Not without a chainsaw
Living in the Slovenian countryside means that you cannot do without a chainsaw. Just about everyone I know has one. Bine also bought his own chainsaw when we moved here. He was already used to working with it because in his younger years he regularly helped neighbors with felling trees. It always looks pretty easy, but it really isn’t. I’ve tried it once, but a chainsaw is quite heavy and clumsy to work with. Practice makes perfect, of course, but I’m glad Bine does the wood cutting, so I don’t have to :).
Since there is still a lot of wood-burning in Slovenia, a lot of chainsaws are sold. Those things are really very expensive if you at least want something that you can use for years. It needs regular maintenance and the chain needs to be sharpened often and replaced from time to time. Bine first did this by hand with a file, but recently he has a handy machine for it.
The first tree that fell here was a huge walnut tree, at least 25 meters high, which stood in our driveway, right next to the old shed, just a few meters from our house. A walnut tree is way too big to be close to a house, and the roots can grow under the house and push it up. That’s why Bine decided it had to go. There were only a few meters of space between the house and the shed for the tree to fall between. So it was a tricky job. But because of Bine’s experience, he knew exactly where and how to cut to get the tree to fall exactly where he wanted. Because of the size of the branches, it only hit a corner of the roof and broke three tiles, but otherwise, it went perfectly. Once it was down and Bine cut it in pieces, it turned out to be completely rotten inside. The inside fell out of the trunk, so it had been the right decision because it could have just coped with a big storm and the consequences would have been disastrous.
Later, once we had built a patio cover, the two large pine trees that stood in our garden also went down. We had kept them until then because of the shade they provided on the terrace. I thought they were beautiful in themselves and there were always a lot of birds in them, but they took away a lot of light, caused a nuisance from all the pine needles that were everywhere, and the main thing was, they were too close to the house so that we worried with every big storm that one would go down and land on the roof. Hence, the decision to remove them. I found it difficult to see when they went down, but we now have an even more beautiful view :).
Because we have been burning wood to warm our house for two years now, a lot of wood has to be cut and sawn every year. Bine cuts the tree in the forest into pieces of about 45 centimeters because they fit in the stove like that. Then the neighbor comes with his tractor and trailer, and we have to load all the pieces.
These are then thrown into our garden, after which Bine usually chops them into smaller pieces with the axe. There is also a splitter in the village that everyone can use, so with larger quantities with lots of thick pieces it is easier and faster. The splitter is driven by the engine of a tractor, which has to run the whole time you are using the splitter.
But a chainsaw also comes in handy here in winter. When it snows a lot, some guys have one in the back of the car because it can happen that, when they drive to work early in the morning, a tree has fallen down and blocks the road. Then it is cut into pieces on the spot and put aside so that the road is clear again. Bine has experienced this already once or twice. So you see, in the Slovenian countryside, a chainsaw is really not a luxury!