With the Coming of Summer, Thoughts of Winter

Yesterday I got a belated start on my woodpile that I will use for heating the house this Winter. Usually I use windfalls, tree that fall during storms, but we didn’t have many this Winter.


Fortunately, or unfortunately – depending upon how you look at it, we had quite a few alders die due to heat and lack of rain last Summer. Alder is quite a nice wood to burn when it is dried properly – clean, easy to split and giving off a good heat.  A green alder has about 30% water content. My wood will have to dry over the Summer and will get to about 11% which is good for burning cleanly.

I have cut four trees now, this photo is just one tree split up. It should last almost two months. I need two more stacks about the same size to get me through the year and I’m hoping the trees I have down will almost do it.  I still have two months worth of firewood left over from last Winter so we should be in good shape.



  1. We used alder at the new/old house last winter and it’s very nice burning. I’m not fond of the smell of doug fir burning which is what most folks here use.

    • Douglas Fir is like burning gold right now. Very expensive to buy as lumber. We don’t get much fir as the trees are hardier and tend to not fall down. We had 300 year old small sections of fir logs when we first moved here that were left over from the logging days in the very late 1800’s. Despite laying in the forest for 70 years much of the inner wood excellent for burning. It had the very distinctive old fir smell to it and not very pleasant unless I ran into some pitch wood that burned like a blow torch. Our alternative wood is hemlock. It is okay but takes longer to dry out and smells like wet dog (much to my delight).

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