Not sure if it's a hobby or work, but I guess it fits here. Like to get a thread rolling of tips, tricks, funny stories, etc relating to every woodsmans favorite job to hate. Got most of my wood put up last winter/early spring. Thanks to getting dragged out of state for work and really heavy snow last winter I need to get out and find a little more standing dead wood that'll burn this winter. I like to cut my wood green or fresh dead at least 1 year before I will burn it. It splits easier (most species) and holds all it's heat value with none lost to rot. I usually stack some in barn that will burn first in the fall. Any dead punky branches or pith that don't hold fire long are stacked in this pile as I don't need as much heat early in the season. I save the solid stuff for later in the winter. I usually coarse split my logs and stack them in a loose cone over the stump in the winter, bark side up. This allows for some drying. After snow melt I haul it home, finish splitting and stack it in single rows against the barn wall. Some junk plywood cut to overhang the pile and sloped about 15 degrees is placed on top to sluice off any rainfall and loosely spiked down on the windy side of the barn. Wood dries mostly out the ends of the logs so keeping them exposed is vital. DO NOT tarp your wood, it keeps the moisture in and grows mushrooms robbing your hard earned btu s. Your chainsaw should say Jonsered, Husqvarna or Stihl. Anything else is a for weekend warriors. Keep a sharp chain. Go with "full chisel" chain if you're comfortable managing kickback. It cust much faster, especially when you have to bury the tip on thick cuts. When cutting in cold weather below freezing, dilute your bar oil with diesel or kerosene to get the right flow. It should be slightly tacky yet free flowing. My favorite firewoods in my part of the country are as follows in order. Ash (green black or white)-good high heat value and very easy to split with few knots. Sugar maple-Very high heat value, slightly harder to cut and split than ash. Coals well but sometimes hard to keep a slow burn. Red Oak-high heat value, burns and coals nicely, difficult to process due to brushy branches, lots of knots White Oak- Very high heat value, hard to maintain a slow burn, good to burn hot in cold weather, hard to process with lots of big knots, hard sawing, best mixed with other woods Tamarack-Extreme heat value-be careful not to burn out your stove-easy to split, hard to get out of the swamp, best mixed with softer woods American elm-high heat value, easy to saw, very hard to split, easy to maintain a slow burn, very clean burning Red Maple- Medium heat value, splits easy, burns nice and clean Paper Birch- Dries fast, medium heat value, easy to process, makes it's own kindling, DIRTY BURNING BARK Box elder- Easy to process, medium heat value, burns nice, stinks when it burns. Anything else- Spruce, pine, fire, aspen, willow etc. Tend to be softer fast burning wood. Can be dirty on your chimney. OK to mix in for warmer weather or kindling pile.