Chopping wood works the muscles, a Nor’east tale goes, keeping the chopper warm during Fall’s bluster. But a woodsman’s real warmth, the story adds, comes from the fire in winter long after his work is done.
The Yeager family knows both kinds of heat.
Sanatoga resident Barry Yeager Sr., 1411 Sunrise Ln., handled a chain saw (see photos above) while his son, Barry Yeager Jr. of Exeter PA, took to chopping and splitting chores as they stacked firewood Sunday (Oct. 19, 2008) for future winter fuel.
They might as well have been stacking money.
Firewood prices have risen like smoke, according to Consumer Reports magazine. Two years ago, a cord of green wood – material that’s not sufficiently dry for burning – cost only $100 in most areas. Lately green wood has been selling for up to $250 a cord. Seasoned dry wood, the best for burning, commands $350 or more a cord, the magazine reported last week (Oct. 14, 2008).
A cord is a standard measure of firewood: a tightly packed pile of logs that is stacked 4 feet wide, 4 feet high, and 8 feet long, equalling 128 cubic feet.
Firewood has become an increasingly precious commodity, advises Sarah Smith, a forest-industry specialist at the University of New Hampshire. A firewood shortage began developing this summer in several parts of the country, she says, when soaring oil prices motivated more people to consider wood for heating their homes.
Now one of the hottest crimes in central Maine, Consumer Reports claims, is firewood theft. Thieves, be warned: better not mess with the Yeager woodpiles.