Funny, down-to-earth, thought provoking, heartwarming, charming.  Just a few of the things our visitors are.

To email us, send to feedback at woodheat dot org

Please do not send attachments like photographs. We won't open them anyway.

We are getting more email these days from anti-wood burning campaigners. We can all learn from their experiences and their views. You'll find some of their messages and our responses here.


Dennis uses a special technique for hand splitting

I tried this technique during one of the few times I split wood by hand, but never got very good at it.      JG

A technique I picked up from my dad and have found effective during my ~60 years of splitting firewood intermittently:

As you get to the end of the swing, when your hands are about done travelling and the handle is nearing level, give the handle a slight twist. This makes the blade enter the wood at a slight angle while the momrntum of the head is still near maximum, and places the center of gravity offset slightly from the point of impact. As the edge of the blade enters the wood and encounters resistance, the offset between the line of resistance and the path of the momentum creates a rotational moment that causes the buried edge of the blade to pry the wood apart much more effectively than simply wedging it. Once you find the timing, you can split some wood with only 1 - 2" of penetration and send the pieces flying dramatically. The head will bounce back into the air and save you some trouble lifting it. It's most effective to have the head fall toward the residual target block and the blade push out on the offcut so the smaller offcut goes away and the maul head can be pushed down to stabilize the target block if it is getting small and unstable.

The down-side is that you might have to re-place the remaining block or the offcuts more often, but it still is more gratifying and productive than wrestling with stuck maul or axe heads. It works particularly well with large rounds of fir and hemlock where one can stand one on the ground and walk around it blowing off flakes about 4" thick with no lifting. There is no need for a heavy chopping block since most of the splitting energy is translated to the lateral direction. Firm ground does help, particullarly as the block is reduced and the inertia of the target block becomes proportionally smaller WRT the impulse of the maul strike. Big rounds don't need to be lifted, but having a few standing up around at a convenient distance from the one you are working on will hel=p contain the offcuts and furnish handy chopping blocks on which to further reduce the offcuts.

One does need some working room - the offcuts can really fly! A helper has to stay out of the line of fire!

This technique takes a little practice and a fairly clear idea of the intent to master, but is worth the investment. Some gnarly wood won't split as well this way and will demand wedges or a hydraulic splitter.

Dennis     February 2023

Diane has affirmed her use of wood for heating

I saw an old Mother Earth magazine and in the letters column, there were comments about an article on how to build a better fire. I got online and found the article then I found your website. I live in northern New Mexico and have heated only with wood for over 20 years so I'm pretty good at starting a fire but this morning I tried the method described and it worked great! However, it is May 2 and I'm tired of making fires and think Mother Nature should do the right thing and let spring have its time.

I have been considering a different heat system in my little adobe but not now, after reading your website. I'm a single 66 year old woman and have thought I should quit working so darn hard but I now see how lucky I am. It keeps me fit and connected to the natural rhythms of the seasons. Plus I know I spend much less than other folks on heat and I keep my home cozy warm. This past year I burned more wood than I ever had: 3 cords, due to a cold and snowy winter. And my wood dollars go to a swell couple who sell great firewood. I mainly use juniper, rarely pinon as it makes so much creosote.

Thanks for such good info and affirmation on wood burning.


May 4, 2010

Paul has everything a man needs

Just a quick note to let you know I think your web site is fantastic. My wife wanted to have a wood burner fitted but I was very skeptical at first. Now that we have it, my biggest regret is we didn't have one installed 10 years ago when we moved into the house. I now have three chainsaws, a pick-up truck and a wood shed. Lets be honest, what more does a man need in life?!

Best Regards, Paul
May 18, 2009

Robert is grateful

We are in a new-to-us home. All electric. Often stormy in the winter in this small river canyon. Since all is forest here, electricity is subject to tall trees falling on lines. This is all about six miles from a bay that empties into the Pacific ocean. It is not a dry cold as much of the country gets. We need heat! We are buying a wood burning stove soon. Finding your web site today is a pleasure. You have answered questions I have asked of others. Hard to tell an expert from a casual user of wood burning. The education you have given me in a couple of hours has been very satisfying. Much more to learn, of course.

