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An old boy comes down

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by begreen, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We had an old big leaf maple next to the house. It was a welcome source of summer shade and a stout limb held our kid's swing. It's many years later now and the old boy was starting to loose large limbs. This year it only put out half of its folliage and that looked diseased. The old fellow was dying. Big leaf maples like this tend to go dramatically. A neighbor's tree split in half a couple years ago. This was an 70ft tall tree. When it came down it was a clear, calm spring day. It blocked the road and took out the power lines. We couldn't risk the same happening with a tree next to the house, so the old fellow came down yesterday. It was a good call. About 1/4" of it's core trunk was already punky. It was only a matter of time before it dropped a large limb or worse. The tree was 37" at the trunk, 48" at the base of the crown. Now it will warm our home next year. Thanks old boy.

    This morning we had a visit from the inspector. He likes the nearby fir tree and is a regular. The woodpecker poked around for bugs long enough for me to catch a couple pictures.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Thats a big one! :bug:
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it is, though I was surprised at how quickly an 088 with a 36" bar sliced it up.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yea there's not much an 088 would knock out. I run a 41 inch bar you just let it roll and eat on it own. 50 inch+ from one side.
  5. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    I'm always slightly saddened to see old trees come down........

    I have often counted the rings, and thought of events that have happened over the life of the tree.

    But I can soon get over that, with the thought of those cosy warm evenings spent burning all that wood ;-)
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I had that feeling when we took down an old doug fir a few years back. It started growing before the US was a country. I haven't counted the rings on this tree yet, but wouldn't be surprised if it was started when the house was built in 1924.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Well BG, that should give you some good heat for it's last lease on life. Then all you'll have is the stump and some sawdust left. I like the inspector. We are finally blessed with a few of those here as they moved in just year or two ago. Love seeing them especially also with the red headed and the red bellied.
  8. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Pileated woodpecker! I only get to see one once every few years if I'm lucky around here.

    It's unfortunate she had to come down, but you have to do what you have to do.

    pen
  9. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    It's a nice story and the end results are even better, you will heat your home with it. As far as the woodpecker goes, I hope finds some snacks in there before the splitter takes over. I have a morning visitor that likes my cornerboards lately, and they are PVC.
  10. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Good amount of fire wood.
    No you have more sunny areas to garden. :)
    Woody's not to happy, "Where that tree that was full of bugs? I swear it was here at dinner time yesterday! " :)
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It is a lot brighter all of a sudden on that side of the yard, but no garden plans for there. We have a 6 yr old red maple that we are going to transplant over to that location. It's about 12 ft tall now. With some soil amendments and nurturing, we hope it will grow quickly.

    There's lots of trees for Woody to peck around for bugs. He'll be fine. The squirrels are also going to miss the maple seeds too. But that's tough dudes, find another yard. :)
  12. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I've taken down some big trees near the house and I'd have to say after the last three years' weather it was the right call. But I'm still mad they're gone.
  13. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    My paternal grandmother has 6 or 8 big "water maples," as dad calls them, in and around her yard. They have HUGE bases on them, then after you get up about 8' they're nothing but limbs. Long, spindly limbs that break off easy in wind and ice storms. They are quite dangerous, actually. There's a lot of good fuel in the base, but based on their locations, you have to have the tree guys out.

    That ole boy looks like it will make some good fuel, BG. Good call on taking it down in a controlled fashion as opposed to waiting for it to come down in an uncontrolled fashion. ;-)
  14. Loco Gringo

    Loco Gringo Feeling the Heat

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    Too funny. That woodpecker is like, what the hell happened here?
  15. chvymn99

    chvymn99 Minister of Fire

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    Great story, and while your burning it, let those years roll on bye. Glad everything worked out. Congrats.
  16. wood butcher

    wood butcher Member

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    Great story. You could get someone to turn a bowl out of the maple and you will always have a keep sake even after the fire goes out.
  17. KB007

    KB007 Feeling the Heat

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    Lotsa heat outta that one!

    We have lots of Pileated woodpeckers around here. They dig huge deep holes in the trees looking for bugs. I took a close up pic of one once, couldn't believe how wide the beak was - like a 1/4" chisel! Got a big cedar right next to the house with about 15 pileated holes in it, prolly gonna cut it down before it falls on the house...
  18. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    Nice idea, I always like the idea of a reminder of a well loved tree after it's passing :)
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Not a bad idea. I have a friend with a nice lathe.
  20. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Bigleaf Maple is excellent wood to turn,the burls look & work especially nice.Pretty much inbetween Silver Maple & Sugar Maple density wise.
  21. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Wow, I love this thread - I also had to take down a maple a year and a half ago that I am still sad about, and we have been burning it except for the big rounds which we weren't able to split - they are rotting back there now.
    I LOVE the woodpecker pics!
    And lastly, thistle, you sound like someone who might be able to answer some ?s I have regarding wood turning. When we took down our tree I was hoping to get someone to turn some of it. In the parts we split, there were some lovely brown and tan areas, that would have made lovely vessels (or guitars!)
    There are a couple woodturners that come around each year or two and if I had any idea how to save some of the wood, I sure would love to give it to them to turn something out of it that I could buy. But how do you do that? How big do you save it, or how small would still work? If it starts to check, is that too late? What's the proper way to store or keep the wood, and for how long?

    If you prefer, I can PM you!
  22. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Great pics of the woodpecker.

    It's always sad to see one of the old ones go . . . especially when you consider how long they've been around . . . but at least it is being used and isn't just rotting away somewhere.

    Guy here in Maine had a hobby of making pens out of wood . . . something else you might consider.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We split up the remaining madrona and about a third of the maple yesterday. There were some pieces that had stunning grain. Soft maple has some good figuring in sections. I am going to study the pile and pull a couple rounds that I suspect may have good grain. I'll wax their ends until I decide what to do. Though right now, I need an extra project like a hole in the head. :)
  24. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    Know what you mean there, I have a good few years worth of jobs lined up, not including the huge list drawn up by Mrs woodchip for my retirement ;-)
  25. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    BG,
    I turn both pens and bowls. If you would like something done PM me. I'd be happy to do it for you...no cost. I can send you a few pics of past work if you wish.

    Brian

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