Life is full of imperfections. Here are a few that I am aware of:
1) Norway maples are invasive and grow ridiculously fast, especially in the gully behind our house.
2) The previous owner of our house did a lot of limbing and brushing of these Norway maples, but not much chipping or hauling-to-the-dump of the results. He simply piled the branches in a big heap in the gully. Which is unsightly, and probably is the breeding ground for all the mice and voles the cats bring in.
3) Firewood logs will not ignite with bits of newspaper. Hence, kindling is required. But splitting kindling is a PITA. It brings none of the joy or exercise of splitting big logs.
4) Early- and late-season* “heating” needs at the Cold House call for short fires. But efficiency (of the stove) and safety (of the chimney) call for hot fires. Short, hot fires require small pieces of wood. Which, as aforementioned, is a PITA to create out of large pieces of wood.
Considering all these problems together, today I decided to start busting and sawing up the nicely-dried-out brushpile for firewood. Nothing in there is more than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, and most of it is twiggier. But in 45 minutes I managed to get close to 60 pounds (27 kg) of wood, cut down to stove size. At last winter’s average use, that’s enough for almost two days of heat– maybe more like a week early in the season. Alternatively it will be good for kindling. And there’s more where that came from.
(* Measuring by last winter, I guess “early season” would be the first two weeks of January, “late season” would be the last week of February and the first week of March, and “peak season would be the five weeks between.)