Firewood from Private Woodlots webcast

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Firewood from Private Woodlots: 

Firewood from Private Woodlots Peter J. Smallidge NYS Extension Forester

Why Cut Firewood?: 

Why Cut Firewood? Reduce home heating costs Reduce dependence on fossil fuels Improve tree growth in your woods Sell for extra income Reduce disease, defect and undesirable trees in your woods Family fun and exercise

Today’s Objective: 

Today’s Objective Help forest owners enter into or refine their skills in the production of firewood. Safety Woodlot improvement Production & marketing strategies

Firewood Considerations: 

Firewood Considerations Outline Scale(s) of production Equipment Selecting trees Storage Sales and marketing

Firewood Considerations: 

Firewood Considerations Full cord 4’ x 8’ x 4’ = 128 cu ft. Face cord: 4’ x 8’ x ? = 32 sq. ft. Cord = 5155 lbs green; 4966 lbs seasoned 2.5 tons / cord “dry” ~ 20% moisture content

Safety Equipment and Risk Reduction: 

Safety Equipment and Risk Reduction Chaps or pants ($80) Helmet with face and ear protection ($35) Steel toe boots ($75) Game of Logging for Landowners (~$125)

Components of Production: 

Components of Production Wood acquisition Log handling / blocking Moving logs or blocks Splitting blocks into firewood Storage

Scale of Production: 

Scale of Production ~ 1 to 15 cords / year

Scale of Production (estimated): 

Scale of Production (estimated) Chainsaw $250 - $700 Safety and felling equip. $150 - 250 Handcart $75 - $100 ATV $2500 - $7500 ATV cart $100 - $400 Splitting maul $15 Total $340 to $8000+ 6+ person-hours per cord ~ 1 to 15 cords / year

Scale of Production: 

Scale of Production ~ 5 to 25+ cords / year

Scale of Production (estimated): 

Scale of Production (estimated) ~ 5 to 25+ cords / year Chainsaw $500 - $700 Safety and felling equip. $150 - $250 ATV $2500 - $7500 ATV arch $300 - $600 Tractor and skid plate $10,000 (used) Splitting maul $15 Power splitter $250 (rental?) Power splitter $1500 - $7000 (buy) Total $4300 - $12,500+ 4 - 6 person-hours per cord (???)

Scale of Production: 

Scale of Production > 50 cords / year

Scale of Production (estimated): 

Scale of Production (estimated) > 50 cords / year Chainsaw (2) $500 - $700 Safety and felling equip. $250+ Tractor and skid plate $20,000 Power splitter $1500 Firewood processor $15 - 35,000 Buy logs $30 - 50/cd del. Total $$12,500 - ??? Cut and skid 2 cds/hr; split 1-3 cds/hr


Equipment SAFETY !! Felling Chainsaw Moving Hand cart, ATV, arch or wagon, tractor, skidder Processing Maul, hydraulic splitter, firewood processor

Selecting Trees: 

Selecting Trees Retain trees that support your ownership objective Remove stems that are good firewood


Leave the winners and cut the losers


Cut trees of poor form and low vigor

Release 2 to 4 sides: 

1 2 3 4 Release 2 to 4 sides

How do you put the tree on the Ground?: 

How do you put the tree on the Ground? One opening in the canopy 12’ side lean, or 16’ back lean, or Forward lean, but good tree adjacent

Directional Felling: 

Directional Felling Game of Logging for Landowners Don’t “chase the tree” Directional Felling Advantages Reduce hung trees Safely and quickly release hung trees Position log for extraction Reduce risk of personal injury Increased productivity

Game of Logging for Landowners: 

Game of Logging for Landowners Benefits Know your limitations Reduce downtime Sharpen you own chain Avoid dangerous situations

Is All Firewood Equal?: 

Is All Firewood Equal? Really good (> 20MM BTU / seasoned cord) Apple, beech, oak, locust, sugar maple, hophornbeam, hickory, black birch Good (15MM – 20MM BTU / seasoned cord) White ash, red maple, elm, white birch Poor (11MM – 13MM BTU / seasoned cord) Willow, basswood, aspen (popple), butternut, softwoods

Storing Firewood: 

Storing Firewood Fell and leave leaves to accelerate dessication Ideally seasoned 1 to 2 years Split to expose wood fiber Store above ground Protect from rain and snow Stack for access   

Considerations for Efficiency and Production: 

Considerations for Efficiency and Production Exam by physician Personal protective equipment Lift with your legs Core exercises year round Use modern equipment Use sharp tools Use the appropriate tools DO NOT damage residual trees Avoid equipment on soggy ground to prevent root damage Leave tops high as habitat and deer barrier Leave small diameter wood in the forest

Marketing Firewood: 

Marketing Firewood Neighbors and friends Your community networks Daily and weekly newspapers Establish a client base Customer “perks” Stack the wood Minimal loose bark and debris Don’t sell muddy firewood

Firewood Distribution: 

Firewood Distribution Customer picks-up One load at a time Multiple loads

Legal Considerations: 

Legal Considerations You can be sued for anything at anytime Business insurance Truck hits client’s house Firewood falls on client’s son Chimney fire Errors and Omissions (?) Bottomline – talk to your insurance agent Cover the load

Legal Considerations to Sell Firewood NYS Ag and Markets: 

Legal Considerations to Sell Firewood NYS Ag and Markets Hardwoods exclude: conifers, aspen, basswood, butternut, willow, gray and paper birch. “Seasoned” wood must specify duration of seasoning Advertising of wood requires three dimensions in feet and inches Sales tax should be collected (?) Revenue should be reported to IRS and NYS

Useful Websites: 

Useful Websites (Cornell Univ.) (many extension links)

Estimated Cord Volume by Diameter to a 4” top: 

Estimated Cord Volume by Diameter to a 4” top

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