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About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen, our Agility and Dock Diving Sweetheart. Portrait of Wendy by Springfield Photography.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Splitting All That Wood

Good morning,

We had the Catalpa Tree taken down last month and we have had some business travel since then so haven't gotten to the log splitting until now. While out on the road we ordered this log splitter over the Internet and here it is ready to go.
These are two of the smaller tree sections to be split.
Some of the wood is healthy and pretty...
...but some was dead or dying and infested with big black Carpenter ants.  This was even more evidence that it was the right thing to do to get this tree down before it came down on its own and caused damage below.
This is one of those smaller pieces after being split in half...
...the diseased parts of the tree were easier to split, of course, since they were already weakened.
 Our new 7 ton log splitter worked fairly well for these big pieces.
 We had to use a bigger cart to bring the pieces from the front yard back to where we could keep the splitter flat.  This is a medium size piece.  That's, Erik, our Labrador Retriever behind the log which should give you a size reference.  Erik was determined to help us.
This is that same piece of wood that was on the cart after being split. 
Penny wisely decided to just enjoy the sun and stay out of the way.
 We've only just begun.  This is only 10% of the wood from that beautiful old Catalpa Tree.

This is good exercise and fun.  So far, the weather has been fine for this.  I am thankful for the dry weather now and hope we get finished before we have too much rain.  We'll get the pieces we haven't split under cover before it gets wet if we don't get it all split first.

Have you done this or if you use firewood, do you get it delivered?  We've split the wood from our own trees manually and with a rented log splitter when we took down a huge Oak Tree in the back yard a few years ago.  We realized then that the next time we had a similar big project that we would buy our own splitter.  Wise decision.

Very best,



Anonymous said...

I would guess that powered splitter is really a good wood to work with. It looks a lot like walnut but I haven't seen walnut in ages but from memory it looks like it.

I would not worry about carpenter ants in any tree. If you notice, the center or core is the only part they were in or so it looks to me.

The tree is held up and grows by all the wood around the core where the ants are and it looks like there was a lot of good wood there.

You may have made the right decision and the pile of firewood looks ready to use. The log splitter is quite nice, compared to wedges and sledge hammers I have used in the past.

Willow trees are notorious for being filled and or eaten up by carpenter ants and lots of other worms and bugs. We had two and they were huge. So big around that we could not get are arms around their trunks.

We had to have one cut down when we built this office in 1981. When it came down, it was all hollow. The center and 99% of the wood was gone to a brownish power-like dust. Inside were the black carpenter ants and worms.

The man who cut it down said it would probably never have fallen down on its own and would have continued to live like it was. But we got worried about the other one and had it cut down too and it was hollow like the first one. They are both gone since 1981. We don't miss them as they were the most dirty trees we ever grew. They constantly drop leaves and limbs and twigs.

Jo said...

One thing is for certain, when one of those old beauties decide to fall, there is no changing it's mind. After reading your post, I recalled an incident that I am making a note of to share with you all on my blog in the next few weeks.

JD takes care of cutting and splitting our wood both manually and with a splitter. I know it is a job not meant for the faint of heart. Have a great day.

karen said...

oh my!! I wouldn't want to do that, knowing my clumsiness I would lose a limb or something!!

Diane at Crafty Passions said...

Thanks for coming by to lift my spirit

Wanda..... said...

We've cleared out many deseased or damaged trees over the years for firewood...we split and stack it under a carport...our wood shed! I stack, but have never used the chainsaw or splitter! :)

grammie g said...

Hi Lois..I have never used a splitter...but burn about 5 cords of wood a winter!!
It has always been delivered tree length, cut, split, stacked,by my X husband,but this was the last year on the divorce agreement...so I don't think I will be doing that...I think I will be paying for more oil...Yuck!!
I can run a chainsaw, split wood, and stack it , but knowing myself I probably would pay out more in doctor bills than it would to have it deliver; ready to throw in the fire !! lol : }

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Lois, I'm hoping that Grenvile doesn't see this post or this log splitter could end up on a wish list. Seems to me that splitting wood beats being indoors at a meeting.

Elaine said...

Looks like you will have wood for a good long time. Our house is only set up for oil heat, so the wood for any trees that might come down go to one of our kids. Of course, we don't have anything near that big to deal with.

Lois Evensen said...

Good morning,

Yes, that tree is quite a project. I'm glad we took it down, though. In a recent storm we could see the whole root ball lift up in the ground on one side in strong winds. Not good!

It is interesting to hear about how people use their fireplaces. One of the criteria for purchasing our home was that it had at least one wood burning fireplace. Our home has two so got extra points on the decision scale 31 years ago.

Thank you so much, everyone, for stopping by. Happy Weekend!

Very best,

Diana said...

We only have one tree! So we used to have our wood delivered by the truck load. That was when we had a wood burning stove. We have a fireplace now and just buy the ready to burn logs,it's a lot less messy! Glad your weather was good for all of that work! It's been chilly and damp here.
Love Di ♥