point you in the right direction to come with an overall plan for managing your forest land. You will probably find that there is lot more to it than removing some dead trees.
    bluedogz, Applesister and TreePointer like this.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Gboutdoors.

    We feel your pain. Around here it was the emerald ash borer that killed all our ash trees. Our woods looks very bare compared to what it used to be like.

    I do think you should revise your estimate of how much wood should be shared if someone else cuts. For example, if a farmer rents his land out on a share basis, he gets 1/3 while the man working the farm gets 2/3. Many years ago we did have someone come in to cut some excess wood as we needed more cut and could not keep up. We ended up with 1/4-3/4 and I was happy with that.

    The only thing I was not happy with was that year the ground did not freeze much at all. They came in during December and we figured the ground would be freezing up. Sadly, it did not. The deal was that they were to take only the trunks and leave the tops in the woods. They used a skidder but the sad thing was it had the big tires but they had basically no thread left. We were left with many deep ruts all over the woods. I ended up telling them they had to stop as the damage was too much. Well, one other thing is they tried to screw me out of 4 cord of wood and someone ran off with my cant hook. Needless to say, they were not invited back. We have also had a couple other come in to cut just for themselves. We've also given lots of the wood away to needy families.

    The biggest lesson on having someone else come in is that their ideas and yours may not be the same. Most will not respect your land as you should expect them to. For example, we had 2 fellows cutting and they asked about cutting a new lane through the woods to shorten the haul out. I told them to go ahead and even showed them where I had planned on making a new lane. It would have been very little work (probably taken half an hour at most) and would have saved them much time in the end. All was well when I left. When I went back the next day I was ticked to say the least. They did not open a new lane but instead decided for some unknown reason to widen the lane they were using. In the process the cut many trees we did not want cut, including some apple trees. My wife had marked some vegetation we did not know what it was but wanted to find out. It was beautiful. It is now gone.

    In addition, when cutting on shares, most tend to try to short you and also give you the worst of the wood they cut. This has happened to everyone I know of around here who have allowed others to come in and cut. It is really sad. So do yourself a big favor and give this much thought before you decide which way to go. If possible, do some checking on the folks you allow to come in.

    Build for yourselves some large wood piles! Stack the wood off the ground and I would not go over 5' in height. Top cover the wood and it will last for years and years. If you get 10 years ahead on your wood piles, that would be fantastic. Don't worry, it won't rot and you will be amazed at how well that wood will burn after being stacked for years.

    I never worried much about others coming in and the possibility of someone getting hurt. But I did make sure they knew how to properly fell a tree and buck it up before I left them on their own. I found a couple guys who had never fell a tree in their life. I taught them how.

    Now on the lighter side, you stated, "Looking for some direction as I hate to see the wood I can't use go to waist." Well, I hate it when so many things go to my waist but the wood doesn't waste. Good luck.
  9. Gboutdoors

    Gboutdoors Member

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    Thanks all for the replies. To answer a few of your questions, I have cleared out some very old logging roads on the property that give access to most of the area. I have a tractor that I use to take the wood I cut out so could do the same if someone came into cut. This land was in a forest plan before we bought it and I have called the county forester many times and left messages but have not received a call back in 3 years of trying he must be very busy! I have a copy of the forest plan and had hoped to reestablish it but to date have failed at this.

    The land next to ours is the same size lot and they had someone come in the year we built to do the forest plan. The guys took out 265 cord and trashed the land leaving logs and brush everywhere. This is what I do NOT want to happen on our lot.

    And you would be surprised how fattening oaks and acorns can be just look at the fat on deer in a good mast crop year. :)
  10. tsquini

    tsquini Minister of Fire

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    A log will last a long long time without rotting. We had a grand plan to make boards for porch out of a few oak trees that the power company took down. The trees were 36" around. After 15 years we decided we were not going to make a porch and logs need to C/S/S. The center of the logs were just as wet as the day they were cut. We still needed to season the damn things for 3 years.

    The oak trees will last, the maple and pine will deteriorate faster. Focus on cutting the trees that are on the ground or falling. If you have a friend who can use some firewood get him to help. I wish I had your problem. I live on .17 acres with 1 very lonely tree.
    Applesister likes this.
  11. Ducky

    Ducky Member

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    Aww. You should plant your lonely tree a friend!
    Applesister and tsquini like this.
  12. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I'm sure you could get a small tree service to remove certain trees and leave some of the wood for you. I suspect you don't want to pay for this service and believe the firewood would be payment for this service. There is the problem.
  13. Gboutdoors

    Gboutdoors Member

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    gzecc you are some what right I don't want to pay someone to give them wood. I do have a friend that has a tree service and have used him in the past to take down some trees my wife and I felt were to close to the house after we built it so don't mind paying for that service. He came in dropped the trees and left them for me to clean up and burn. The trees I am talking about are in the woods and are way more than we can use up before they start to rot.

