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Black Locust or Black Birch?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by albertj03, Dec 28, 2009.

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  1. albertj03

    albertj03 Minister of Fire

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    There were about half a dozen small trees that were damaged last December in an ice storm that I cut and I thought they were young black birch trees. The reason I'm wondering if they are black locust is because I noticed a wierd smell one time when I was outside that seemed to be coming from my chimney, almost smelled like trash burning and a member here said it might have been black locust burning that I smelled. Can anyone tell by the pictures below if this is black birch or black locust or maybe both? Thanks!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Black locust has thorns on branches and compound opposite small leaves. Black birch has simple leaves and when you scrape fresh bark on branches etc it smells awesome
  3. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Also- locust has a palish yellow wood (similar to white oak) and is really stringy when split. It is super dense. Black birch is lighter and straighter grained.
  4. albertj03

    albertj03 Minister of Fire

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    It was over a year ago that I cut it and don't remember if there were any thorns.
  5. albertj03

    albertj03 Minister of Fire

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    The two shorter pieces are stringy and the longer piece is smooth. Maybe those two are black locus and the other one is black birch.
  6. RAY_PA

    RAY_PA Feeling the Heat

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    thats not locust. ..more like birch
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    +1 you always rember the thorns.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You would remember the thorns. :vampire:
  9. albertj03

    albertj03 Minister of Fire

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    Black birch then? It burns good.
  10. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    It's darker than the locust would be- it was a bit hard for me to see the color well here on my computer. Locust also has deeply furrowed bark on larger pieces, and the black birch has birch to cherry-like (bark breaking into plates) bark. That bark looks more like black birch than locust to be sure.
  11. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Not locust. They look like they are wet. Take another picture when they are dry. Smell a fresh split. If its black birch it will smell like it (birch root beer)
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Turn the lights on, silly. :coolsmirk:
  13. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    not locust bark for sure
  14. albertj03

    albertj03 Minister of Fire

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    The wood wasn't wet at all and had been cut and stacked last December and then split and stacked in March.
  15. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    Black Birch (sweet birch) smells just like Birch Beer (very strong minty smell) when cut or split, thats a dead give away for that species (even yellow birch)
    Your middle split shows a large dark heartwood which doesn't fit the characteristics of Black Birch.
    I've posted some pics for you to compare......but I think a sniff or two will tell-tale

    WB

    Attached Files:

  16. albertj03

    albertj03 Minister of Fire

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    The smaller piece in your picture looks exactly like many of the pieces I have from these trees. The bark kind of rolls on the edges like I can see in your picture. Maybe a higher quality picture would make it easier to tell what it is.
  17. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    I have some black birch (no question - smell ,bark, leaves) that has large dark heartwood - not all of it, just some of the smaller limbs.
  18. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    Well shiver-me-timbers, I’ve busted up alot of BB over the last 8-10 years and have never seen an ounce of heartwood like that.....but on this site you'll see lots of variations with species (esp bark).

    WB
  19. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    I was going to say maybe they are a slightly different species, but you are close, so who knows? It almost looks like red oak with the patterning as well.
  20. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    I believe that "Black" Birch and "River" Birch are the same, and if so, then Black Birch has a dark pinkish heartwood like Black Cherry, but not as dark as Black Cherry and it doesn't darken more with age like Black Cherry does.
  21. CrawfordCentury

    CrawfordCentury New Member

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    +10 to the 10,000th power.

    [​IMG]

    Also, locust stump sprouts, limb sprouts, and ground sprouts like nothing else. Real bear to try to get rid of.
  22. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    I'll stick with Hickory.................

    WB
  23. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Chicken!
  24. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    delete
  25. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    They aren't all that bad. In fact- they can be worse with fewer thorns- when you aren't payin attention- that's when they getcha! Honey locust usually has worse thorns and it's less dense.
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