Firewood – It’s just that time of year. And with the high cost of fuel oil, a woodfire will be the main source of heat in my house this year. It couldn’t be more timely: As my back is aching from chopping and stacking firewood, I received a press release from the VA Dept of Agriculture and Commercial Services with some important tips. The proper size of a cord of wood? 128 cubic feet. The easiest way to determine that size is stacking 4x4x8. Pine is not a good choice because of the creosote that will be left in your flu; it also pops and could pose a fire risk. Other woods are just too hard to burn, and yet others burn too fast, making it a waste of time and money. Talk to a couple of local ‘wood chucks’ and get some ideas of what is available and prices. You should also take into consideration the origin of the firewood you purchase. As with most things you purchase, buy firewood from local sources. To quote VDACS:
“Native trees and forests are threatened by invasive insects and diseases that live in dead and dying wood. These pests may be accidentally spread to new locations by transporting firewood from areas outside your community. Buying firewood from local sources reduces the threat from these pests. VDACS also recommends buying local firewood instead of transporting it into campgrounds or parks as another way to help prevent the potential spread of invasive insects and disease.”
As with any purchase do a little homework. Don’t forget to have your flu checked and make sure that your fireplace is in proper working order.