How to take a tree apart
1 Fell the tree.
2 Many of the branches are at about perfect height for cross-cutting, so turn these into firewood-sized pieces, working from the tip to the trunk.
3 Cross-cut the tree into two or three large pieces that are easy to rotate and manoeuvre, then whack a splitting axe or standard axe into the end of one of these; the axe forms a handle that enables you to rotate the log. Another good tool for rotating logs is the timetested cant hook, a large pole with a pivoting hook on one end.
4 Buck the log into 30 cm pieces that allow for easy splitting. Yes, shorter pieces mean more cutting, but they are lighter, easier to handle, and split much more easily than longer pieces. Cut as close to the ground as possible without the risk of getting the saw in the dirt. Once that happens, you’ll have a dull chain.
5 Use the axe to rotate the log, permitting you to finish the cuts made from the opposite side.
6 Since you’ll only have a neat arrangement of logs like this once, split them now. In many cases, you can flip them upright with your boot and split them before they even know what hit ’em.
From here, it’s all just mopping up. After you hike the split pieces on to the bakkie, go have some lunch. Optional, but recommended: an impossibly cold beer.