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Eastern Cedar??

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by XJma, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. XJma

    XJma Member

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    Hi,
    I have a bunch of what is commonly referred to as 'eastern red cedars' on my property. I have a whole planted row of them, a few of which I could get rid of/use for heat. They're decent sized, 40' or so with trunks 16-20" or so at the base, which is a little on the short side compared to all the huge pines I have and all the oak and maple that is the predominant species in my area. The deer LOVE the low lying branches, or what's left of them!!

    A friend of mine who knows about these things, or at least should, has told me that they are in fact juniper trees.

    I saw a chart that said cedar was decent to burn, but juniper only fair, so I'm confused. Is this stuff worth burning? How long to season? Thanx!

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  2. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    Eastern Red Cedar=Juniperus virginiana. The wood is not very dense, maybe between sassafras and silver maple. Does make really good snappy kindling if you can split it small. I'd think it would season fine in one year.

    Your confusion is understandable. I can think of trees in five different genera that are called "cedar." That's why it's important to know and use scientific binomials (AKA "Latin" names).
  3. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    I've burned some and really liked it. Can't speak to the seasoning time, but i would guess it would be ready for next fall. Nothing smells better
  4. XJma

    XJma Member

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    Yeah I have burned it outside before and it smells great!
  5. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    Both woud be better suited for a fire pit, however if it is what you can get, I say go for it.
    I think Juniper has a more pointed (sharp) needle, where Cedar is a softer flat needle.
    will711 likes this.
  6. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Every 2-3 years I'll score some either on CL or just stacked along the curb someplace.Biggest ones (over 14") are milled for random sized woodturning blanks,other uses.Scraps/slabs etc used for fuel.Great for Fall/Spring burning,smells great,dries in a year,very quick to light.

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  7. XJma

    XJma Member

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    I don't have a lathe, but my friend has a small one that he uses to turn wooden plugs with! Probably just burn most of it though. Those pics of the cedar look amazing! Petty cool looking wood.

    How would it compare to burning pine? Similar?
  8. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    About the same I'd imagine over all.A bit denser than a couple certain pines but much less than southern or some western ones.
  9. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    If the deer eat them what you have is Thuja occidentalis common name white cedar or arborvitae . Ok fire wood nothing great fire pit, shoulder season btu's are btu's.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It will burn okay after a year. Just don't stuff the firebox full of it. Mix it with other wood and you'll be fine.
  11. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    Thats some awesome looking lumber / firewood, way different than the Western red cedar we have out here
  12. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    Lets see some turnings...

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  13. XJma

    XJma Member

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    Really?? These things are old and look nothing like the arborvitaes you typically see....I would guess planted in the early 60s when the previous owner first moved in. They're real tall and like real trees with a decent canopy.

    Here, I found a few, not really close-up of the trees. I'll take better ones as soon as I can....or, as soon as I'm home when it's light out!
    Behind the sled in the background and to the left of it are a line of them.
    [​IMG]
    These pics weren't intended to be looking at the trees. Brother flipping the quad over. He's actually a pretty good amateur motocross rider, just messin around.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  14. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    Yes really the Thuja occidentalis can grow to 40' to 60' high with a 10'-15' spread. common name is American arborvitae , or white cedar. If the foliage is flat and soft to the touch that's what you have. The arborvitae that you see planted in landscapes around homes are all cultivars bred for size , color and shape. The big fellow is the parent. Deer love to eat them.
  15. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    Well, XJma, I still think your friend was right. Looks like Eastern Red Cedar (J. virginiana) to me. Easy way to tell when you cut one: if it has that fabulous red/purple color you see in Thistle's pix, it's def J. virginiana.
  16. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    +1 on this, XJma you said deer love to eat it so that was my clue to White cedar deer are not as fond of the juniper,but if they are hungry enough they will eat it.
  17. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Those are Red cedar. They burn well. If in a fireplace they pop like crazy so beware in a stove dont care. I burn it when its near or on the groud. It will season laying there whole. I dont like the million branches to trim though. I cut some up that a logger of mine cut this spring and were laying whole on the ground. I cut them about 4-6 weeks ago, and there already at 25% MC measured on the ends of the fresh cuts.

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