LOG SPLITTERS and SAWBENCHES.
1: Wood should be felled in winter after the leaves have dropped. This reduces the amount of sap in the wood.
2:Different woods have different calorific values. Beech, oak and ash etc. are dense timber and are best for heat. Pine and poplar are the worst, but smell good when burning. They also tend to spit on open fires. Most fruit (apple, cherry, pear etc.) also do not burn well. It may be sacrilege to burn these fruit woods as there are plenty of craftsmen and wood turners who will pay well for these beautiful timbers.
3:Store wood in a dry spot with plenty of air circulation. Log piles should be off the ground (on an old pallet is ideal). You'll also need a cover to keep the weather off the wood. Many people use plastic sheets but this restricts airflow and is not ideal. Freshly felled wood is around 60% water and drying usually takes in excess of a year (thats why seasoned wood is always more expensive then fresh wood if you can find a good supplier: it's well worth the extra).
4: Logs burn best when split. Ideal thickness depends on your fireplace. Open fires usually around 5" or less. Woodburners thicker.
If you have a hydraulic splitter it does not matter when you split the wood (after felling or just before burning; although split wood seasons faster) but if you're still using an axe try to split the wood as soon after felling as you can as "old" wood can be extremely difficult and needs much more effort.
5: If you have room bring wood inside for a couple of weeks before burning, even if its just the carport or garage, it will be worth the effort as the wood will burn much better. Remember however if you bring wood into the house you may have some visitors in the wood which will wake up and crawl about as the temperature inside will be higher than outside and the bugs may think spring has arrived!!