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Cherry or Elm

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by vdog, Apr 7, 2010.

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  1. vdog

    vdog Member

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    I have made a haul on some cherry and elm. Just curious, I used mostly oak and some cherry last year and a tiny bit of elm. Which do you guys prefer, cherry or elm. They reason i ask if I have to pick one or the other to get split for the season, which should I split first. Once i get the one split the other will be bulding for next year. I also have some oak for next year. Thanks.
    Scott

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I'd go for the Cherry, it splits easy and dries fast. Elm is a major PITA to split and if it's not standing dead it holds a ton of water.
  3. vdog

    vdog Member

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    Your right on both counts. I love splitting cherry it really makes me feel like a lumberjack. The elm I am going to have use a Hydro splitter, and it live and very wet. But what i have spit is drying fast.
  4. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I would do the cherry first because I like it better but the elm will dry pretty fast once you have it split. Good idea to use the splitter on the elm it's no fun to do by hand but the cherry is nice one good swing most times gives you a nice split.
  5. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Me . . . I would do both since you can never have too much wood or be too far ahead . . . but that said . . . if I had to pick . . . cherry . . . splits easier, seasons a bit faster . . . and it smells really nice . . . heck I often find myself splitting some cherry and then picking it up and sniffing it as if it was a fine wine . . .

    Also, good call on the splitter . . . fresh-cut elm can be miserable to split . . . even with a splitter I sometimes end up with some hellacious looking splits.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Scott, because you asked which one, that says you split by hand. So naturally I have to agree with the others but then, cherry is better wood than elm anyway. For the elm, you may need some hydraulic assistance.
  7. vdog

    vdog Member

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    Yes Backwoods Savage a hydraulic splitter is in my future but not in the budget right now. So the Fiskars SS is doing most of the work. I borrow some friends wood splitter from time to time. That it the plan to get the elm split. Do you guys think one has more btus than the other?
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    vdog, I do think cherry is better than elm. I also think elm is much better if you wait until the tree is entirely dead and the bark has fallen off at least 90% of the tree. Then when you cut the tree (it will cut a little harder now) you will find that the wood splits much, much easier and most of it will not be the typical stringy crap you get when you split from a live elm. Also, most of that wood can then be split by hand without so much cursing.

    The problem with burning elm is if you cut the tree when still green it ends up stringy after splitting and also while splitting the fibers tend to separate even more. This causes the wood to dry super fast but also causes the wood to burn up super fast. Cut that tree after it is dead though and the wood will burn much more like the cherry and very well may equal it. Also, if you wait until the tree is dead, most of the top part of the tree is ready to burn then but the bottom part will need some drying time.
  9. vdog

    vdog Member

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    I will get the Cherry split and stacked first. Both the cherry and elm were taken down live for forest project. They are being replaced with oak species. so they were live when taken down and the elm is loaded with water. But free wood is good wood.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    What kind of Elm? If your lucky it is Rock Elm which is way up there in BTU's like Oak. American, Red or Siberian are on par with Cherry as far a BTU's go.
  11. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Split the Cherry. Unless you have a hydro splitter let the Elm rot. I had a dead Elm cut down at my house a few years ago. I was so happy to get all the wood to burn. My maul just bounced off it and the wedges just buried themselves in it. I stacked it nicely out on the street. somebody took most of it, the rest is still there, and it will stay there.
  12. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I kinda like elm. I had some this winter.

    It was dry, and I knew the stove would take off with it, after loading 1 piece 2 seperate times.

    We did not, how ever split it.
  13. ohio woodburner

    ohio woodburner Feeling the Heat

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    With all this talk of a hydro splitter our northern neighbors might be thinking that we're splitting with water :p I'd definitely split that cherry first and it should be good to go this winter. The cherry i burn seems to season fast.
  14. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    I scored about a cord of Elm off of Craigslist last year. It had been standing dead for two years or so before the land owner had it cut down. While I admit that it IS tough and stringy, believe it or not my Fiskars SS burns through the 24" rounds and smaller with NO problem.........



    NP
  15. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I had not upgraded to my Fiskars yet when I was dealing with that Elm. Maybe I should pull some out of the woods and try again with my Fiskars.
  16. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    The Fiskars will split stuff I had trouble with before, you just never know.
  17. vdog

    vdog Member

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    Using the fiskars SS, what I found was that the big trunks dont split bad at all, the peices 12 in and smaller, their is going to be some cussing going on.
  18. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I've been working on a lot of Cherry and Red Elm lately...all standing dead. Splitting by hand.

    Cherry is easy.

    Elm is not too bad if it is straight and dead. One or two smacks and it will pop for me. If it has knots slab off what you can from the sides and hope what's left will fit in stove.

    Green elm is terrible to split by hand. I've found Chinese elm is the worst of all Elm...we have about 4 varieties down here (Red, Chinese, Slippery, and one other that I don't know what it is, but it's not the 3 I listed).
  19. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    American Elm would be my guess
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