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Cutting a Big Pine Soon

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Electric B, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Electric B

    Electric B New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Loc:
    Middle Tennessee
    I have one or two large pines in my yard that I am going to drop soon, maybe today. Thanks to this forum I am going to keep them for my stash!

    How do you deal with pine once it is down? Do I need to buck/split it up the same day it is cut or would it be better to let it season in 8 to 10 ft sections a few years?

    Thanks for any input.

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  2. Gboutdoors

    Gboutdoors Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    138
    Loc:
    S.E. Massachusetts
    With my white pine I cut them into 16" rounds then let them sit for 3-6 months to help dry some of the sap. Then cut split stack for 6- months and it's good to go at about 17% on the MM.

    Others here say it takes them 2+ years to season it but I am burning pine I cut and stacked last winter. Maybe it's the white pine?
    eclecticcottage likes this.
  3. Electric B

    Electric B New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
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    36
    Loc:
    Middle Tennessee
    It is white pine, I did not know what I need to do to avoid the sap!
  4. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
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    340
    Loc:
    Western WIsconsin
    Once the tree is down, cut into rounds of whatever length you want and split ASAP. All wood doesn't start drying much until it is split. Throw all the branches into a pile an burn.

    Sap is sap, it won't hurt anything and it comes off with WD40.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  5. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
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    762
    Loc:
    Western North Carolina
    In my experience pine is okay to leave in tact if it falls in a storm (or even if you cut it) and it happens to land in such a way that most of it isn't touching the ground. Where I live in the foothills of western NC we have a lot of ravines on our property and I had a large pine tree come down in a storm where it spanned a ravine almost like a bridge. I left it out there for two years until I had space in one of my sheds to store it as firewood and it was in fine shape when I finally harvested it. However, once it gets flat on the ground out in the elements termites and other critters will get working pretty quick. As for disposing of all the waste material I like to either leave it in the woods to naturally decay or if it's closer in to the house I'll dispose of it down one of the ravines rather than create a lot of smoke by burning it.
  6. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Messages:
    340
    Loc:
    Western WIsconsin
    My neighbor and I have cut down and burned about 175 red pine between our houses because they turn into telephone poles. They burn great with little smoke.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    826
    Loc:
    NJ
    Extreme cold, like single digit cold, makes the sap a non issue also.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  8. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    834
    Loc:
    Central NY
    If these are yard trees with extensive side branches, I would plan on using a hydraulic splitter. The hardest wood I ever had to hand split were spruce and pine rounds with extensive side branching. The hydraulic splitter worked pretty hard on them as well, once I resorted to that.
    Dune likes this.
  9. Adkjake

    Adkjake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Messages:
    207
    Loc:
    Adirondack High Peaks
    Ditto on the cut and split now. Especially if you get below freezing temps, sap less an issue, and pine splits real nice when frozen, colder the better
    Thistle likes this.
  10. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
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    Loc:
    UP Mich
    Yup, white pine that has a lot of branches on it is almost impossible to split with a maul. I wouldn't even attempt it.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. Gboutdoors

    Gboutdoors Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    138
    Loc:
    S.E. Massachusetts
    image.jpg image.jpg The pines I am cutting are from our back yard but that's all woods:). Adkjake has it right the easiest splitting is when it is frozen. That's another reason I let it sit a few months. I usually cut in the fall and early winter. Then split-stack mid winter. Here's a pic. Of a few rounds about to be split and stacked this week.
    Thistle likes this.
  12. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Jul 11, 2008
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    1,718
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    Borers will start munching from the bark inwards once it is cut. They proceed at a pretty steady pace and reduce the heating value plus introduces a source of rot. If you can get the bark off, they stop. Cutting it in rounds is good as it starts drying right away but if you can get it split within a couple of months, then the borers will not move in.
  13. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    529
    Loc:
    NY Capitol Region
    Pine cuts easy with a sharp chain.

    I'd slice it into "pucks" that will fit into your stove opening and leave them in a pile until next fall.

    Pucks will have a lot of open grain surface area to dry
  14. bob95065

    bob95065 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    130
    Loc:
    Felton, CA
    If you split the pines around here right after they are cut it's like hitting a sponge. They splash but don't split. Also there are boring insects that only attack the pines. They bore holes in the wood that are about 3/8" in diameter.

    If I get any if that pine I only bring home enough to burn in one year. I don't want those boring bugs turning into lying insects in the spring. If they like pine they probably like Douglas Fur and my house isn't that far from the woodpile.
  15. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    15,635
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    What I do . . . cut, split, stack whenever it is convenient realizing that the earlier the better it is . . . season . . . burn . . . enjoy . . . dump the ashes.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Although we don't usually cut much pine, the last 2 years we have cut some. In 2012 a neighbor had a couple of large limbs break off two white pines. That was in July. We cut them up on December 1 and there was no sap and all of the wood in both limbs, which were fairly large, was dry enough to burn right then. It surprised me.

    This year, almost the same thing happened but now the tops of those two trees came tumbling down. I don't remember for sure when but it was during the summer or early fall. Again, no sap issues. But, another neighbor wanted a bunch of pines taken down. Mostly scotch with a couple spruce for good measure. Over 20 in all. Of course lots of sap but it does no harm. Splitting will be interesting I'm sure.

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