250 acres of woodland needs managing and we are currently going through a woodland management programme. There are piles of logs everywhere and the smell of freshly cut timber is glorious mixed with the warmth of this week’s sunshine.
We have a plantation of pines on Merry Hill and every fifth row has been taken out. In the kitchen woodland we have done some thinning with deadfalls and leaning trees removed – mostly ash but also an old hornbeam and some larch.
Our timber is being transported to Certainly Wood where it will be kiln dried and from there will be shipped all over the UK. Certainly Wood, a local Herefordshire company has an interesting blog all about wood! Reproduced here is a snippet from their All the Gear But No Idea post.
Choosing the right wood
It is very important that wood is dried before burning; otherwise much of the energy created while burning is wasted in burning off water content and producing steam. Freshly harvested wood contains a naturally high amount of water, between 65-90% depending on the species. It is recommended that wood is dried or seasoned for at least a year, and preferably two. Removing the water is known as seasoning.
You can dry your own wood in a simple wood store or buy seasoned wood from your supplier. Kiln dried is the best with a moisture content of less than 20%. The moisture content of seasoned logs can vary with average moisture contents between 30% and 50%.
Hardwood is better than softwood, because it burns slower. Both types have similar calorific values but the density of softwood is approximately half that of hardwood, which results in it burning twice as fast. So basically you will need two softwood logs for one hardwood log. Hardwoods are any broad leafed deciduous tree and softwood is conifers.
Never buy wood by weight, as this can mean that you are paying for water. Always buy logs by volume.
Fascinating stuff don’t you think! Of course at Brinsop Court all our guests are supplied with plenty of logs from the estate for the wood burners and open fires, properly seasoned of course.