Gratefully, Robert
April 16, 2009

Patrick is too polite to gloat

After a week of my bragging about your site, a co-worker and good friend of mine decided to visit your site and view the wealth of information. He is also a wood burner, and for the past two years, we have been harvesting wood together. Last year, as we were unloading some wood at his house, I was a bit critical of his stacking techniques. He was stacking the wood on the ground in rows of two, and kind of just tossing the wood in each row.  At that time I had suggest raising the wood off the ground, and building pillars on the ends of the rows to assure strong, tight stacks.  His response, "nope, too time consuming".

Well, this year we were way ahead of the game, having twice as much wood as last year.  On a visit to my property to load his truck, his wife was very impressed with my single row, symmetrical stacks of wood.  She made a couple comments to her husband, but it fell on deaf ears.  That very day, as he was unloading his wood and creating his stack, it fell over... all of it.  The next day I got the call from his wife asking for the name of your website.

No more falling stacks and moldy wood, thanks to  And I didn't even have to say "I told you so"!

October 18, 2006

Eric is hooked on wood heat

I'm sitting in my family room looking at my stove. It's 60 degrees on a January day in Connecticut and I'm itching for a fire, but I'll save my wood. I only split three cords this year. It's my first year with a wood stove and I had a late start on gathering wood (July). Lucky for me most of my wood came from trees that had already fallen and were fairly dry.

You have a fantastic site. Your advice has been a huge help. Although I should have heeded the 4-5 cord estimate, and split more wood. I'm glad your site persuaded me to bite the bullet and splurge for a new EPA rated stove and professional installation. It is far better than the old stove I'm used to using at my friends house.

I never thought someone could get so addicted to wood heat. It's all I could talk about for months after the first cool November day when I first fired it up. My wife and the guys at work are tired of hearing about it, but my wife sure likes cranking it up and sitting in front of it. Now after working outside all day I can't wait to come home and relax and watch the fire. It beats TV any day.

I also would like to mention the importance of protecting your kids and grown-ups from your stove. My two year old daughter promptly tells all my guests "no touch the fire is very very hot OK, only Daddy do it". She also scolds her younger brother if he crawls within the vicinity of the protective screen.  One of my co-workers is recovering from serious burns to the hands after falling on his stove while he was trying to keep the dog from jumping on it. So I hope you continue to mention the importance of wood heat safety

Well, since its 60 degrees out, all the snow has melted and I can continue working on next years wood supply. Keep up the great site and thanks for all the useful advice.

January 14, 2006

My lame chimney

Thanks for your answers about this poorly designed and ill conceived chimney in the house we've rented for 13 years. A good smoke free fire is rare thing. Today as it billowed from the hearth and the room filled with smoke I finally said screw it. I pretended I live outdoors and opened the windows and doors to get rid of the smoke. At first the smoke continued to fill the place (I feel like I should be singing camp songs by how smokey I smell) then finally it gave up and decided to go back up the chimney, defying all laws of thermodynamics. If we ever build our own house, you can bet it will have a chimney on the inside. Thanks,

Stay warm,

February 2, 2005

Cindy is a very happy newbie

Okay.  I have to tell you about my wood stove...

I bought this 25+ year old Timberline over a year ago from a friend for $100. The next month's gas heating bill took away $400 of what I had borrowed to pay for the installation of the wood burner.  Dang.  It just sat there in place, like the proverbial elephant in the living room.

Fast forward one year.  My gas furnace is broken (again).  I've never had wood heat before, but with the latest wars in the Middle East, I decided it's a better idea to get the wood stove installed than to fix the gas heater which only puts out lukewarm air on its best days by the time it makes it to the vents.

OMG!  I gotta tell you, I just LOVE this heat!!!  We always feel warm - a nice, toasty warm.  I've never experienced this kind of heat before.  Now I know why people love wood heat so much!  There's also something very primitive about tending a fire and NOT feeding the energy conglomerates.

