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Timber! (Lots of It.)

I never really thought about cutting trees before we had the farm. I knew there were people that ran around with chainsaws, but I didn’t really know what they did or how hard it was.

For our work we use two chainsaws and a pole saw. Mike and Brett both have their saws (a Stihl and a Husqvarna respectively) and my little pole saw is also a Husqvarna.

I’ll take a moment and tell you that my little pole saw is pretty sweet. She and I have a good rapport and she generally starts on the first or second pull. Yes, she’s a girl and yes, she’s reliable and I am one of those people that think that all equipment, from printers and computers to mowers and tractors have minds of their own and the nicer you talk to them the better they work. (Oil, gas, and priming the motor also help this process). 🙂

Generally our approach has been to cut the trees down, then top them on once they’re on the ground

The crack trees make when they begin to fall is a distinct sound akin to metal crunching in a car accident. It is a noisy attention-getting, stop-what-you’re-doing-and-look kind of sound. When you’re sawing and you hear that crack, you know you have very little time to get out of the way.

These trees weigh tons. Not a few hundred pounds but tons. Some of the big limbs weigh four or five hundred pounds. And one of us being in the wrong place at the wrong time equals danger or death. So we’re always watching and unless we’re working together on breaking down a tree that’s already on the ground, only one person is sawing at a time while the other two stay a safe distance and angle from the action.

I have such respect now for the folks who cut trees for a living. It’s slippery, it’s dangerous, and making a mistake is like having a car falling on your head.

You can see how much wood we’ve gotten in the pictures. One wood pile has eight cement blocks and two lengths of 8″ x 12′ boards. Notice in the first photo below there’s a six foot tractor bucket on the right side of the pile.

The other wood pile is stacked three deep, on 12 cinder blocks. The back of this pile is the size of trees we started cutting, and the big long pile is the size of trees we’ve graduated to taking down.

We haven’t split it all yet, and not all of it has to be split but some of these logs are so large that they’re not suitable to add to a fire alone because they will not catch unless it’s already raging. The good thing is, when we’ve got the house down here we’ll have a lot of good, seasoned wood at our disposal.

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