Monday, January 21, 2013

Fun stuff to do with fallen timber

Living on a generously treed property, it makes sense to come up with interesting ways to put our inevitable fallen timber to use. It goes without saying that our preferred way of using the timber is for heating our home over winter with using it as a fuel for our woodoven or chiminea coming in a close second.

But there is just SO much of it!

I honestly feel a little overwhelmed at times looking at it all..once it has fallen or more frighteningly - when it is about to fall! And I'm not even the one cutting it up..that job goes to the wonderfully capable hubby who has become quite a seasoned woodsplitter in the last few years! 

Anyhow, back to topic, it is a whole lot of fun and very satisfying to put this generous commodity to good use, aside from the obvious heating/cooking uses.. 


For instance, a few sneakily acquired logs make handy garden edging for tricky bends where straight logs just don't cut it (eep, pun not intended!). 

A strategically placed trunk section makes a useful 'stepping stone' for the middle of the bed to assist in future harvesting..


Teepees and wigwams are a given. The size? Whatever length of the branches that are hanging about..

A recent addition here, my first gate made with scrounged twigs. I am sure there must be an easier way than pre-drilling and then nailing each branch, talk about tedious! Twining or wiring perhaps? If you know, please share! I would love to try more of this style of creation...I'm thinking fencing or portable hurdle panels.



The rustic gate does an adequate job of keeping the poochy one contained, much to his disappointment! 



A most exciting discovery of late: 'Donkey steps'!

The easiest steps you'll ever make, I promise! Just take yourself down to the back of the property, and there, one will find lengths of timber that the able one is yet to dock up which are the perfect diameter and length for this project. Bring them back to your gentle slope, you know, the one that you always seem to find yourself sliding down on the wet grass over winter and get positioning!


Once they're in place, a couple of stakes at each end on the 'down side' and then back fill with mulch or gravel. I told you they were easy! And such fun to make..and walk on ..and sit on!


 Festive wishing trees and advent calenders are another option if there are some odd scrappy branches lying around and it's that time of year.

And lastly, quite backbreaking to get in position this seating arrangement would have to be one of my favourite uses for our fallen timber to date..


They fit comfortably around our 'in progress Millie Ross firepit', and thanks to hubby's even eye, the logs are all cut a uniform size which means that all log seating occupants are at eye level with each other!
How thoughtful was he?

Do you make use of fallen timber? What interesting ways have you put it to use?


15 comments:

  1. I love the gate and the steps. I'll have to try the steps some time... My daughter's school back in the UK has a similar fire pit.

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  2. We used a metal strip that we nailed around the sticks to hold them to the frame. Quick and easy. Nice steps!

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  3. So envious of all your fallen timber, and what great uses you have put it to

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  4. Love what you've done. The other idea is hugelkultur - burying the wood in a garden so that it slowly decays and provides nutrients etc.

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    1. I've only just learnt about hugelkultur and dream of a time when I have a property that has room for me to try, it sounds so cool

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    2. This sounds amazing, Liz, where have I been? Hiding under a log? I am sooooo going to try this, we have some perfect rotten railway sleepers to dispose, what great timing! Thanks for sharing this, I'm very excited!! :)

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  5. Love all the uses you have found. Sadly we have very few trees on out land but with hubby being an arborist there is no shortage of wood.

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    1. That's a nice situation to be in, Fiona!

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  6. Ahhh, I would love some of those perfectly level stumps of yours. I think for outside seating it looks lovely...especially so in city apartment courtyard! :-)

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  7. I'm planning on building several gates for the next fencing project, and the only thought I had for speeding up the process is to make a jig so that the sizes will be consistent and it will reduce the amount of time spent checking angles and such on each gate as it is built. If anyone comes up with a faster way than drilling each piece (stick or lumber) I will be delighted to hear it! I considered lashing, but don't think it would remain tight over time.

    The expression on that doggie face is priceless!

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  8. Looks great! We have some willows that need pruning (some need cutting down). We plan to rent a heavy duty chipper for a day to amass a HUGE pile of ramial wood chips for the garden and compost. Apparently, they are the highest quality feed stock for compost if branches of 4" in diameter or less are used (peak nutrition). :)

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  9. I love your use of fallen timber , particularly the gate-you are a handy woman. I placed a lovely stump end in our vegetable garden yesterday to grow some nasturiums out of . Some people don't appreciate 'interesting ' timber...a few years ago I found this gorgeously twisted piece of wood and sat it next to the fire place as a household decoration and talking piece - my husband thought it was firewood and didn't realise that in my eyes it was a work of art.... we don't have it anymore because he thought I had put it there to save him a trip out to the wood heap.

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    1. Oh, no, Kim! I completely hear you - I had to bring those log seats up to the house quick smart before hubby got them into the splitter... he would not look twice at them for any other purpose other than firewood!

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  10. Inspiring Christine. I especially like your Teepees and wigwams and donkey steps. I've been thinking of using logs like that in our slighty sloppy orchard site. Looks good.

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  11. I think that Millie Ross had an article in the Gardening Oz mag re making gates and fences from fallen timber - and was looking for it on the internet when I found your blog - because, like you, my block is covered in fallen timber - and I'd like to use it to make critter-proof fences and gates. I'm not sure whether there is such a thing as a bandicoot-proof fence - but I'm prepared to try anything (that doesn't cause them structural damage). I have used fallen timber as swales along trails and across slopes - but your stairs are a perfect way for me to protect some sloping tracks/walkways that have begun to erode badly after the 2 recent floods.

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