Soon after I got my wood stove hooked up, my toaster died.  Wasn't the best tasting toast of my life the toast I made on top of that wood stove?  Did you know that if you get your stove hot enough and slap a piece of bread on to the side of it, the toast will drop off when it's done?  Now I'm experimenting with cooking on top of my firebox too...mmmm, potroast!

Oh yeah, our clothes dryer died also.  Drying clothes around the living room may not be so pretty, but I just LOVE that I'm not turning on the electric company's money spigot whilst simultaneously emptying my pockets.  Oh yeah, I'm hooked!

November 13, 2004

Aubrey is happy to eat his words

When I was a boy growing up in Newfoundland my family burned wood to heat our home. As a child it was less than ideal for me to haul wood, summer and winter, in all weather conditions. I always told my father "you can make me haul the firewood but you can't make me enjoy it". Boy was I wrong. As an adult I burn wood to heat my home and I love every minute of it, from cutting down the tree to taking the ashes out of the stove. My father has since given up burning wood due to his health but loves the feel of wood heat in my home when he comes to visit. And he always jokingly reminds me of my youthful statement, which I could not imagine uttering from my lips now.

Jan 21, 2004

Joe's excellent firewood tips

This is a great site. I just bought a high efficiency wood stove for my home and I love it. I'm 26 years old and some of my best memories as a child are of splitting wood with my dad in the spring for our farm house in Ontario. I now split wood with my father-in-law and we have a great time with it. He bought a stove two years ago and he too is in love with it.

I have a tip for some people that may be thinking of going to wood heat. Don't listen to everyone that says hardwood is the only wood to heat with. I burn 75% softwood and 25% ash. The area that I live in is mostly softwood with very little hardwood. The softwood throws a great amount of heat, but you have to burn more of in in a day. This is no problem, I save what little hardwood I do have for right before I go to bed at night. Softwood is very easy to work with, dries faster, easy on the chain saws, easy to split and light to handle. I also take trees that nature has knocked down for my supply. Take a walk where you get wood and look around at all the wood just lying on the ground waiting to be taken . I also take the whole tree. A good supply of small branches and twigs make for great fire starter without having to mess with skids and scrap wood. One tip: only take the trees that have been down for less than about two years - less chance for bugs and rot. Take what nature has felled first. I cut and split 14 cords of wood in the last two years and I have yet to fell a tree. Happy Burning and respect the forests.

Thank you
Joe from Ontario

Bob's great vacation

I just spent a week on the farm with my brother cutting wood for next year, and even though it was in the 90's every day with matching humidity, I couldn't have had a better time. This from a guy who griped as kid with his dad cutting wood. The difference between a dull and bent bladed buzz saw and two new chainsaws, 25 ton splitter, two tractors with loaders, an ATV with trailer and willing help is amazing. I'm sure dad would say we've got more money invested than he spent to buy the farm. I just wish dad could have been with his two sons and enjoy it with us. Well, I've got to get ready to go back to something tomorrow that I'm tired of doing but will think of the week in October when I can do it again. Thanks again for the web site. Its the best by far.

August 24, 2003

Kenneth has warm feelings for wood heat and

All the things that are explained on your site are things that I never really thought of until now. It is simply amazing how we take things for granted. Here I am reading your material and then it suddenly hits me -- that there are so many people out there who really do not know how to take care of a wood burning stove and how to keep a fire going and maintaining it. I have been using wood heat ever since I can remember, back in the time when we had no electricity. I hated cutting wood, splitting it, carrying it to the house, but, now it is one of the real enjoyable things in my life. I simply would not give it up, even in my old age. Fire is very soothing. Fire cures pretty near all of my ailments, colds, sniffles and chills, and aaaaarthritis is easier to live with.

I would like to thank you for the very well written articles on fire and wood heat. You sure did one fine job of raising awareness of one of the simplest things in life. Keep up the good work, keep on informing people. Your site has really made my day this morning. Thank you very much, yours in wood heat.

Feb 10, 2003

As a kid he griped, but now he loves it

I'm sitting here drinking coffee enjoying your web site. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my love for wood stoves and burning wood. People think I'm crazy when asked about hobbies or what I'll do in retirement and I say burn wood.

