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Finally found a use for Cottonwood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by tomahawk, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. tomahawk

    tomahawk Member

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    It's good for holding up heavy stuff, and that's about it.

    The other pic is just because I wanted to show off my wood. ;)

    Attached Files:

    ScotO, smokinj, Hills Hoard and 2 others like this.

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  2. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    I like your 'saw' and 'wheelbarrow'. Looks like you have yourself a helper or two.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  3. tomahawk

    tomahawk Member

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    A 4 and 2 year old - more "help" then I can handle sometimes. Can't wait till they can actually get in there and fling some wood around.
    ScotO, Blue2ndaries and TreePointer like this.
  4. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, The best help they can do now is taking a nap. remember those days well.:)
  5. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    By golly I think you have something there. That's more benefit than using it for firewood but it does go well with your avatar. "gopher wood" throw it on the fire and gopher more.
  6. tomahawk

    tomahawk Member

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    You "otter" know that's not a gopher.

    I have so much Cottonwood just lying around (I fell around 12 of them to let in more sunlight around the property) I needed to find some use for them. They'll burn but they smell like burnt urine.
    ScotO and StihlHead like this.
  7. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Yep. I finally got rid of the last of my last c-wood last season. No more pee smell for me.
  8. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    Mmm, burnt urine...
    chvymn99 and Jags like this.
  9. Trundle

    Trundle Member

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    Yep, cottonwood is definitely a wood of last resort for the stove. A buddy of mine who builds trailers mills it into 2" slabs and uses it for the decking.
    ScotO likes this.
  10. WoodMan33

    WoodMan33 New Member

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    Hate Cottonwood with a passion!! Its a cancer, not a tree should be its true definition! Its the most useless wood I can think of!! If it grew as fast it gave out btus and was not so evasive I might think otherwise!!
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Let us not forget there are many who do burn cottonwood and they get along just fine. The wood will stink when green but loses most of that smell as it dries. We have burned it many times but never at night because it won't hold the long fires like oak or others.
    HDRock and ScotO like this.
  12. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    I love the smell of burnt urine in the morning...
    napalm.jpg
    It smells like... black cottonwood.
    Shane N likes this.
  13. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    The flip side to that is here in the west, where Black Cottonwood has more BTUs than its related eastern species, but still stinks when burned even after 2 years of drying time. And the smell is just like my tom cat's pee. Its gawd awful. Its like asparagus pee though, and some people do not smell it (or male cat pee, for that matter).
  14. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I have three very tall ones I really would like to cut down. I have been tempted to do it, but only if I can burn it. You guys are sure putting a damper on that idea.;hm How can you smell it if it's burning in a stove?
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It only smells when you cut and split it. Once dry it is fine.
  16. tomahawk

    tomahawk Member

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    Nope. Like stated above the Cottonwood out here in the west stinks even when dried for 2-3 years, I know this from experience. Actually doesn't smell that bad splitting it, just when burning.

    And it doesn't stink up the inside but it's the air outside - if it's a cold night with some thick air the stench just sits in it and doesn't blow away easily.

    You can burn it and get some BTUs but it doesn't put out much and the smell (maybe our heavy air?) just makes me stay away.
    StihlHead likes this.
  17. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I'd take that cottonwood and mill it into boards. Make some rustic benches out of it, sell 'em at the local fall fairs this autumn....
    I milled the huge tulip poplars I cut down last summer, I'm going to make up some patterns and teach dear wifey how to build benches. She's got all kinds of idears (thanks to that damm Pinterest site), and I've got tons of "junk" wood to make 'em.....
    chvymn99, jeff_t, Shane N and 2 others like this.
  18. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    If I built anything out of them, they would be a bit too rustic... Nice idea though.
  19. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Naw...use your imagination. If you are anything like me, I like the rustic-ness of a handmade item. It has real character, not that generic store-bought Chinese junk......just my opinion.

    I'll post some pics of the stuff we make, when we get around to making it!
  20. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Na, those benches are cool man, mostly for outside but, done right ,in the right setting ,indoors to :)
  21. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Many a barn beam out there milled or hewn out of cottowood. People like think those old barns are built from solid oak, but that's not usually the case.
    ScotO and HDRock like this.
  22. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Exactly what he said, all over again. This is not your common eastern cottonwood species. Black c-wood (Populus trichocarpa) does not stink when it is cut or in the stacks, or only when it is burned green. If you burn it and open the firebox and throw in some more wood, and get a dose of c-wood stink. Or go outside and smell the wood smoke in the air and it stinks. Your neighbors will not be fond of you.

    I would no waste my time milling black c-wood, and no one likes that stuff around here in any form, really. There are too many other much higher value species around here to mill and play with. C-wood is less than a trash tree here, and useless for burning, smoking, milling or even landscaping with. They do use it for paper pulp and for making into strandboard (OSB) though, but it is not on any of the price lists for mill wood here. There is a lot of it, and I have posted about it over and over again here on this forum... but...

    Trying to educate you guys about western wood species is like nailing Jello to the wall or herding cats. Its just not gonna happen, is it? :rolleyes:
  23. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I milled the tulip for several reasons....first off, it was knot-free batch of wood, second off, there was over 2,000 bd.ft. of lumber there. And third, I just hated to waste it. Ended up with a really nice batch of otherwise useless wood.

    It'll make nice crafts for sure.
  24. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    As for what to do with the black c-wood trees, I would not cut and leave it as slash, as it will just sprout wherever it hits the ground. I have had many discussions with people around here as to what to do with c-wood. Most cut it up and give the firewood away on CL. Some try to sell it. I have cut, seasoned and burned it here and at my ex's place just to get rid of it. I have seen logging trucks of the stuff posted here for free (delivered even) on CL. There was a guy in Portland a few years ago that had over 100 cords of the stuff listed for free on CL and it took many months for him to get rid of it all. It will burn, and it does heat, but... no one with any knowledge of it wants it around here.
  25. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Yah, but tulip poplar (AKA: yellow poplar) actually has value. It is sold at a premium as milled wood at Home Depot, and has value at mills in the Midwest and the South that cut the stuff. And tulip is not a true poplar... its actually a magnolia.

    I can see not wanting to waste wood, and there are a lot of trash trees around here that have value, like Oregon white oak (barrels, great firewood), Madrone (flooring, great firewood), and Bigleaf maple (milling, firewood). Black c-wood has short fibers that give it low strength as lumber, but high quality as paper. So it is used mainly for pulp and OSB, but also for really cheap and flimsy crates and pallets, and as a cheap secondary wood in furniture.
    ScotO likes this.

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