Time to collect firewood
July 28, 2013 8:13 AM   Subscribe

Time to collect firewood - a short video showing how a solitary man harvests bark-beetle damaged trees using a home-made raft and a collection of specialized tools. For contrast, the same raft is used in the very social "Crayfishing in Ätran"
posted by 445supermag (19 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Petroleum is the best helper.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:28 AM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

That was a lovely, meditative video. I wonder how many cords he needs a year for the boiler. Three of those buckets of firewood come to about 2 cords.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 8:45 AM on July 28, 2013

what a great video. The second one was nice, too, but I was hoping to see more crawdads
posted by rebent at 8:46 AM on July 28, 2013

Nicely edited. All the hours of sweat and plodding on when using those badass wood splitters are taken away. The first one in the video is the same model that I usually rent (they actually use electricity...a lot of it).

I like that dog, too.

For the record, bug-eaten softwood (as in this example) doesn't bring you very far. He's got between a Month and two there on his trailer, depending on the weather.
posted by Namlit at 8:47 AM on July 28, 2013

From the video uploader in the youtube comments:

I use firewood to heat several houses. I use about 100 cubic meters (27 cords) per year.
To achieve this in my spare time without the help of machines would be difficult.
Instead of using oil for heating, I now save at least 97% oil despite the consumption of gas in the machines. /Peter

posted by 445supermag at 8:54 AM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Jesus, what I wouldn't give for that oxen thing. That is a sweet rig. All of his stuff is pretty nice, that little back-handled Stihl 200 alone is like 600 bucks.
posted by Red Loop at 9:22 AM on July 28, 2013

Oh, don't misunderstand me. I'm not coming down on the use of oil in his work. It's clear the energy value in the wood he's harvesting is far greater than the oil he's expending. My main point is that without petroleum it would not be possible for him to do this without draft animals and helpers. And by extension, the last 200 years of human civilization has been based upon the ready access of high quality portable energy in the form of petroleum.

It's not bad, it just is. And I happened to notice it particularly in this video. Thanks for posting.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:45 AM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

a short video showing how a solitary man harvests spreads bark-beetle eggs by distributing infested and damaged trees

posted by charlie don't surf at 10:08 AM on July 28, 2013

Fascinating video... It's amazing what one person can accomplish with the right equipment and tools. It's a bit of a plodding process, but very zen like.

It made me think of my father-in-law, he lived on a lake and had a 20 pontoon boat. He was way too cheap to hire someone to pull the boat out each winter, instead he developed a system of ropes, logs, a couple of come-along wenches and a well placed tree about 30 feet from the shore. He would pull that bugger out by-himself, and did it every year until he turned about 80. I would tell him, "Don, let me know when you're pulling the boat, I'll give you a hand.", he would say "Sure.", and the next time I visited the boat would have been moved.
posted by HuronBob at 10:15 AM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

...a short video showing how a solitary man destroys bark-beetle eggs by containing them in his shed until they are ready to be put into the fire.
(The risk for the surrounding forest is higher if you let the infested trees stand; the risk for the woodshed, on the other hand, is small)
posted by Namlit at 11:07 AM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cool toys, and a nice video.
My neighbor here in southern New Mexico fishes for crawdads by tying what's left of a fish after he has fileted it to the inside of a tumbleweed, tying a rope to the tumbleweed, and throwing it into the irrigation ditch. After a few hours he pulls the tumbleweed out and gives it a shake over a tarp.
posted by Killick at 12:16 PM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]

a couple of come-along wenches

What, none of you noticed that, or were you just taking pity on me?
posted by HuronBob at 12:25 PM on July 28, 2013

I dunno it sounded good to me.

Really good.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:01 PM on July 28, 2013

i noticed it. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to be rude :p
posted by rebent at 1:15 PM on July 28, 2013

a couple of come-along wenches

What, none of you noticed that, or were you just taking pity on me?
posted by HuronBob

I've become inured to that sort of misspelling since I started looking at the "tools" section on craigslist ("a settling torch" instead of acetylene torch is my all time favorite). In fact, right now someone on my local craigslist is advertising a "12,000 lb. wench" (like punchline says "keep you warm in winter and provide shade in summer").
posted by 445supermag at 3:04 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

yeah same here 445. Last job I had, the previous training writer had "Lent" instead of "lint" throughout his manuals.
posted by rebent at 7:30 PM on July 28, 2013

oh god the sound the splitter thingy makes at around 8:00 is absolute ear-hole bliss.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:09 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

...a short video showing how a solitary man destroys bark-beetle eggs by containing them in his shed until they are ready to be put into the fire.

No. He is spreading them far and wide. I remember working back in my dad's greenhouse and talking with the State Ag Extension rep, back in the days of the peak spread of Dutch Elm Disease. He said they had done research on outlying infestations that did not seem to spread naturally. After much research, they tracked it down to "tree doctors" who would prune diseased trees and then haul the waste wood outside the infested zone. Wherever they went, they'd drop more eggs. The Ag Rep knew we did tree trimming and wanted to make sure that we were not removing diseased wood to new uninfested areas.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:26 PM on July 31, 2013

We're talking about the granbarkborre (Swedish), or European spruce bark beetle. While the linked article describes that the methods of conservation and prevention are still debated in various countries (here we're talking about large-scale measures), the section about "Prevention and control methods" still describes, in the highlighted sentences, what this guy is doing here: removing potential (or actual) breeding material. I think the key is to pick a time when the trees are actually larvae-infested (that is, the eggs have hatched). And man, what fat nice larvae you find when you split that kind of wood!

"Several methods have been proposed to prevent the start of beetle outbreaks. Some suggest using “trap trees” at the beginning of each reproductive cycle. This should be done in March, May, and in late June or early July. The trap trees should be debarked when distinct larval galleries with small larvae are found. Another method is called clear-cutting. Infested and surrounding at-risk trees are removed two to three weeks after the first beetle bore into the trees so as to remove the adult beetles as well. Pheromone traps are yet another proposal: one trap per four hectare in slightly infested stands, one-two groups of two-three traps per hectare in moderately infested stands, and three-four groups of four-six traps per hectare in heavily infested stands. In healthy stands, a distance from the trap and the nearest trees should be a minimum of fifteen meters in lowlands and thirty meters in the mountains. Trap trees baited with pheromones can then be sprayed with insecticide, or chemical treatment of emerging beetles are two other options. Removal of all potential breeding material, which include logs with bark, weakened trees, and wind throws, from the forest in the period from October to April may help prevent outbreaks. However, further studies need to be conducted in order to support this particular proposal."

posted by Namlit at 3:58 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

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