Reader Favorites: Harvesting Your Own Firewood

Harvesting your own firewood is one of the most satisfying and self-sufficient skills you can develop.

| October/November 2004

  • Harvesting Firewood
    Harvesting renewable wood to heat your home is one of the most satisfying, self-reliant things you can do.
    Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
  • Firewood
    Cutting and splitting firewood is strenuous work; one benefit is the opportunity to be in touch with the outdoors in all seasons.
    Photo courtesy Lynn Karlin
  • Chopping Wood
    The wood pile at left will equal one cord of wood when cut and stacked.
    Photo courtesy Neil Soderstrom
  • 206-018-01tab1
    Hydraulic Log Splitters
  • Log Cutting
    A sawhorse used for cutting larger logs.
    Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
  • 206-018-01tab2
    Axes, Mauls and Other Hand-operated Splitters

  • Harvesting Firewood
  • Firewood
  • Chopping Wood
  • 206-018-01tab1
  • Log Cutting
  • 206-018-01tab2

Why Heat with Wood?

Last year a friend was anxious to get rid of a 10-year-old pile of firewood. I agreed to take it off her hands. As I loaded my truck, she asked if it really cuts down on my heating bill. I grinned and answered, ‘I don’t have a heating bill!’

Karen Secor
Ogden, Utah

As with bread making, splitting wood must be done by hand to get the most out of it. Your spirit and your body are warmed by the handling of each piece of wood.

Robert Smith
Greenville, Maine

11/12/2007 6:45:44 PM

Heating with wood is just down right rewarding!!! I just moved into a home with a wood furnace and a wood stove this past summer… so not knowing anything about it I was kind of skeptical at first. 40 dollars later and a lot of man hours I enjoy looking at my 6 cords of split wood that I harvested from state parks, road sides, and friend’s yards. I am still looking for the perfect splitting tool for me as this year I used a fiberglass handled 6 and 8 lb maul, I think a wood handle would suite my sense of tradition a bit better. I use a twenty year old 20” Homelite SXL for the cutting, which was handed to me from my father, and when using it I feel good to know I can harvest and put to good use wood that would otherwise have gone to waste.


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