I learned something new recently. Around here, and presumably in most areas, when a tree trimming crew disposes of a tree it pays a dumping fee. Our local fee ranges from $50 for easily mulch-able branches to $75 for big trunks. For the tree trimmers, especially the small companies, this can eat into their profits.
So, when I got a crew to use my yard as their dumping ground for two big trees, it was a win-win for both of us. Here’s one tree:
I may regret this one. It’s sweet gum and notoriously difficult to split. I’ve also heard it needs a good three years to dry before it makes a suitable firewood.
The other tree is a black locust, and it’s splitting very nicely with a 6 pound splitting maul and the occasional wedge.
Not being a real pioneer, I had to do some online research about splitting techniques to pick up some pointers. This was a very helpful article: How to Split Wood, at woodheat.org, which is a good, all-around resource for wood stove users.
Here’s a first day’s effort:
And after day two:
It’s hard to split just one. After two, it’s “just one more.” Then, “That one’s already got a little split in it–won’t take a minute.”
And pretty soon you’ve got the measuring tape out to see when you get to a cord (8’x4’x4′).
It’s addictive. So either I’m going into the wood splitting business or I’m going to destroy my wrists.
Cuz I can’t quit splittin’. The satisfying “crack!” when the log finally gives it up, the beauty of a rapidly building stack, the way it warms you up even when the air is freezing.
Even my idea of irresistible footwear is taking a decidedly different turn.
I keep looking out the window.