I was raised in a seven bedroom farmhouse with only wood to keep from freezing and did not enjoy cutting wood with Dad. But now I'm in my fifties and love looking at my rows of wood in the back yard. I'm sure Dad would laugh after all the griping he heard back then.

I bought a Kent stove when we build our house and could not be happier. Only worry is if my Kent needs replacing I'm sure I'd drive wife and myself nuts deciding on the next one. Thanks to everyone who helps keep this site up and going.


Jim's not so nutty

I thought I was kinda nutty the way I get into my woodstove, but I see there are plenty of folks out there just like me. My home sits in the middle of an  eight and a half acre parcel, most of it is wooded. I have an old Allis Chalmers tractor and a Stihl chainsaw. I have lived here for two years and have not cut a live tree yet. I always select the standing dead and those limbs that mother nature brings down for me.

It is funny how, in mid winter, I can remember where each piece of wood came from as it is pitched into the stove. Splitting wood is a favorite pastime of mine. There is nothing better than that perfect swing and watching the two pieces fall from the stump where one log once stood. Sort of like what a golfer must feel on a perfect drive.

The woods surrounding my home consist mostly of cherry and silver maple. Before cutting I always make sure that  nobody's home is coming down with the tree. Should I see a squirrel , raccoon, or bird's nest, I will let the tree stand.

My wife may sometimes become annoyed when I choose to spend the day in the woods rather than shopping or visiting, but I can always give the "I told you so" on that first brisk night in October when I go to the basement and bring up some bone dry maple and a few pieces of white pine kindling!

All the best, Jim

Larry takes control . . . maybe he just needed an excuse.

For the last four months I have hauled home load after load of wood. I have cut, split and stacked loads of apple trees destined for the wood chipper. I followed a local tree cutting company to their job site and relieved them of countless loads of black walnut and locust from the local city park.

I volunteered to do away with friend's backyard shade so they can build that new garage. My backyard is sporting a new woodshed I built back in February, now filled to the gunnels with fruitwood and black walnut, along with a neatly stacked pile of wood along my driveway. My neighbors just shake their heads, wondering why on earth I go to so much trouble. They watch me work up a terrific sweat splitting applewood and chain sawing odd-shaped pieces and stacking, stacking all of this wood. Why? one of them asked.

"Why are you going through so much trouble when you don't even own a woodstove! or a fireplace?" Why I replied? I show them my power bill from last winter. They have one too but people have very short memories when the sun is shining. I could have fed a family of four all winter on one month of what I paid last winter. I'm not one to forget a 46% increase from the local utility.

So I decided to do something about it. I am preparing for next year. I will buy my stove in the middle of summer when it's 95 degrees outside. I expect my local stove professional to be up on my roof installing my chimney. Yes, I expect more looks this summer as they are hauling a woodstove into my house. I expect the delivery boys will be in shorts and T shirts shaking their heads too.

It has been a lot of work, but I expect it to get easier the more I do it, however, I have gotten pretty good wielding my Stihl and maul. My wife says for a middle aged man not used to this type of work, I have done well. She is proud, and as a middle aged man, I feel very satisfied when I step out my back door and see the work I have done. Maybe deep down I have other reasons why I'm doing it. Maybe I just needed an excuse. Either way my family and I will enjoy the fruits of my labor next winter.


Still interested after 40 years of wood heating

Greetings, I have spent hours reading all the different aspects of wood heating. Although I've been wood heating for 40 years, I still find it all interesting.

Here is something I have been doing for many years. I and my family and anyone else I can talk into it to save their toilet paper tubes. I use them to make a kindling pile (empty). Now here is the real deal.  Take fifty tubes and an armload of newspaper and head to your local lumber yard. Put a little newspaper in one end scoop up a tube full or so of sawdust and then seal the other end with the newspaper.

Caution! Anytime you deal with fine sawdust and the right air mixture it becomes very volatile.  Enjoy!!!!!!!!!


It is 2:00 am, but not too late to say thanks

I could not go to bed without thanking your organization for providing the information on your Web site.   The last two hours have been an eye-opener for me. Now it's 2am and I have to start work at 8am.

