Friday, March 22, 2013


In our situation, at our elevation, we don't need logs to use as firewood. In New Jersey and England, logs were the mainstay. Without them, you'd be cold. But here in Hawaii at 2300 feet, it gets chilly but no where near freezing. The coldest night temperature in the past ten years was 46 degrees, and that was for just one night. We have had about a half dozen nights go to 49 degrees.  Usual winter nights go between 55 and 59. Summer mornings are at 61.

Now, before you start hurting yourself laughing, keep this in mind. If it is 55 degrees outside, it is also 55 degrees inside. You see, Hawaii style housing has no insulation and is designed to have air move through it. Higher elevation houses (3000 feet and above) are built like mainland houses, but not the houses in warmer elevations. Those homeowners who built their lower elevation house in the style of the mainland house they were use to, later regretted it. The house gets hot during the day and had a hard time cooling off in the evening.

So, do you keep your house at 55 degrees? Or 46 degrees? I bet not. I bet you have heat. Well, so do we.

Locating firewood is easy. First of all, I have 20 acres. Second, the neighbors love to have people come clear out dead wood and weedy trees. There is plenty of dead wind blown branches. And abundant guava and eucalyptus trees to be harvested. Macnut farms like to have scavengers haul away their tree trimmings.

Twigs and small branches make up the majority of my firewood. Small, quick fires is what I need most of the time. I reserve thicker branches for when I need longer lasting fires.

In my previous life, a big chainsaw, wedges, peaveys, maul, and log splitter were tools of my wood burning life. But here I use a small chainsaw (infrequently), good quality tree loper, and a chop saw. And the truck. It's main function when it comes to firewood is to run over the twiggy branches that fall from the ohia trees. Lay them in the driveway where they will get run over. Pick up the broken up twigs for kindling and fire. Easy.

I also burn "junk" macnuts and kukui nuts, when I can get them. And occasionally coconut husks.

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