For many people, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are part of their home life. In some cases, these are used for enjoyment, in others to home heating and save on energy costs, and in still other cases, as an emergency backup for heating and cooking in the event of storms, power loss, and similar occurrences. In all cases, wood-burning stoves and wood-burning fireplaces naturally require wood to function. Firewood is often obtained from trees or logs already on one’s property and the easiest way to turn them into firewood is by using firewood chopping and splitting services and firewood cutting services. While anyone can chop, split, or cut firewood, it is not an easy task. It can be dangerous, physically draining, and time-consuming.
For this reason, many people prefer to leave the hard work to professionals in firewood chopping and splitting services and firewood cutting services. Firewood cutting, chopping and splitting service pros offer several levels of service, which may vary from company to company, but generally includes cutting or splitting logs into proper size firewood, utilizing existing felled or cutting standing trees and processing them into firewood. The process involved for each of those options is progressively longer, with more steps and equipment, as we’ll detail in this article. We’ll also explain the differences between firewood chopping and splitting services and firewood cutting services and offer some helpful advice on the criteria to use when looking to hire one of these companies.
In general, the terms firewood chopping and splitting services and firewood cutting services may be used interchangeably for the most part. While all firewood cutting ultimately involves chopping and splitting of “rounds,” or firewood-sized logs of varying diameters into firewood-sized pieces, some tasks may require the felling of trees or utilization of already-fallen trees. In general, if there is a distinction to be made, it’s that firewood cutting services often are the ones who are full-service style companies, felling trees or utilizing felled trees, whereas firewood chopping, splitting services are sometimes more restrictive, working only from existing rounds. However, in many cases, there are no distinctions made, and many companies will call themselves some variation of the two terms, or something different entirely. When in doubt, most companies have websites or can easily and quickly tell you on the phone whether they perform certain types of firewood cutting tasks.
The most basic form of firewood processing is made up of the last few steps of the process. Firewood chopping, splitting services take fireplace-sized logs (usually 2 feet or so in length) and proceed to split or chop them, from round longs into manageable chunks, which are often wedge-shaped. It can be accomplished with variously specialized machinery for the speediest and efficient results, or the old-fashioned way – with an ax and chopping block.
The rationale for chopping the wood log, in addition to the convenience for handling, is to expose surface area from the inside of the wood. The bark naturally serves as a protective layer for the wood and obstruct moisture content escape. All firewood needs to be seasoned or essentially allowed to dry out, before use, minimum for six months or more. Cutting the wood in wedge shapes, with core exposure on two sides, provides a great deal of surface area for moisture content to evaporate. In general, logs start out around 80% moisture and need to dry out to 20-25% before use in a fireplace or woodstove.
Firewood chopping and splitting services and firewood cutting services have a great deal of experience and will cut logs optimally to get the best seasoning exposure. They also may provide stacking service, or at the very least be able to advise consumers on how best to stack the wood for drying and eventual use.
For consumers who have already-felled or fallen trees on their property, firewood chopping and splitting services and especially firewood cutting services can do all the tasks mentioned above, but first, they’ll process the felled tree to get it into appropriate-sized pieces. It includes trimming and removing branches too small to utilize as firewood (though they can be used for kindling after drying) and cutting the main body of the tree into manageable pieces (depending on the equipment to be used to haul or process the logs). Sometimes, they may need to transport the logs to a truck or processing area. Finally, they cut the logs down into rounds, and from there proceed with chopping and splitting as detailed in the previous section.
There are many individual variations from company to company, and job to job, as to what the specific order of processes will be, and whether logs are processed in-situ or hauled to processing truck or off-site to a separate facility. That will depend on the specific equipment and capabilities of the firewood chopping and splitting services or firewood cutting services business, as well as the customer’s property, accessibility, and other factors.
Lastly, some consumers like to use the opportunity to create firewood as a reason to cut down dead, dying, or bothersome trees on their property. It can be a great form of recycling and allow for rejuvenation of a forest or wooded grove naturally. It can also be preventative, bringing down dead, dying, or damaged trees in a controlled fashion, instead of leaving them to the caprices of the weather, which might bring them down in a way that causes damage to a customer’s home, property, other healthy trees, or people.
Firewood chopping and splitting services and especially firewood cutting services often have all the equipment necessary to bring down standing trees of almost any size. While not all companies have these capabilities, most do, as it goes hand in hand with processing felled trees and logs in many cases. In general, they will survey the site and the tree(s) to be felled and determine the best method for felling them. These methods can include piecemeal cuts from a climber, cutting from a bucket truck or cherry-picker, or wholesale cutting from the base.
Once safely felled, the tree can be processed in much the same manner as described in the previous section. There is no need for waiting to process the tree (although as many firewood chopping and splitting services and firewood cutting services point out, clean cuts and splits are more manageable when the weather is cold). The sooner wood can be cut into firewood and start seasoning, the sooner it will be available for use as firewood fuel in your home fireplace or wood-burning stove.
Naturally, the choice of firewood chopping, splitting and cutting services company for your needs depending on the task. As detailed above, more straightforward jobs like turning rounds into firewood are very different than cutting down standing trees, and all the associated processing, equipment, and other needs. Regardless of which expertise you may need, however, there are some standard criteria on which to evaluate potential firewood chopping and splitting services and firewood cutting services companies, including:
In summary, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves can be a great addition to a home, though require firewood as fuel to keep them going. No matter whether you use them intermittently or on a regular basis, a good supply of firewood is essential. Firewood chopping and splitting services and firewood cutting service companies can help in this regard, utilizing logs, felled trees, or still-standing trees on your property to generate firewood. The level of expertise and effort involved will vary depending on what state the wood you wish to utilize is in, but regardless, a good firewood chopping and splitting service or firewood cutting service can have the job done quickly and affordable. With a little cost and expert help, you’ll be able to keep your fireplace or wood stove burning strong all season long!