Marking, Bucking, and Splitting Firewood at the Woodyard

December 8, 2022

We're in the woodyard at DudeRanchDIY for a lesson on how to mark, buck, and split a fallen 40-foot birch tree.

If you're in the firewood retail business - or if you're facing your first encounter with long-length logs - you'll want to master all of the skills needed to turn a tree into usable lengths.

Our brand ambassador, Jake Pollak, knows his way around the woodyard. Watch this video as he demonstrates the process he uses to convert this newly fallen birch tree into split firewood for his business.

How to Mark a Tree

Once you’ve taken down a tree, you’ll need to mark the trunk to be cut into rounds. A firewood marker combines a small wheel with a can of spray paint to measure the correct length as the wheel is rolled down the trunk.

Most rounds will be 16” in length – this is the most common length of firewood. It makes it easy to measure a chord, fits conveniently into most stoves and fireplaces, and is a great length to stack and store wood. Once your tree is marked, it’s time to get the chainsaw out.

What is Bucking a Tree?

Bucking a tree is the process of cutting it into useable lengths after it is felled and delimbed. If you don’t have a log holder or wood-cutting stand, you can use two felled trees to support the one you’re going to process. The two bottom trunks will act similarly to a log holder and allow you to chainsaw the tree into rounds.

What Is the Easiest Way to Split Firewood?

In a woodyard, the easiest way to split firewood is with a commercial log splitter. Sure, you can set up a chopping block and swing away with an axe, but when you’re in the business of selling firewood you’ll find it’s quicker, and easier, to use a log splitter.