Winter is the season to cut and split future winter’s wood for the wood stove. The oak-hickory forest trees are dormant. The trunks and branches have less sap, therefore less moisture in the fiber. The leaves do not cause the crowns to weigh as much, or to sway as much in the wind. The line of fall of a 60 to 80 foot tree is more predictable. And, farmers are available to help with the task.
We have cut our own wood in the past. But, between the availability of help, and other tasks that command our attention, hiring out the job is easier. Farming is seasonal, with less to do in winter months. Farm income is also seasonal, depending on when livestock or crops go to market. Thus, farmers usually fit other cash-flowing jobs in between farm tasks. By hiring our neighbors to cut and split wood for us we are keeping their bills paid for a time at least.
Having several extra cords of wood ready also can be a bartering items with other neighbors. Several times, in harsher winters that this year, neighbors have run low on wood. We give them our surplus in exchange for some favor in the future. A constant exchange of favors is what keeps society together.