We had a fairly strong wind storm last week and one of the trees on my property fell over. From the base, where it snapped off, to the spot where the top broke off as it fell, it measured 75 feet. I took off all the limbs with a hatchet (and later a chainsaw for the bigger bits) and put them on the burn pile. It was quite the inferno.
There was evidence of some rot right at the root flair and I’m sure that contributed to it falling. I’m just glad it fell away from the house and not on it. About 2-3 feet above the root flair, the tree has a 59-inch circumference. If my high school geometry hasn’t failed me, that means that it is a little under 19-inches in diameter.
My question is, what do I do with it? I’ve had several trees come down over the past few years and I have always used them for firewood, but his one is a little bigger than those before. I will have to use the top 2/3 as firewood as it is not really thick enough in that part of the tree to make it worth milling. However, I could probably get about three 8-foot logs from the bottom that I could have milled. There are some portable sawmill guys in the area that advertise on Craigslist and will mill logs to order. I don’t know if it would be worth it for only three logs. If it were a Maple or a Madrone, I wouldn’t hesitate, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
In the photo below, the tree doesn’t look very big as I used an extremely wide-angle lens.
I think that the tree is a Douglas Fir. I checked several online resources and I’m somewhat confident. A very similar tree is a Balsam Fir, but I think that one has slightly different buds. If you think it is something else, please let me know. I’d be interested to hear if I got this one wrong.
I have a wood stove in the workshop and use it in the middle of winter if I am going to be in the shop all day. If I’m only out there for a few hours it isn’t worth the hassle as it’s only just getting warm by the time I’m ready to pack up. In any case, I’m just about out of firewood and replenishing the wood pile wouldn’t be a bad thing.
I’m not sure what I would do with the Douglas Fir if I had it milled (I’ve already built my workbench), but it seems a shame to miss the opportunity of milling it into useable lumber. I think I’m leaning towards chopping the whole thing up for firewood because I know I would use that. What do you think?
– Jonathan White