“People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.”Albert Einstein
Earlier this summer we found four pine trees that we could cut down for firewood. We waited until the weather got a bit colder as its more pleasant to work in a cooler temperature and we don’t have to worry about the bugs. Firewood is an important source of heat and comfort during the colder months in Finland so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we need a decent amount of it to stay warm, especially for the sauna! The problem is that its a long process…but a necessary one.
I decided to test the chainsaw on a smaller tree to see how sharp the chain is and to make sure the chainsaw was working properly. Two thumbs up for well maintained forest machinery!
First off, the tree has to come down. We need to keep an eye on wind direction as a tree is tall and if it is severed at the trunk, a gust of wind could make it fall in the wrong direction. We also need to plan in which direction to let the tree fall. To do that, we use a method with the chainsaw where you cut a wedge out of the trunk and then chainsaw from the other side. Once the tree begins to fall, it will naturally fall in the wedge’s direction. Thats the idea anyway!
Once the tree is down, branches need to be cut off before the trunk can be sawn into smaller logs for transport. The branches that are too small to use as firewood or kindling are put in a bonfire pile (‘kokko’) to burn later. The rest of the wood is repurposed as firewood.
The last step is to chop the firewoods into smaller pieces and rack them with the bark facing down so that they can dry. The chopping part is the best part because you get immediate results of your labour and theres a sense of accomplishment every time that axe splits a piece of wood!
We spent a few hours working before ending the day with sauna and ice cold beer. Tomorrow we will probably feel a bit sore as chopping down trees can be quite a workout! There is still work to be done and the wood needs to be in dry storage for the winter but we will do that another day.