Firewood shortage is looming
Haven’t got dry firewood in your shed ready for winter yet? You might be out of luck.
Many firewood suppliers are running low on dry firewood and expect to run out by winter’s end, and it’s a problem they expect will only get worse in years to come.
At Burnham’s NeedMor Firewood, Ewan Bowen has already had to shut up shop for 2018 winter sales.
‘‘We’ve sold out. We are going to be all delivered by the end of March.
‘‘We were selling a lot of green split wood before Christmas and in January and February we were two to three times as busy as we have been in the past.’’
Bowen said it was getting harder and harder to supply enough wood for the demand every year.
‘‘We try and get our own logs if we can, if a farmer needs a shelter belt removed or something, but even those jobs are becoming less and less.’’
The price logs for export were reaching was also making it hard to compete.
‘‘What used to be our firewood log is now the lowest grade in the export market and they are making good money off it.’’
Bowen had logs waiting to be turned in to firewood, but that was the start of next year’s supply.
In Mayfield, Kieran Melville of Elite Firewood said he was sitting on around 600-800 tonnes of firewood logs and the majority his firewood went straight from the site where it was cut, into people’s wood sheds. But firewood needed time to dry.
‘‘I had a lot of dry firewood tucked away that over the last eight weeks has just gone out the door. I’m down to very little dry stock now,’’ he said.
He said people were generally getting better at thinking ahead.
‘‘Straight after New Year people started asking for dry firewood and the people who have waited – I know that not everyone has the space to store more firewood, or the money – but the people that weren’t able to be prepared early, they will be the ones who end up paying for it later,’’ he said.
‘‘The people buying firewood a year ahead of time are so much better to deal with than people who want a dry load the day it starts raining.’’
The majority of his firewood came from dairy conversions and he exported some, and turned what wasn’t suitable for export into firewood.
Kieran Melville from Elite Firewood is already busy cutting up firewood for next winter.