Kids’ job was cutting up tree roots

From our April 2012 issue

By Arloa Marsh – Lanigan, Sask.

It was a familiar scene to see a pile of tree roots in a farmer’s field when I was growing up. We kids knew what they were. It was our job to cut them up and throw them into the chute to the basement. We used them for firewood.

My dad had made a furnace out of a barrel. He cut it in half and bricked it in. He then put a door on it and that, with the tree roots, heated our three-room home.

The roots were hard to cut. They were dirty in all shapes and sizes. Some were big and hard to manage. It usually took an axe to cut them – or sometimes a saw.

Dad brought the tree roots home in a hayrack piled as high as he could get it. They were dumped beside the house waiting to be cut up.

I never found out if dad had to pay the farmers for those roots or if he got them free. However, it was a job I was glad to get over with, and the roots kept us warm in the winter!