I have been on the web getting information for a friend of mine who has an open fireplace. She complains that it does not work properly and after talking to her new neighbors, has found the previous owners never had a good fire anytime. Your site tells it like it is, and although it looks like she has a lot of work to do you have provided the answers to the unsolved mysteries.

Keep up the good work and all the best to your members.

Bruce (Sydney Australia)

Take note, prospective woodburners:

February 24, 2001

Don't decide to start heating with wood in October of the coldest winter in several years, especially when the first big snow is 3 feet deep.  Now is not the time to discover that last spring would have been a great time to split that big oak that fell 5 years ago, especially since in February it is still mostly covered by snow.  And forget about ordering firewood.  Everybody's  good stuff is buried under the snow, too.  And that good old dead tree closest to the barn,  down by the pond, is made of sponge-wood, full of air and ants and other bugs, and not full of heat-producing wood.  It's ok if you don't mind living with 55 degree weather inside the house and carrying in a  furnace load from outside so as not to bring the bugs in. And it would have been a lot easier if you had moved the wood splitter out of the bottom of the basement of the barn and up closer to where the wood supply is!

So, wait until spring, go out and cut and split everything in sight so you have a good supply for next winter, and turn up the gas furnace and enjoy the 70 degree heat this time around.


PS. Firewood cutters don't get paid nearly enough!!!

It's no joke when you're a woodcutter

I've enjoyed your site and have learned much from it. In return, here's a story you might like.

A Woodcutter and his buddy heard they were hiring in the big city and decided to go check it out.  Finding a big building with a big sign out front which said "Employment Office", they went in and got in line with everyone else waiting to be interviewed. After a while, the Woodcutter's buddy gets called first to be interviewed.  Shortly, he's back all excited.  He says "Man! I just got a job that pays Fifty Thousand a year!"  Then the Woodcutter gets called in for his interview, but he gets told there's no jobs in the city that require the talents of a simple Woodcutter.   In disbelief, the Woodcutter says " But you just gave my buddy a job that pays Fifty Thousand Dollars a year." "My good man", said the interviewer, "he is filling a job of a Pilot."

"That's fine', says the Woodcutter, " but someone has to cut it before he can pilot". (Ba-da-boom, Ba-da-bing)


Doris discovers the joys of woodburning

We just installed a woodburner this fall and are learning all the little quirks and tricks of our stove. It is definitely a different type of heat then the electric baseboard heat in the house. We live in a one story ranch house with a full basement in Northern Ohio. We put our stove in the basement and cut holes for registers in the floors. We use ceiling fans in the living areas upstairs to circulate the heat and so far it has worked great. (I do have the thermostats set at 60 degrees for when we are away and early morning hours.) The floors stay nice and warm from the heat coming upstairs, which we never had with the electric heat. The true test will be this winter, since we haven't experienced any true chill yet!

At first I was worried about having a fire going at night while we sleep. But now, after I have started the fire, tended and watched it from start to finish, I feel comfortable knowing what is happening inside that firebox. I am learning how much wood to use and how to set the damper so that the fire goes all night. Of course my husband seems to know more and is more comfortable since he had lived in a home with woodburners before. I, however, wanted to make sure everything in sight wasn't going to catch fire while we slept. Getting to know what is happening and experiencing it for yourself is exciting and satisfying.

I have a feeling we will always have a woodburner in our home and I hope my boys will grow up willing to try heating their homes in a most enjoyable and beneficial manner.


It is safer for Larry to turn up the thermostat

My name is Larry, and I live in Bergen County NJ, probably one of the richest county's in the country.  In 1979 when Carter put on the front page of the Daily News "there might not be any heating oil on the east coast this winter", then I said to my wife I no longer trust the GOV. or the oil companies or the countries behind them. That was when I made the mistake of installing my first wood stove. This stove next to my boiler in the basement exhausted to a common chimney (allowed in those days) needless to say ruined the chimney.

We then had a new chimney installed on the outside of  the house, and at the same time had an addition put on the living room to hold stove #2 (I also put one in my garage).

Well to make a long story short from 1980 to 1990 I went through a trailer, three pickup trucks, three chain saws, a bad cut on one knee, my two kids today hate me for raising them on firewood, and guess what? my wife and I did not save a dime.

