No joke this. Sometimes the pruning is big. And there’s a BIG pile of branches. Like this year. Thanks to my great arborist, Kyle, and wonderful garden manager, Darlene, I’ve got all the trees pruned and the branches neatly piled next to the fire pit.
The key is ‘neatly’ piled. All branches lined up, all in one direction; so feeding the fire becomes an easy job. No fearsome tangles, just one two three, six ten twelve, then more, branches on the fire.
Starting the fire is easy enough. I always ask myself a few questions before burning it all. Are there any long suckers that will make good garden-structure material? Those get put on one side. Are there any butt ends of hardwood that can be dried and given to a carver? Another pile. Any pieces of rotting wood that wound up in the burnpile that would be better used to start hugelkultur beds? Yet another pile is started.
The fire begins with a few pieces of dry firewood that I sacrifice for the purpose. Then the green branches from the evergreens go on to make a hot sizzling fire that will burn just about anything.
It’s fun. It’s a good cleanse. And it’s satisfying. Only one thing, and I ponder it every single time I do a big burn. How can we better harness this material, rather than send the carbon (and the BTUs) into the air? Our chipper can’t handle this mass, or it would become mulch, and we only have space for so many hugelkulture beds. Perhaps a community chipping day with a rented chipper? Leave your ideas in the comments.
Meanwhile, the burn warms me and lasts well into the evening when I can enjoy it glowing in the dark as I eat my supper.