1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Catalpa grove downed

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Duetech, Jan 2, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,436
    Loc:
    S/W MI
    I had a wood guy bring me over some catalpa, about 1 1/4 face cord, that came from a grove (about 120-140 trees) that went down in a straight line wind. Since the trees were in a grove, he says, the logs are long, large and straight but there is no lumber interest in catalpa and the market is slow right now. The stuff he brought over was cut about two years ago just to get access to the main mess. The wood splits easy and seems dry (no moisture meter) and most of the trees went down with the root balls still intact so the trunks are supported above the ground. He wants to move the wood and is looking for a market and he estimates about full 80 cord still in tree form. The wood is kind of light weight just above pine in btu output and burns about as fast (4 1/2-6 hrs. in my EKO40). If I had boiler storage and a place for the wood I wouldn't mind getting about 20 cords if not too pricey.

    Has anybody had any experience in the longevity of catalpa? Also what would be a fair price per cord in such a large quantity?. I can get red/white oak mixed in 8' logs delivered for about $100 per cord with an 8-10 cord purchase and oak burns 9-12 hours in my boiler. I would have to cut and split either way. Thanks for your reply...

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Messages:
    732
    Loc:
    Northern Kentucky
    Catalpa can pop pretty violently in a fire. I burned a lot of it last year, because that was what I had. There were times when I'd open the stove door and I'd hear a loud pop and see a big ember go flying accross the room at the same time. I have a hole in my living room carpet from this happening.
    I have a lot of Catalpa trees in the back yard and while they are handsome trees with nice big flowers on them, many will have to go to make room for the hardwood trees around them. Catalpa worms make great catfish bait, so I'll have to save some of them.
    I think that Catalpa isn't worthy for selling.
  3. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    431
    Loc:
    Griffin, GA
    If your getting oak for $100 then I'd probably tell your wood guy that you'd let him dump it in your yard. He's getting paid to clean it up and if it's that slow then you may end up with some free wood.
  4. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,436
    Loc:
    S/W MI
    Thanks Woodford and drdoct,
    It sure does pop. I can hear it pop through the sides of my boiler. A couple times the boiler door has been open it's made some pretty loud noises but as yet nothing has gone flying.

    If I knew where the wood was at maybe I could help him log it and get it delivered that way because I know he can't do it for free. However you have echoed my sentiments nearly to a "T". The EKO can extract a lot of heat from a source of wood, at least better than a regular wood stove, and I think he was thinking that when he brought it over and offered to make me a deal but I can't baby sit the boiler all day either. Now I know what your gut reactions are it will help me focus better on a reasonable price. It is wood and it will burn I will just have to be selective when and for what I burn it. Thanks...
  5. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    I'd burn anything dropped off in the yard.

    Matt
  6. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,436
    Loc:
    S/W MI
    I burn it too. It's just getting the "dropped of in the yard" part I seem to have the most difficulty with. Any ideas on how to do that better? (LOL)
  7. slinger

    slinger New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    southeast Illinois
    My FIL just cleaned out a waterway in one of his farm fields and there are about 5 36"-48" Catalpa along with 2 Cottonwoods. I was wondering the same about heat value. I know cottonwood isn't worth the effort for me but the catalpa are easy to get to. How does it split? I am going to use it in my OWB.
    Thanks
  8. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,436
    Loc:
    S/W MI
    It splits pretty easy except where there are knots (wonder wonder). Grab an old tire and stick a chunk in it and split away the pieces stay close and don't fall over. BTU wise it's about 3 points Higher (edit note) output than cotton wood but I think it don't hold water as long and is kind of light to throw. It's still a form of gopher wood but it's still better that gopheroil. It's burns in par with white pine and spruce according to Chimney Sweep.
  9. slinger

    slinger New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    southeast Illinois
    Thanks for the info. Heck, free wood is free wood! I think I'll give it a go when the ground settles out a little.

    I've been looking at a 5100s Dolmar, Whacking and stacking Catalpa might be a great way to break it in!
  10. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,436
    Loc:
    S/W MI
    I don't know about the saw. If you want to make sure it will be alright send it up my way for a couple of weeks and I can tell you if it was a good investment (LOL). From what I have seen of the wood though your saw should do a real good job on the size of trees you were talking about. At free I would even burn the cottonwoods when I could be there to babysit.
  11. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    219
    Loc:
    WI
    "The best kind of wood to burn is free wood"

    When I get poor quality wood like this I mix with Oak etc. An old timer told me years ago to mix my wood. I also burn more low btu wood in fall and spring when I don't need the output.
  12. dj2cohen

    dj2cohen New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Loc:
    Southeast West Virginia
    I was just sitting here scratching my head wondering "What the heck is a Catalpa?" So I looked it up.

    Wiki Linki

    Once I saw the pictures, I knew it as Catawba. I learn something new every day.

    Around my part of the woods, I have never heard of anyone burning it. I sure there are some that do. I agree with the free wood/best wood as well. Of coarse, I live in the heart of one of hardwood logging country so Catawba is going to be low on the priority list. If it were offered to me, I wouldn't turn it down, but I wouldn't pay for it. I would definitely offer to help log it out to avoid buying.
  13. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Messages:
    732
    Loc:
    Northern Kentucky
    I agree, burn it, but don't pay money for it. If you get a chance, look at where it stands on the firewood btu chart.
  14. slinger

    slinger New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    southeast Illinois
    Thanks for the free saw testing offers :) You guys are helpful!! Yes, Catabwa is the same species. In this part of Illinois (southern) most of the locals pronounce Catalpa as Ca-Tall-Fee. The trees I have are large diameter with very few small branches. A cat pushed them out (root wads and all) about a month ago. After it dries out a little I plan on cuttin a few of them up.
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,348
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    Sounds like it could be really hard on the bar, chain, and sprockets. I did a bunch of clean-up work on pipeline construction where they buldozed the trees and it was a good thing they paid a saw allowance cuz 100% of the allowance went into bars, chains, and sprockets.
  16. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,436
    Loc:
    S/W MI
    I've burning the catalpa during the days for about a week now and am convinced it is not a cold weather wood for gasifiers. It burns too quickly near the nozzle. It should do alright in an OWB or standard wood burner where the wood sets on the coals though.
  17. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    583
    Loc:
    Southern Calif.
    Tree Guys trimmed out Catapla last year 'cuz it's close to power lines and MIL-house. Anyway, we wound up w/ less than 1/4 cord of firewood from it, but it dried out quick and split like a dream. Didn't even really need the super-splitter maul - the old ax did just fine. It makes purty good kindlin' too.

    It sure does pop and crackle! In our old brick FP, we have to be real careful when we don't have the screen on.

    I don't think I'd pay very much for Catapla, but I'll take all I can get for free (or really cheap). I like splitting it.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page