If I had to do it all over again I would definitely let some one else save the country and I would turn up my thermostat.

Thank You,

(Too bad Larry didn't get some good advice before he started heating with wood. - ed)

Rob chooses wood in the nick of time

Hi, my name is Robert from Cornwall, Ontario.   Me and my wife Diane purchased a bungalow in May 1995.  Since the basement was finished when we made the purchase, I had always thought why not install a nice airtight wood stove but we had started to renovate on the main floor first.  With a purchase of a computer, I was starting to really think about it more and more since our computer was in the cellar.

Our son Brandon was born on December 18 '97 and my father-in -law (Allan) told me he had an extra stove if wanted it.  Since Al was an experienced wood burning kind of guy, he offered to help with the installation.  So I decided, why not after all I always wanted one, the existing hole in the foundation was still there from previous owners which made our job a little easier.  Al and I decided to get going on this thing, so we installed it with some safety tips from a friend of mine and a local lumber yard which was a certified installer.

The only funny or very weird thing was we installed it three days before the major ICE STORM here in Eastern Ontario in early January '98.  It was as if someone or something had told me to put the stove in as soon as possible.  Our son was now only maybe five or six weeks old, but let me tell you, we did not go without heat in the house.  I felt it was the best investment in my life since we were keeping our family toasty warm in a middle of a crisis.  My in-laws stayed and helped us out since the father-in-law had lots of wood cut, split and ready to burn, we also had lots of help with Brandon, our new addition to the family.

All and all, we were great survivors of the most severe ICE STORM of the century thanks to the gentle warm glowing flame of a real wood burning fireplace.  Thanks for listening, take care and remember, BURN WOOD SAFELY!!!!!!


Words of Wisdom from CyberBikerBob

When I was a boy back in the fifties wood was what we used to heat with. It was rare that we cut a living tree as at that time here in Michigan we were at the height of the Dutch Elm die off. Elm was one of the ultimate firewood's when cured and there were so many dead trees standing in fence rows that there was no reason to cut anything live. Even in this day and age people using wood, who cut their own, have little need to fall live trees. Here in Michigan you can get permission to harvest standing deadwood in many of the State Forests. With the advances in furnace and stove technology, wood is a very efficient heating fuel. It also gives the benefit of heating twice, once when you work at cutting it and then again when you burn it. Old fashioned, maybe, a smart choice if you don't mind doing some work.


The Kentucky Redneck Woodsplitter

I live in western Kentucky and heat my home with wood, as do many of my neighbors. I feel that wood heat is better than nonrenewable fuels in many ways. Most of the time it is less expensive and sometimes it is downright free, provided you don't mind putting in the manual labor. If you are driving down the road and see a sign that says FREE FIRE WOOD don't you believe it! Most of the time it is a tree that has fallen on their property and they just want it cleaned up without paying someone to do it, and they are too lazy to do it themselves. But free wood is available if you know where to look. I look where the electric company cuts under power lines, they cut it in stove lengths and leave it laying and are more than happy when someone comes and picks it up. Also I bring wooden pallets home from work where they would just lay and rot otherwise.

And if I can't get enough wood these ways I go out to the woods with my trusty chainsaw and van and in one or two days have enough for the winter. This I don't do often so I kind of look forward to it. We turn it into an adventure or a camping trip, and even my 9 year old daughter can contribute to heating our home. What other source of heat can you enjoy "paying" for? I never have been happy about writing a fat check to the electric company, or made a camping trip out of paying the gas bill. I believe that you could burn dollar bills less expensively than heating with electric! My total yearly cost of heating my home with wood is less than most people pay monthly for electric heat.

So just sign me Kentucky Redneck Woodsplitter and proud of it!


Super Dad Goes Top Down

Hello this is Jim in Pennsylvania U.S.A. I just found your web page about a week ago and I love it. I read the page on the top down starting method and thought you were out of your mind, so I thought I would put it to the test. I watched the weather report every day until finally we were going to get some cool nights and I could try it. I did everything just the way you said and much to my surprise it worked the first time. I thought it must have been beginners luck so I tried it again and it worked like a charm and now I am convinced. Wood is my primary heat and this method will save me a lot of time when I get home from work. I am a single parent with two preschoolers and when we get home they want heat and supper at the same time and now I can almost do it. Keep up the good work.


