Every winter many of the trees in the woods across the road from our house are uprooted or knocked to the ground by the winds and the weight of the freezing rain and heavy snows… and these fallen trees become the source of some of next winter’s firewood.

Unfortunately, because the land that is accessible to us for tree-cutting is what New Englanders call a “side hill” and is very steep and uneven, cutting these trees into manageable size and getting those pieces from the woods to our yard is somewhat more difficult than it would ordinarily be. We like knowing that we’re helping to clean up the woods and that the fallen trees are not just going to lie there and rot. And of course, since the price for firewood in our area is more than $250 a cord, with delivery extra, we also like knowing that we’re saving a lot of money.

Our goal each year is to fill our open shed, which holds about ten cords, with a mix of hard and soft wood. Cutting the firewood, moving it, splitting it, and stacking the wood in the shed as soon as it has been split takes weeks.

That shed certainly seems a discouragingly big space to fill when it’s empty!

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robin

“Every man looks at his wood-pile with a kind of affection.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Affection, I would think, for the visual reminder of hard work well done, for the memory of crackling hearths of winters past, for the anticipation of the secured warmth of the winter ahead. I envy you your fireplace and your woodpile.

Jack

As a city boy I’m also envious. What a great way to practice sustainability.

orneryswife

Would that we could have sent some firewood your way. The winter here in Oklahoma was most unfriendly to our trees, and there were sites giving away firewood all over town.

$250.00 a cord seems outrageous! I remember when I was in high school, my brother in law and his brother bought a chain saw, and cut firewood to sell. It was in Arizona, so there wasn’t nearly the call for it that you would have in New England, but they sold it cut, split, delivered and stacked for $50.00 per cord. It was thirty years ago, but that is some serious inflation!
TM

Niki

Wow $250. we just paid $160 a cord split and delivered. We burn aprox 4 cords a year depending on the winter. We moved from a home that burned oil and we would be well over $4k a year not including electricity…I love my wood, work and all.

Dana

That is outrageous for something natural! We got lucky this year…. John works on a camp and there are dead trees all over…. kinda free reign for us to stock up for next year!

warillever

It has been running around $175 for green wood here, but we have been having a hard time finding anyone with wood left right now. Fortunately we have about two cords left over, (and a few fallen trees that we just split) so we should be able to get away with buying green wood later in the season.

Sure beats paying for oil, though!

Jane

Here in southern Ontario, Canada, firewood is $300/cord this year for oak. Nobody has any good hardwood left. I’m in a rural area, but unfortunately, I don’t have access to fallen trees nearby (except occasionally) and I don’t have a truck, chainsaw, or enough muscles to cut and split my own wood.

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

It’s unbelievable how expensive wood has become. We’ve had a really cold winter so far, and people are running out of wood, so prices have increased even more. In a classified last week, someone was advertising green hardwood for $290 per cord. Burning wood has become a huge expense for anyone who doesn’t have access to “free” wood.

Lynn

I cut about 8 cords every fall for my home and for my kids to burn. Thats a ton of cutting. I’ve learned the best way to save time and fuel is to keep my chain razor sharp. First thing to remember is keep the saw out of the dirt. Second is sharpen about every other time I refuel. I recently bought a Timberline chainsaw sharpener that I take with me while I cut. Much better than those goofy dremal grinding tools. Way more accurate. Works great.

Katie

I couldn’t even imagine paying that much. We live in the north country of northern ny (about twenty mins from the canadian border, brrrrr) and as college students 60 bucks a cord split and delivered seemed like a lot to us. (I am originally from long island)

Patrick

I live in a city (Arlington, VA) but in our last blowdown (100mph winds) I collected a lot of stumps. I’ve been hacking for about ten years now. I workout with it, it’s ambiance and cozy, it makes the house smell nice. But ya gotta watch the chimney build-up – $100 every 4 years to sweep.
Folks are writing in showing how much differences there are in supply and cost for hard, cut and corded. I’m really surprised there’s so much variation.
I’m an economist, by the way.
I love your website!