Jeff’s already got three loads of firewood for the winter, and today was the first chance I had to go with him.

This is our first winter with a wood stove in the Yukon. We had a pretty good system in place for firewood in Nova Scotia, with our neighbour delivering it already cut, and us stacking it in a open sided wood shed, bringing a couple weeks worth at a time into the basement throughout the winter.

It’s a little different here. First, we’re on a crowded lot in town, so we need to get creative where we stack it. Second, there isn’t a selection of hardwood here. Instead, most people burn spruce.

As a Yukon resident, a firewood permit is free to take up to 11 cords of standing dead, fire killed spruce. You just need to pick one of the available places on a map where a road is in place and where a fire has left standing trees.

The place Jeff picked is almost 2 hours from town, BUT, it is so far no one else is out there, and you can drop the trees right near the trailer. We’re using Jeff’s little ATV/snowmobile trailer. Not huge, but let’s us bring around 30 logs at a time into town.

This area was burned by a forest fire about 13 years ago. The spruce are dead, but still standing, and perfectly weathered and dry so the wood doesn’t need to be stacked in a wood shed for a year to dry.

It is also fairly light wood, since the water content is long gone, however, the wood is all covered in black soot since it was burned! Makes it a bit harder on the chainsaw, and it is easy to get really dirty.

Jeff worked away dropping the trees and bucking them to length, and I kicked off any branches that were left and dragged what I could and loaded them in the trailer.

In the understory, you could see the next generation of spruce is alive and well. Spruce has semi-serotinous cones, meaning the cones needs the heat of a fire to release their seeds.

We’ve got about about 3 cords now, with the last couple of loads still to buck up and stack. We’d like to get at least 4 cords ready to go, since the back roads are only accessible here by snow machine in the winter, so if we run out, I guess we’ll turn up the oil heat!