Burning through the wood!
March 8, 2012, 8:21 pm
Filed under: March 2012

The boys and I bringing in more wood

                                                      March 8, 2012

      We are bringing in another load of slab wood in this picture. The sled measures 4 feet by 8 feet with 2 foot sides. They are just playing with a load that size, but it was fun using three horses to get the loads.

      Today I boiled what we gathered yesterday afternoon. I used two sled loads of wood, like you see in the picture, to get through the sap. I made another twelve gallons of the yummy maple syrup. I guess I’m getting ten to twelve gallons of maple syrup, to the cord 😮

      I could do better than that if I had good dry chunk wood. We will have exactly that for next year. As soon as, this season is over, we will start cutting wood for next year. I am also planning that once the woodshed is full, we will continue cutting for the following year. I want to always be a whole year ahead. This year we will have to cut two years worth to meet that goal.

      Our woodlot has plenty of blown down and dead trees to work up. We won’t be cutting any live trees for quite a while. In time there will be some as we continue to practice “crop tree release” in out woodland holdings.

      “Crop tree release” is a method of woodlot management that involves making space in the canopy overhead for the “crop” tree. In our case it is the maples. In other woods it might be oaks or black cherry trees that will someday be the “crop”.

      You walk the woodlot and select the tree to be given more sun and nutrients. The undesirable trees surrounding it are removed. Caution should be used to only take out enough to open the canopy and not so many as to encourage the growth of brush or brambles.     

     I try to remove trees to be sawed into boards for farm projects. I do occasionally sell some logs to lumber companies. The horses and I skid the wood out to a landing and then bid the logs out, selling to the highest bidder. I use the monies made to buy young seedlings, culvert pipe or other material needed to improve our woodlot.

      Managing a woodlot takes some time and quite a bit of hard work. It is satisfying work to me. There is plenty to do in our woods. The woodfired maple syrup outfit, will encourage us to continue to clean up our woods. I can tell you it takes a lot of wood to boil the water out of the maple sap. We are running about 43:1 this year. Let me tell you … We are burning through the wood!



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