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A fire in Sweden provides light and warmth on the winter terrace - so warming up a glass of mulled wine or having a hot cup of tea with your family or friends quickly creates a Christmas atmosphere. The fire in Sweden, also known as a tree torch, burns for up to five hours, depending on its size, without burning to the ground. This is made possible by the so-called chimney effect: the hot, rising air draws cool air from below through the wide cutting grooves of the chainsaw. It provides the fire with so much new oxygen that it burns for a long time and does not turn into a smoldering fire. Thus, the trunk burns slowly from the inside to the outside and from top to bottom, from the fire in Sweden only the short glowing stem foot is left.
Softwood is best for fires in Sweden
The most important tool for making a fire in Sweden is a chainsaw. If the fire is to burn for several hours, the tree trunk must be around one meter long and have a diameter of at least 30 centimeters. Usually you take softwood like spruce, pine or fir. The drier the wood, the better it burns. Always wear protective clothing when working with the chain saw - the most important are cut protection trousers, safety helmets and safety shoes. For sawing, place the trunk piece on a firm, level surface so that it does not tip over. If the saw surface on the underside is very slanted, you should first cut it straight before making the longitudinal cuts. Depending on the strength, the trunk is divided into four to eight approximately equal circular segments. The thicker it is, the more cuts are recommended. To make sure that the segments are all the same size and finish as close to the center of the stem as possible, you should mark the cuts with a pencil before cutting them on top.
Tip: If you want to make several fires in Sweden, you can also use fresh softwood. It dries faster in the finished sawn condition than in the untreated one. If you burn it after about one year of storage, it has reached a good degree of drying.
Step by step: Making the fires of Sweden yourself
Make the cuts as vertical as possible (left). Four longitudinal sections are required for this trunk (right)
Draw the cuts on top of the tree disc and then cut the wood as vertically as possible with the chainsaw. Each cut ends about four inches above the bottom of the trunk so it does not split into logs. Depending on the strength of the trunk, two to four longitudinal cuts are needed, as in our case.
Increase the intersection of the cuts with a wooden rasp (left) and insert a grill or fireplace lighter into the recess (right).
If necessary, enlarge the intersection of the cuts with a wooden rasp (left) after sawing. Then insert a grill or fireplace lighter into the recess (right) as a kindling aid. Tip: To optimize the supply of fresh air, you can extend each cut at the bottom end with a flat drill bit to the center of the stem to form a round hole.
When darkness sets in, the fires of Sweden are the most beautiful. But beware: the developing heat is great. Before firing, place the fire on a flat, non-flammable surface, such as a stone slab. Keep at least two meters away from shrubs and flammable objects. Do not stand too close to the fire and do not leave children unattended, especially as softwood can easily spark sparks due to bursting resin bubbles.