Cutting Firewood-Selecting Tree to Cut

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 34,195
    Jacques Couture of Couture’s Maple Shop & Bed & Breakfast demonstrates how to cut firewood including how to select the right tree to cut.

    Jacques Couture: Hi, I am Jacques Couture from Westfield Vermont. My family and I own a business called Coutures Maple Shop and Bed and Breakfast. I am standing in a wood lot right now and I am going to show you how I select a tree to cut for firewood. I will cut the tree down, cut it up and I am going to show you how to take it out. So let's get started. To get the maple syrup that so many of you love to eat, we have to do a lot of forest management work and during that forest management work one of the by products is firewood. We go through the woods we have pick certain trees like an example right next to me here we have two nice little sugar maples that are kind of being crowded out by yellow birch tree which is actually another hardwood species and pretty good firewood.

    Today I am going to cut that yellow birch down so that these two little maples can grow much faster. So within maybe -- I will be doing this work today and maybe in about 30-35 years somebody will be able to tap these trees. It will be about ten inches in diameter and ready to produce maple syrup. So I am going to go along and get this tree a notch made on it and I have already picked the direction where I am going to fell this tree. We have to use gravity of coarse wherever they lean is where they are going to go but we do have some control depending up on how we notch the tree as to where it's going to go.

    So I have already picked that path, I have already planned my escape route when the tree start falling and we will go ahead and do that. We have made our direction of notch on the tree so that the tree will fall where we want it to and now I am about ready to do the back cut on the back side of the tree and as I am making my back cut and the tree begins to fall, I can control the tree a little better as I cut it just by watching the tree's fall and cutting a little more or less on one side to make a, what we call a hinge, so that the tree falls where we want it to. Alright we have this tree down, it fell right where I wanted it to. We didn't damage any of these nice little sugar maples that we are trying to save for the future generations. So now how do we get it out of the woods? Well at this time of year the ground is quite tender, so we try to not come in with any high equipment because we don't want to damage the forest floor.

    On the forest floor if you look around any forest, at least in this part of country you see a lot of little seedlings and if we come in with heavy equipment we can damage them. So to come in with heavy equipment we try to do that during the winter months when the ground is frozen for us in this part of the country typically January, February are the best month. At this time of year when the ground is not frozen if we need to take wood out we use -- we have a Polaris ATV which is six wheeler, has legs on it and a little box which holds probably about 4 or 5 cubic feet of wood, maybe a little bit more than that and it's a very good tool to come in at some of these sensitive places when we are doing small wood cutting projects. So we can come in and out we don't do any damage. So that's how I am going to remove this tree today.

    Videos in this Series