Firewood Jim loves his work

Hi, it's me Firewood Jim. I live in Bend, Oregon and cut and sell firewood for a living.  About 400 cords a year.  I love it. It gives me a chance to be with my two boys and teach them a few things about being "in tune" with our natural environment.  We camp and fish all summer while we cut and deliver wood to my customers.  In the winter I still cut wood while the boys are in school. This wood I "stockpile" until the following fall so it will have a chance to season well.

Our air quality standards are stringent here in the high desert, and for good reason;  we have clean air and want to keep it that way.  Wood is a renewable resource, and gathering standing dead wood to heat with helps keep the threat of catastrophic wild-fire down.

90% of the wood I sell is lodge-pole pine, the remaining 10% is Juniper.  Bend is on the fringe of the 3,000,000 acre Deschutes National Forest. The Freemont National Forest is close as is the Ochaco National Forest. From the Forest service I buy contracts through competitive bidding for areas with high concentrations of standing and down dead lodge-pole pine. This wood is largely "beetle-killed" trees from Red Pine Beetle infestation. If man was not in the picture natural wild-fire would keep the forest "clean" of this type of dead-wood. Alas, this is not the case so nature needs a helping hand. It is a complicated issue that is going to take some time to correct.

My customers are from all walks of life. I have quite the variety.  I have customers that are elderly on fixed incomes with just enough to survive on. They use wood-stoves for primary heating of their homes (they get special treatment, and are my most loyal customers!)  I have a few elderly, retired customers that are worth millions. Some use woodstoves because they like too. Some for "back-up" heat, fireplaces (indoor and outdoor).  Outdoor fireplaces or pits are popular here in the "high desert". It can frost any night of the year. We've had to build a fire and put on coats to watch fourth of July fireworks.  I have "yuppie" customers, ranchers, farmers, nurses, doctors, our vet is a customer of mine. Several of my customers work for the City of Bend, from the sexton of the cemetery to city engineers, and the guy that runs the street sweeper.  One group buys wood from me to use in their Native American sweat-lodge ceremony.  They have a sweat-lodge every Saturday evening. It is a recognized religious function. Like a Catholic going to Mass on Sunday.

I barter wood for mechanic work on my trucks and for the fuel to run them.  I sell bundled camp-wood for people vacationing in this area.  I traded a cord of split wood for a nice fishing boat and trailer last spring.  Came into a good over-head camper the same way this winter!

Well, time to go cut!  Remember,  "BURN HOT, BURN CLEAN"

Firewood Jim

Bob will stick with wood heat until he's too old to lift a log

Hi. I live at Mile 66.5 of the Alaska Highway in North Eastern B.C. When my wife and I moved here from Calgary in '89 I was concerned about heating this house with wood. Horror stories about chimney fires etc. were common place. After doing research on maintenance and burning practices we have never had a problem. We upgraded the original airtight black box to a modern recirculating type and heat this 1100 sq. ft. house with 4-5 cords of pine per year. As we live in a sparsely populated area which is mostly dense forest, wood is readily available. In one weekend I can bring in all I need for the winter. A few boxes of Beer for a couple of friends and some T-Bones for the crew get it done. Never a green tree is cut. I have kept track of my costs for the last 7 years and I average per year a cost of $20 gas & maintenance of the chain saw, $40 in fuel for my propane powered pick-up, $5 gas for my wood splitter, and $50 in Beer & Beef for my buddies who come over anyway.

Now last year the Gas Company ran a line down my access road. It is only going to cost me $1600 to run the line to my house (my driveway is 1/8 mile long) then it's going to cost $3500 to install a furnace & ducts. There is something wrong with this equation. Then they estimate I will spend about $75 per month on gas. Particulates in the air is not a problem up here because of the sparse population so I am going to stick with it until I am too old to lift a log.

Great Page.