    I have had offers by the processor that cleared our lot for us to pay us for the wood and lumber ( this is the same one that cut next door to us) but I am not out to sell it or have the mess that they leave. I was thinking along the lines of helping someone out that needed wood as I said I will pull it out with my equipment. I did not think that letting someone get all the wood they could need for personal use with me doing the hauling and the cleanup would be a bad deal but I guess I am from an older school.

    That being said I think I will go the giving it away to needy families in the area route. But if there is anyone on the site here that might want to contact me about cutting some in the S.E.Mass area contact me. And Happy holidays to everyone.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  14. ColdNH

    ColdNH Minister of Fire

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    There is a guy near me that has a large plot of land, he will fell trees he wants himself and then sell the "felled" trees on craigslist for 30$ a cord. this way he controls what trees get dropped and takes the liability of dropping the tree all while making a few bucks and having some fellow wood burners deal with the hard work and mess at a decent price.
  15. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Cut some into rounds, then put it on CL for free. Some of the people who respond, may be willing to work with you in the future. A days work for an unseasoned 1/2-1 cord of wood, that still needs split and stacked, just doesn't pay for most people.
  16. Utilitrack

    Utilitrack Feeling the Heat

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    Not sure about in MA but a quick Google search will tell you, I have seen loggers in NH, VT and ME that use horses to pull out wood to minimize the damage to the homeowners property.
    Applesister likes this.
  17. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    200+ oak trees? Don't throw away good money. Get a forester to take a look at it. A good timber harvesting company can go in with rubber tire skidders and SELECT CUT (not clear cut) for the health of the forest. Around here, it's normal to have language in the logging contract that keeps them from traversing any crop fields and mandates that they cover their ruts. Sometimes it's not possible to keep them out of your fields, but keep it to a minimum to prevent soil compaction. The few logging paths that remain after the harvest are very useful for firewooding, ATV/UTV riding, and forestry maintenance. We've been doing select cuts on my parents' farm for decades.

    BTW oak for firewood can last a long time dead, even on the ground.
  18. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Feel free to ship some down here. I have a nice big barn to store it in.
    Sully and bluedogz like this.
  19. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Oh to have your problems! I run out of room to stack on my .25 acre and you have too many trees on your 22 acres. Too bad you are so far away.
  20. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've been cutting some of that same oak on a friend of the family's in Raynham.

    What we've been doing is everyone who helps cut, split and toss into the truck (about 3/4 cord dump ) gets a load.
    There's not much of a trail into the place though beyond where an excavator went in to do some perc tests, so it's getting more and more difficult to back in with the splitter and truck. The landowner is 90 years old and doesn't want any wood. Some of the wood is nice, some is getting punky and hosting carpenter ants in the punk.
  21. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    IMG_0263.JPG

    Some of that dead standing red oak, no longer standing but neatly laid to rest.
  22. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    We were on the other side of this earlier this year but it didn't work out. The guy was SUPPOSED to skid out a FEW decent trees at a time and we'd buck and haul-he didn't want any of it. Unfortunately he got carried away and skidded out and stacked a HUGE pile. He helped one day with his tractor with forks to resort the pile but said he didn't want to have to do that. Plus he pulled some really punky stuff. If he hadn't piled it in a dangerous manner and had pulled decent wood, we'd have gotten more wood than we could shake a stick at. (all beetle kill/windfall pine) But we weren't interested in sorting out junk (I mean, if you can put a screwdriver all the way into it up to the handle, it's not worth it) and the way it was stacked wasn't safe to just try and get into and buck. You could probably find someone that would be happy to do the same, even for a share (but I doubt 50/50, I wouldn't do it as a scrounger). We might still have tried working with him if we didn't already have a pretty decent pile here.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  23. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    To some degree I imagine you could pre-plan and start some long term salvage by just minimally cutting so that you have logs/rounds under the ends on downed tree so as the branches give way they never touch the ground. This was you will have a life time of downed wood that has limited rot just waiting for you. If you can keep it off the ground it will last many, many years as future fuel.
  24. Gboutdoors

    Gboutdoors Member

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    Treepointer I have a forest plan in hand just needed the County Forester to come by and ok it as it lapsed when we bought the land. I have tried many times in three years of calls to him but never got a call back.

    Hogwildz and Flatbedford I wish you guys were closer to as I am sure we could make what I have in mind work out for us all.

    Billb3 what you are doing is just what I have in mind. I have cleared the old logging roads so I can get to most of the wood with my tractor,splitter and chipper/mulcher. I was thinking 50/50 with me doing the work along side someone. With me pulling it out to the house to load so I can control the damage to the roads. I did not think this would be a bad deal for someone in need of wood but I guess from what has been said so far most would rather pay then play.

    BobUrban great minds think alike. I have walked most of the woods and put dunage logs under any trees that have fallen and after every storm look for any new trees down to do the same. Luckily most of the dead oaks are standing. It's funny most of the blowdowns are live pines and some live oaks do to the lack of branches on the dead ones.
  25. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    I live on the south shore and could always use some wood. You just need someone to remove the logs?

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