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Alas, Cottonwood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by midwestcoast, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    1,681
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    NW Indiana
    We had some familly over for an afternoon at the beach & a BBQ yesterday. I'd loaded up the grill with burgers & dags when I heard a chainsaw start-up very near-by. Being the wood-nut that I am I climbed up on the fence to have a look. In the empty lot kitty-corner to me I see a guy holding (just with his hands) a bull-rope tied halfway up a tree (~40' x 14" diam?) that's leaning pretty good toward my neighbor's yard & pool. Oh, and it was rather windy out & not in the right direction.
    I jump down & herd all the kids inside since it was tall enough to reach my yard if it went that way, then get back to grilling with one eye on that treetop as the saw runs for a rather long time. As soon as the top starts to move at a right angle to where I saw the "rope-puller" I think "there goes his fence". Sure enough I jump-up again & see the top laying in my neighbors pool with the upper trunk over a section of smashed wooden fence.
    Turns out another neighbor had been clearing trees out of a lot he owns behind his house all day & my next-door neighbor asked if he'd take this one out as well since it's always dropping leaves in his pool. He was actually the guy on the rope so didn't get too upset about the damage. I joked that he now had all of the leaves in his pool, but he figured it's easier to get them out just once more... Sorry no pics, I was rather busy with hosting at the time.
    So once I'm done grill duty I walk over to see if I can take any wood off their hands. The owner tells me I can have it all. Sweet!
    Oops, I should have I.D'd all the trees first. I think I just scored myself 5-6 mid-sized (12-18") Cottonwoods lieing amongst a heavy ground cover of Poison Ivy. I guess my pride on this easy score rests on this one question:
    Is there any chance that sopping-wet Cottonwood would be ready to burn by around March if I cut & split it now & get it stacked?
    I need shoulder-season wood for this year, but I suspect I just comitted to using valuable lawn-space to storing this stuff for 18+ months. No big deal, but I could've dried some oak by that time.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I would just take what you need and leave them the rest. They probally are not going to hold a home owner to taking ever stick.
  3. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Dont mess with the cottonwood unless you really need it, the cottonwood I have on my acreage goes to the big burn pile, don't understand why you did not help those guys out when you saw what they were up to. Just kidding about helping but not about the CW. :)
  4. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I'll talk to the owner & tell him it's not good wood for burning & I'll take what I can. He's a good guy & will prob be fine with that

    Honestly I would have at least gone over to offer help, but I'd had a couple brews @ the beach & was having another at the time. I'd probably have made it worse!
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yep I cut a lot and people stop to talk about wood bottom line its all on me.... so I am sure Its all good!
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Michigan
    Well, it is cottonwood. Still, the wood is close; you need wood to heat your home; it will burn and give you heat. As for being ready by next March, it might be possible if it is split small but still better to wait until 2011-2012. I say take it, split it, stack it and smile. As for the poison ivy, you can work with it if you are careful. We do some every year with no problem but some folks are really bad with it.

    You can always get something like this to wash off any sap from the ivy:

    Poison Ivy Soap
  7. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Well, I just got back from actually looking at the wood down. I stayed out of the long grass in my shorts & sandals, but what I saw sure wasn't Cottonwood. I'd taken a friends word that it was Cottonwood & saw no reason to question as there's tons around here. Came back to grab the camera & I'll start a new thread for help with the I.D., but lets just say I'm pretty darned happy with what I think I have.

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