Turning Trees Into Firewood: A Tree’s Journey From Removal to Kiln-Dried Firewood

Deciding to remove a tree can be hard. Trees are a part of our lives and homes and when one has to be removed due to pests, diseases, storm damage, or safety issues it can be difficult to see it go, especially if it has been on your property for a long time.

When you choose Rayzor’s Edge Tree Service to remove your tree, you can be sure that the tree’s usefulness does not end there. Instead of dumping the tree or sending it to a landfill somewhere, we turn trees into kiln-dried firewood.

Let’s follow one tree’s (hypothetical) journey from providing cooling shade in the summer to heat in the winter.

Rayzor's Edge crew cutting a tree that will be made into firewood for CT homeowners

A dying tree

The tree specialists at Rayzor’s Edge Tree Service were contacted to do a tree inspection for an old oak tree that had been on the Smith family’s property for even longer than they had lived there. Their children had climbed its branches, raked piles of leaves every fall (frequently interrupted by jumping in those piles, of course), and everyone enjoyed watching the squirrels gather acorns and listening to the birds singing from the branches.

However, they could tell that the tree was dying. Some of the branches were dead and were beginning to fall from the tree, and the family was worried that larger branches would come crashing down or that the entire tree would topple over onto their house.

The Rayzor’s Edge arborist inspected the tree and agreed that, sadly, the old oak was beyond saving and had to be removed. The next step was to figure out the safest way to remove the tree. Tree removal options included using a crane-mounted grapple saw, cutting the tree down in pieces, or felling the entire tree. Based on the arborist’s knowledge of the situation, the nearby buildings, and the equipment available, they had decided that using the crane-mounted grapple saw was the best option.

The removal was scheduled and the family prepared for the upcoming change to their landscape.

When the Rayzor’s Edge crew arrived on the day of the removal, they knew exactly what needed to be done that day. The crew went over safety issues again and got to work removing the tall, old tree. You can see a timelapse video of a large oak tree removal using the grapple saw here or watch it below.

The removal

The Smith family had decided during the consultation to also have Rayzor’s Edge grind out the stump, as they did not want the roots to continue growing and wanted to remove the tripping hazard in the middle of their yard.

They had also placed an order for kiln-dried firewood, as they knew the winter months were approaching and they loved to sit around the fireplace on cold winter nights.

Rayzor's edge loading log into truck for firewood

The journey from tree to kiln-dried firewood

Once the Smiths’ oak tree was safely removed and the area was cleaned, the Rayzor’s Edge trucks carried the logs to their sister company, Country Kiln Firewood.

There the logs were cut and split directly into the kiln’s cages, ensuring that no dirt or bugs traveled with the logs, and preventing moisture and mold from entering the wood (as it sometimes does if wood is left outside to season for an extended period of time).

A note on kiln drying firewood

kiln dried firewood being tested for dryness level

We carefully test the moisture content in our kiln-dried firewood to ensure it’s dry enough to burn well.

When a tree is first removed, it is about 80% water. It has to dry, or be “seasoned,” before it can be burned indoors.

Traditional firewood is left outside to dry for a year or more, but there are a few issues with this. Often the outside of the logs become dry but the inside of the wood is still damp, resulting in a smoky fire that doesn’t produce much heat but does create a lot of mess (called creosote).

Kiln-dried firewood, on the other hand, is essentially baked to dry it out in two to three days. The kiln can reach temperatures up to 250 degrees, so it has the added benefit of sanitizing the wood and eliminating any insects that might have hitched a ride for the journey to the kiln.

While traditionally dried (“seasoned”) wood can contain 60% or more moisture, kiln-dried firewood has a moisture content of less than 20%. The wood burns more easily, produces up to 3 times more heat, and leaves a lot less mess. Plus, it doesn’t have to sit in the dirt for a year and be plagued by animals, insects, mold, or fungi.

Back to the Smiths’ tree

The mighty oak from the Smiths’ home was kiln-dried with several other trees for a few days, sitting in the kiln while fans blew the heated air around to dry out every part of the wood.

Because it’s not possible to kiln-dry just one tree at a time, and it’s impossible to know which wood came from what tree, the Smiths’ tree was distributed to several homes and businesses (including some wood-fired pizza restaurants!). Along with other Rayzor’s Edge trees, the firewood kept families toasty warm through some of the harshest winter storms Connecticut has ever seen.

firewood burning in fireplace

Planting a new tree for future generations

The Smith family is already planning what tree they will plant in their yard as a replacement – not in the same spot, though, because the oak tree was planted too close to the house. They’re researching native Connecticut trees, finding out how tall they grow, what kind of sunlight they need, and deciding which kind of tree will work best for their yard and family.

When you hire Rayzor’s Edge Tree Service, you can be confident that your tree won’t end up in a landfill somewhere, but will instead warm homes and hearts by becoming kiln-dried firewood.

Contact us if you would like to order firewood or if you’re concerned about a tree on your property. Our goal is to save trees, not remove them, whenever possible, but sometimes removal is the wisest (and safest) option.

Notes about kiln-dried firewood Rayzor's Edge firewood delivery in Stratford, CT

  • It is never recommended that you move firewood from one location to another, as invasive bugs like the spotted lanternfly (and their eggs) like to hitch rides on stacks of firewood. Kiln-dried firewood is “safer” as the wood has been heated and sanitized, but we still recommend that you use firewood in the area where you bought it. (Don’t bring it on a camping trip, for example).
  • Kiln-dried firewood is ready to be burned the day you receive it.
  • Kiln-dried firewood is lighter than seasoned wood and burns more easily due to the decreased moisture content.
  • You can order by the “cord,” which is 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet, or in smaller quantities.
  • Creosote is the residue that smoke leaves behind in your fireplace and chimney. The cleaner burn from kiln-dried firewood produces less creosote, which means you need to have your fireplace and chimney cleaned less often.

Country Kiln Firewood delivers to your home or business. Contact us for more details.

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