Keeping the home fires burning


 
 

Tasmanian winters can be quite harsh, which means that most households must have some form of heating. Homeowners use a variety of fuels to heat their homes but by far the most used heat source is burning wood in wood heaters. Other fuels used include, electric, gas and various forms of pellets.

Wood for heating is plentiful but is getting scarce and costing more. Most home- owners cut and split their own from private property or get a permit from forestry Tasmania to access the crown land forests.

Getting your own firewood has many benefits, it keeps you fit, involves the whole family and is a pleasant day’s outing.

I have the advantage of having a forest of dead trees on our property.

Keeping the home fires burning

 

 

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Tasmanians have always relied on Eucalyptus forests to stay warm during the Autumn and winter months. The forests are a ready source of firewood and taswegens have a tradition of going bush and cutting their own supply of firewood.

Most weekends the roads are filled with Utes and trailers, heading for the lake country to get their loads of firewood, many wood hookers combine the weekend with a kangaroo hunt and taking home a load of firewood

 

Tasmanian winters can be quite harsh, which means that most households must have some form of heating. Homeowners use a variety of fuels to heat their homes but by far the most used heat source is burning wood in wood heaters. Other fuels used include, electric, gas and various forms of pellets.

Wood for heating is plentiful but is getting scarce and costing more. Most home- owners cut and split their own from private property or get a permit from forestry Tasmania to access the crown land forests.

Getting your own firewood has many benefits, it keeps you fit, involves the whole family and is a pleasant day’s outing.

I have the advantage of having a forest of dead trees on our property.

The old Toyota Hilux has a rich history of being a reliable work horse and over the many years has carried a variety of loads, including livestock, wool, different types of materials and of course firewood.

 

 

 

 

Put another log on the fire.

By way2gokev

 

The days draw in as Autumn begins

The low fronts develop in the Southern Ocean

Pushing up from Antarctic circle, then

Slowly drift towards the Tassie coast

 

Tasmania situated near the roaring forties

Bares the brunt of the cold weather systems

The wind howls, the cold cuts to the bone

People rug up and head for warmth and home

 

The summer months spent gathering firewood

Builds a stockpile to see winter through

The wood-heaters once lit, rarely go out

For the nights are long and bitterly cold

 

 

So warm and cozy inside the home

Outside just rain wind and snow

Soups and stews are all the go

All eaten near the fires glow

 

Time for bed, once the fire is stoked and built

Hoping it will last till morning light

Through the long night nature calls

Whilst up put another log on the fire

 

 

 

 

Just A Bloke

By

Way2gokev

Keeping the Home Fires Burning.

 

Bob places the 066 chainsaw, with it 25-inch bar and newly sharpened chain in the back of the old Toyota ute, along with the axe and wedges, the fuel and oil container were next. For Bob was determined today to get that old dry white gum, with its top 20 feet broken off, on the ground to cut up for firewood.

Heading down the gully, on the rough bush track, Bob was glad that it was a cloudy, cool day, because he would be able to work harder and not get over heated. He could see in the distance the big old tree, standing high above the surrounding bush. Bob, thought to himself that this old gum would be at least a couple of hundred years old, probably be full of rot in the middle which makes for a scary proposition to fall and to get on the ground, as there would only be the outside shell of the trunk holding the tree up.

Bob pulled the old Toyota to a stop, opposite the old gum that was still standing tall on the steep bank above the creek.

Lugging the chainsaw, wedges, and axe down into the creek bed, Bob fought his way through the heavy under-growth of ferns and stink bush and eventually arrived at the base of the old tree.

Bob could see that he would have to clear the area around the trunk of old fallen limbs, wattle trees and bark. This took over an hour and he had worked up quite a sweat but now satisfied that he could get the saw into the trunk with safety and have a clear get away path.

Bobs thoughts now turned to the best position to put in a good size front (scarf) to help the tree fall where he wanted it to.

Bob started the big chainsaw up and proceeded to put in the front wedge, no sooner than he started to cut he could feel that the old tree was defiantly rotten from about 3 inches in, this observation caused him to proceed cautiously as he didn’t want the old tree to start falling before, he got in a good front. He finished the saw cut, then grabbing the axe, he chipped away at the last little bit and managed to get the wedge out with not too much trouble.

Now says Bob to himself, comes the nitty gritty part, to get this tree to fall safely and with no limbs on the tree to help pull the tree towards the creek and seeing how the trunk was standing nearly straight up, he hoped that he could get the tree on the ground with-out a mishap.

Bob grabbed the saw, then put the saw back on the ground and had a think about how to cut the rest of the trunk without splitting, knowing that there was probably less than 3 inches of good solid wood.

Bob was feeling a bit apprehensive about the task ahead, he was sweating, feeling the heat of the moment of decision, well I’m committed now and must get this old tree down.

Bob saw that on one side of the tree was quite rotten, right down to the ground- this would mean that once he cut the back and other side the tree would just pull roots and all out of the ground, he would have to make sure he was well clear of the trunk on that side as dirt, rocks and roots would fly into the air, making it a bit of a hazard.

Bob got a good grip of the saw and said to himself, “it’s now or never”. He put the saw into the tree trunk on the opposite side to where the rot was and carefully cut around to the back, noting that there was not too much holding this tree up. He stopped the saw and looked up the trunk to see if there was any movement, seeing none, he slowly headed around to the rotten side.

Bob backed off when he could feel a bit a movement in the trunk, he waited ready to pull the saw out and get to safety. “Right” he said out loud, “the last couple of feet will have to be done quickly”. Revving the saw to full bore, he cut as fast as he could the last bit and then he could see that the tree was starting to heel over, so he pulled the saw out and backed away to safety, watching the tree as it was falling all the time.

He could see the rotten side lifting out of the ground pulling roots out, but the tree was heading the right way and with an almighty thump, the tree hit the ground and splintered all the way along its length, smashing down all the scrub in the creek. The tree ended up about 15 feet from the stump and had all so broken in half at the creek. It was like a big bridge.

Bob was happy and relieved that the old tree had fell where he wanted it to go and that the chainsaw and himself were still in one piece. He waited for things to settle down, looking into the overhead trees around to make sure there were no widow makers (limbs) hanging down and that the old tree had settled.

He made his way down to the creek stepping gingerly over all the broken scrub to the head of the tree that was all smashed up with a good deal of it laying on the track. Bob said to himself, “easy pickings here for a quick load of dry firewood” so he settled in with the saw and in no time had a full ute load of firewood. He managed to get 10 loads of wood out of the old tree which was pretty good considering all the pithy rot in the center.

All up Bob reckoned he ended up with 10 ton of dry firewood, all stacked away in the shed ready for next winters fires.

“A good day’s work for a bloke in his seventies” Bob thought as he enjoyed a well-earned cupper.

 

One thought on “Keeping the home fires burning

  1. They can and they do !A dead tree can be very useful for keeping the home fires burning , you have to Cut , Split, Load and Stack

    Like

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