Challenging Winter Conditions | Felling Trees for My Off Grid Log Cabin Build in Winter
(water rippling) (gentle music) (muffled footsteps) - You can see this dead larch here, couple of other scattered through the meadow. Those have probably been dead for... Who knows? Maybe even decades! Such a hard wood and a weather-resistant wood, rot resistant. That it it takes a long time to rot. So, it's a good one for foundation for the sauna set the foundation logs and maybe even the footings.
And then for the cabin behind you here behind the camera, that's where the cabin's gonna go. So the bottom course or two gonna try to make it out of larch. If I can find long enough, tall enough, straight enough logs, that would be ideal and then everything softer will go from there upward there's not gonna be much splash from the roof overhangs water hitting the ground or snow blowing up against the sides. Even breaking a branch off of one of these dead larches is hard cause it's just that dense.
So, they're heavy as a result as well. (wood cracking) (serene music) (muffled footsteps) This one is dead, I'm not sure it's still in good enough condition to use. Let's see! Definitely starting to rot on the insides. So, we'll see. Still I'll be able to use it for something but... I won't know until I debark it whether this wood is sound enough to use it as a log or if we gonna have to mill some lumber out of it.
Either way it's useful for real. Either way it is useful, nice and straight too. It's gonna fall down and it's too close to the cabin and I wouldn't even be able to leave it, even if I wasn't big enough.
(power saw engine revving) Look what I found. I don't know if you've seen that video where I talk about this forest and now how it doesn't look like it was, well, looked like it was fairly even-aged in sections of the forest. And my guess, after speaking to an 80-year-old hunter who's hunted here since he was a teenager. So, 65 years, he recalls back then 65 years ago that when they came through here to get to their hunt camp on the public land, the crown land that's near here, he said it was all young trees almost right through the ground, like just really young short trees, like a clear-cut. And I wondered if that happened that would have been, so what? That would have been mid fifties. So anyway, I assumed it had been clear cut back in the 1800s and then again in the mid 1900s.
But this might be the answer actually to what happened in the last 55 years or 65 years or 70, probably 75 years if he said the trees were just starting to grow up. This is a stump that's burned out and I found another one that was at somewhere here as well. So, it looks like a fire came through this area and these conifer areas, these boreal forest section are prone to that.
You get flames going through and lighting the resident trees and the needles especially can either burn along the ground or it can get into the tree tops and burn or burn everything. So, that's a pretty big stump and then these trees grew out of it. And I saw two more here that were like that where the trees, the next generation of trees were growing up through that stump. So, the trees like this grew up out of the stump where there was nutrients from the fire all that curb and burning.
And then also the seeds that would have been here or fall go here afterwards but sprouted with the new sunlight and nutrients that they had available. Though that's interesting. (trees thundering) Same as the other trees, I can't get a good count and we'll have to cut it cleaner but looks like again, it's in the 85 year old range which is consistent with everything else I've been discovering here in this forest. So, I guess there was a fire that went through here 90 or 80 years ago or something and everything slowly rejuvenated, re-forested. I'm not taking many down this size. This is...
Oh, it's interesting. I guess they're all the same age but I don't really want to take many down in this size because I mostly need the smaller diameter like 12 to 14, 16 maybe inches is what I'm looking for at the base. So, what I'll end up doing with this size log is taking the first 10 feet and cutting that into the floorboards and roof boards which is actually good. I'll need to take fewer trees down, if I take them down the size.
That's the only benefit to that, I guess plus it allows all these smaller ones to start growing faster now that they have more sunlight and less competition at the forest level, at the ground level, soil level. Anyway, these three trees just right here alone are gonna provide I think probably all of the lumber that I need as well as getting a section of a straight log for the log walls. Oh, I just love it in this forest though. Day like today is just amazing to spend it out here.
It's just above or just below freezing and it's windy so it feels a little bit colder than that in the wind. But then you get in the sun where the cabin is gonna be, just through the trees here, that sun beating in there and it's sheltered from the wind, it's really warm, well, really comfortable. Anyway, I'm gonna take a few more down. The only problem with this temperature, this snow is so granular. Like, that's just like granula, like powder.
So the traction, there's no traction for the snowmobile. I actually need it to freeze up again. So, I think what I'll do is get the snow shoes and pat down a path up to each of the trees and then come back another day, de-length them, cut them to length and with the trail frozen back, you know, solid and more compacted and I'll be able to get over that with a snowmobile and pull them hopefully. I've never pulled a log this size. I had pulled some for the sauna. I don't know if you remember the roof, the long beams and the roof of the sauna.
They were what? balsam fir I think, and they were still fresh. I hulled out them right out of the bush, got back behind the cabin and a snowmobile pulled them pretty well with that you know, with that sled on the front. Anyway, I've got that skidding cone that yellow skidding cone. So I'll pull them out with that. Hopefully and if not, then I'll have to come back in the spring and do it with the four wheeler.
In the meantime, we'll want to probably keep the branches on the bottom so that they stay elevated off the ground so that in the spring it's not absorbing moisture. (tree thundering) (snowmobile engine revving) Not gonna do it! I think if the trail condition were better I think it would pull it. Just that I'm digging in so much then. I don't know if the belt's slipping much. Anyway, I'll pull the smaller ones out and wait for this trail to freeze up, maybe late. Well, let's say five six days from now, the temperature drops again.
It's like sand instead of snow, it's not pack at all. That's the problem. Need some cold weather.
It's supposed to get warm, warmer weather like above freezing tomorrow, which will soften it, so it should pack a little bit and then some snow and then some cold weather on top of that or after that. So, hopefully that freezes the trails better. I needed to get back in further to get the rest of the log. Getting there though, I know I said January 10th was ideal but I only got maybe half of them cut.
So, I've been picking away at it now I need probably two more days to get everything I need for the cabin. Then I've got to look through my sauna logs make sure I have enough of those. I think I have enough it's just I have to design something based on the smaller diameter logs that I have already, stuff I got last year. (gentle serene music) (water rippling) (bear growling)