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Peak Firewood?
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Vortex



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 6095

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Peak Firewood? Reply with quote

I had a chat with a farmer today.

He was telling me how everyyear people come to him saying: "Want any firewood mate?"

This years however it's been: "Got any firewood mate?"

Have I made a mistake buying that expensive woodburner????

What's the firewood supply & pricing situation like out there?
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MacG



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2863
Location: Scandinavia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Peak Firewood? Reply with quote

Vortex wrote:
What's the firewood supply & pricing situation like out there?


Scandinavia, the Baltics and Canada should do quite OK. Otherwise the firewood is pretty much gone. Think "Holland" or "Belgium" and try to imagine how they could get any firewood at all. Guess the furniture will go rather quick.
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JohnB



Joined: 22 May 2006
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Location: Beautiful sunny West Wales!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I had a house I usually bought my logs from the same supplier. He started off supplying me with logs that had been seasoning for up to 5 years (I think), but more recently he had so much demand that he was supplying logs seasoned for the minimum period possible. Most of the new demand was coming from people who liked a wood stove, but didn't need one. So what things will be like when people don't have any other source of fuel I dread to think.

That's why my aim is to have a house that needs minimal heating.
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omnicans



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been thinking about this, so far i have beenstocking up on off cuts from timer merchants/joiners and have got a fair size stash now, i also intend to buy some of those compressed sawdust heatlogs. There is a guy in sheff who has just started making them. I guess the benifit of those is they are made from the sawdust from other timber uses?
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mikepepler
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 3086
Location: Rye, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good to me, as a woodland owner Smile

I'll tell you how it goes over this winter, but there's so much woodland round here I can't see there being a shortage for some time yet, unless we're forced to chip it all and send it to London or something like that...
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 7950
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst supplies MAY prove to be ample, I would urge anyone who is, or who may become reliant on wood to obtain a good stock, and if possible to keep it out of sight.
To save on storage space consider only storing neatly cut uniform size logs. Any odd shaped pieces that wont stack neatly should be burnt as needed, and the uniform pieces saved.
Very small branches and twigs can be used when a long lasting fire is not needed, thus saving proper logs for future use.
At present a huge amount of broken pallets and construction off cuts go into landfill and in some districts can be obtained for free, this may not continue, so stock up now.
Most wood stoves can also burn coal or coke, usually after instaling a grate. If yours can, it might be prudent to buy a ton or two of coal/coke, this keeps better than wood and contains more fuel value for a given weight or bulk.
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Catweazle



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 2500
Location: Little England, over the hills

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firewood could be a problem in years to come as we currently produce less than 25% of our construction timber. Long term you have three choices, buy a wood, plant your own trees or sign a long deal with a woodland owner before he realises how much the wood is worth.

Planting your own isn't really practical, it will take years to get good sized wood. Buying a woodland isn't much better, the prices have gone through the roof in the last two years, which leaves finding a woodland owner and striking a deal now, before demand gets too high.

Wanna buy some wood ? Wink
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SunnyJim



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 2915

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:57 am    Post subject: Re: Peak Firewood? Reply with quote

Vortex wrote:
I had a chat with a farmer today.

He was telling me how everyyear people come to him saying: "Want any firewood mate?"

This years however it's been: "Got any firewood mate?"

Have I made a mistake buying that expensive woodburner????

What's the firewood supply & pricing situation like out there?


Definately up a bit round here. Still not hugely expensive though. About 85 a ton collected at a forestry place, or about 80 'a load' delivered which is about a half to three quarters of a ton in the back of a toyota type pickup.

What price is LPG and Heating oil per litre at the moment?
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contadino



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1265
Location: Puglia, Italia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's struck me over the last couple of years is just how little wood an efficient stove gets through. I was worried about sourcing enough free wood before installing mine, but I'm finding that I have a surplus - just from using the prunings from the olive trees (I have 170 of them), and the odd almond that I fell to stimulate new growth.

This year I had 6 trees pruned, and it filled my woodstore to about 3/4s. I really think that a large garden with maybe 50 healthy trees could support a decent woodburner indefinitely.

What's more, I use the twigs in the bread oven, and the thinner branches (upto 5cm dia) in the BBQ, so they're costing me nothing.
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SunnyJim



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm.

I guess that maybe true in Italy! We used wood to heat our house, cook, and heat domestic hot water last year. I all we got through about 6-7 tonnes of wood, which at todays prices would be about 5-600. It's generally thought that you get about 3 tonnes of wood per hectare. Possible this is increased if you grow willow or poplar, but these need a good year or more of seasoning.

I aim to get the house running on approx 3 tonnes of wood a year, so that we can supply our own wood from 2 acres (a hectare) of willow, poplar and ash. To do this I'm going to need to;

a) Reduce consumption - Have 'baking days' so the rayburn will only be lit every couple of days. - Solar PV will help contribute to DHW.
b) Better widow insulation and quilted curtains/internal shutters.
c) Increase insulation in the roof.
d) Use the woodburning stove (6kw rather than the rayburn) for a blast of heat in the morning should we need it.
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For every complex problem, there is a simple answer, and it's wrong.

"Heaven and earth are ruthless, and treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs" (Lao Tzu V.i).
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SunnyJim wrote:
b) Better widow insulation


You're taking out a pension? ))))))
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SunnyJim



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 2915

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooops. Wink Laughing Laughing

No. Life insurance Wink
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Jim

For every complex problem, there is a simple answer, and it's wrong.

"Heaven and earth are ruthless, and treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs" (Lao Tzu V.i).
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Catweazle



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 2500
Location: Little England, over the hills

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use a coppice or pollard system to grow your firewood, having a big root system already in place means that the wood grows a lot quicker.
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contadino



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1265
Location: Puglia, Italia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catweazle wrote:
Use a coppice or pollard system to grow your firewood, having a big root system already in place means that the wood grows a lot quicker.


That makes a lot of sense. The root systems on my olives are massive - some are 1,000 years old.

Woodburning is the sole heating I have in our house, and the winters are generally colder than in the UK. I have solar DHW, but the woodburner back boiler is plugged in to supplement it.
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SunnyJim



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definately planning to coppice. Both willow and ash coppice well. Not so sure about poplar?
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For every complex problem, there is a simple answer, and it's wrong.

"Heaven and earth are ruthless, and treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs" (Lao Tzu V.i).
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