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Buckthorn

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Hass, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    529
    Loc:
    Alabama, NY
    A lady responded to my CL ad, saying her and her neighbor have approx 1 1/2 acres of Buckthorn they want to clear out, and wanted to know if I wanted to try some as firewood.
    From searching around here, I see it's pretty good but usually not worth the effort.

    I told her I'll take whatever they have over 2", then the rest she can put out to the curb and the town will take it.
    Or should I just have passed on it all together?

    It seems to season quickly, so it should be good to go for next year... and fairly dense as well.

    Now considering it's an invasive species, should I be concerned about it taking over my neck of the woods?
    I do have some wooded land with no Buckthorn currently.
    Should I be concerned about bringing it over?
    I'm not taking leaves/brush or anything from it... but I'm sure some seeds and fruit might have got rubbed/smeared on it and end up near my house.
    Are there any laws preventing the transport of it?
    I see it's illegal to transport in Minnesota, but couldn't find anything about it being illegal elsewhere.

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  2. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Oct 31, 2008
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    2,253
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Buckthorn has thorns (obviously). I'm dealing with it invading my plantings around the house - stubborn stuff to get rid of - those thorns are wicked when you are handling them. My BIL had some buckthorn - he cut it down and hauled it to the dump - and he's a wood burner. Some years ago one of our sons was riding his bike, whizzed past a buckthorn tree and got a 4" thorn shoved horizontally up his forearm. A trip to ER got it out. :(
  3. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Central PA
    I think it will be a hassle to get much firewood from buckthorn. However, I wouldn't worry much about bringing it to your place. You won't be transporting many berries, so any seed that might be stuck on the wood will drop off in your yard rather than be eaten by a bird and then dropped in the woods where it might grow. In your yard you will probably just mow any seedlings, not that there will be many.

    An acre and a half might yield a decent amount of wood, it will just be more work than bigger trees because there will be more brush.
  4. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    529
    Loc:
    Alabama, NY
    Yeah, I knew they had nasty thorns. :|

    I should have been more clear.
    I told her normally I offer to help out, but since buckthorn is has a pretty bad return for your time investment I wouldn't help cut (I like to be very blunt).
    But she just wants someone to haul it away instead of paying for it.
    So I said I'll take anything over 2" if it's all cut up and ready to go.
    No way am I going in to a field of those things and work my butt off for that little amount of wood.
    But if it's all put in a nice little pile for me and all I have to do is load it up, that's a different story ;)
  5. Ken S

    Ken S New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
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    96
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Have not used so I can't help with that but in NY you can't move firewood any further than 50 miles
  6. latitude45

    latitude45 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    85
    Loc:
    petoskey, mi
    We have an old stand of this stuff along a creek. Some of them are a good 8-10" at the base, good sized up to about 6 ft.. the rest is all nasty thorns and branches. For me it would be worth it.. Depends on the size..
  7. zachhandler

    zachhandler New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Messages:
    22
    Loc:
    Minnesota
    As you can tell my my handle, I love burning buckthorn. In my experience it is denser, harder, longer burning, and makes better coals than any other firewood here in Minnesota. Including white oak. I mostly just drag home the bigger stuff. Like as big around as a can of soda or bigger. The wood is also beautiful. I have cut it into polished disks to make coasters.
  8. 3fordasho

    3fordasho Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    South Central Minnesota

    +1
    Low moisture content as well. Lots of work to process, the largest diameter I've found is 6-8". Most is in the 1-2" range and just a pain in the A**.
    Even the largest ones will not be very tall, so a 6" diameter trunk maybe only 8' in length. Someone mentioned it is illegal to transport in MN and here is the wording from the MN DNR site "European or common buckthorn and glossy or alder buckthorn are listed as Restricted noxious weeds in Minnesota. It is illegal to import, sell, or transport buckthorn in Minnesota." I would assume this applies to live plants... what about bucked, split and seasoned buckthorn firewood?
  9. zachhandler

    zachhandler New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Messages:
    22
    Loc:
    Minnesota
    I think that once buckthorn is dead and separated from the berries, it os treated no different from any other firewood as far as transporting it. All the wood in this pic is buckthorn. Most of it big enough to split.

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  10. Sorghum

    Sorghum Member

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    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    south central Minnesota
    Buckthorn Burner. Is that a Growler in your hand?? What flavor? To the crafty types here, the wood on buckthorn is nice looking for carving or maybe turning on a lathe. I think I've read it's similar to maple.
  11. zachhandler

    zachhandler New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
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    Loc:
    Minnesota
    Thats my brother with a growler of surly I think.
  12. Grampa John

    Grampa John New Member

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    Jan 12, 2013
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    1
    Yes, buckthorn is a noxious weed, but it's excellent firewood, and most of it is small enough it does not need splitting. So given that I have to clear it anyway, it's a winner for my stove. I generally cut and stack anything bigger than about 1.5".
  13. BuckthornBonnie

    BuckthornBonnie New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
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    29
    Loc:
    Penn Yan, NY
    Very well said! I'd also add that it has a laxative effect on animals and is detrimental to native plants. Oh, and while it may be a little extra work to process, it burns so well that I have hopes of stocking up on the stuff from my 25+acres of it. I'll be posting some pics of the effort later this winter/spring.

    I'm cleaning up a piece of farmland that's a victim of 30yrs of neglect. I've already lugged out over 13,000lbs of scrap metal and will be attacking invasive plants next.
  14. jackatc1

    jackatc1 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    196
    Loc:
    Port Crane ny
    Two person job one to cut, the other with
    a pitch fork to to keep it off your back.

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