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firewood facts

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Lanningjw, Nov 19, 2009.

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  1. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    All the splits in the pic are ~5"-7" across and ~16" long. The ones on top with the distinct white band around the outer perimeter are Pacific Yew. The tree trunk was ~12"-14" in diameter. The red stuff with little or no discernible bark is Madrone. The rest is Oak (I don't know specifically which species of Oak). All of these are the closest I can come to having hardwoods to burn, and they all came from ~200 miles and 2 mountain ranges to the west of where I live. They're native to the Pacific Northwest, but only over along the coast. I'm to the east in the high desert on Oregon's "dry side", where Juniper and Lodgepole Pine are the prevalent trees. This Yew is nothing like the ornamental shrubs and bushes that lots of folks call yew. Many of those, I'd venture, are more related to Pine, Juniper, and maybe Cypress. Pacific Yew is a distinctly different tree, and the wood is very nice to burn, especially in the absence of all the nice hardwood species so prevalent in other areas/climate zones. I'm really lucky when I can snag some of these kinds of woods. Rick

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  2. Cedrusdeodara

    Cedrusdeodara Member

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    Yews are all in the genus Taxus. Along with the Pacific Yew (T. brevifolia), there are other species. The most popular in the landscape are Taxus baccata (English Yew) and Taxus cuspidata (Japanese Yew). All are evergreen shrubs. They were also used in the past to make archery bows from the wood. The root systems are massive and often are as large and complex as what is seen above ground. Red berries/seeds are poisonous. Chemicals in the plants are also used to treat several forms of cancer.
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe I should chew on it instead of burn it. :roll: For an evergreen shrub, I'll take it when I can get it and burn it. Thanks for the interesting info. So, I think Pine is genus Pinus...what are Juniper and Cypress? Rick
  4. jhousek1

    jhousek1 Member

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    This season my firewood dealer told me all he uses for his own house is the pine he cuts. He said he doesn't sell it because no one wants it and thinks it is unsafe. I told him I planned on cutting my own trees and what his thoughts on pine was? He told me not to pass on it if its free......just clean chimney more frequently if I use it. And like so many on here he asked........What do you think the people in the Pacific Northwest use? They don't know what hardwood trees look like.
  5. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Been burning pine for years, still don't see creosote dripping in drools. Waiting for the infamous "pine wood burning death squad" to swoop down and send me to pine heaven ... or is it *ell? BTW, I'll burn any dry wood (except treated).
  6. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    Well, just to clarify we DO have some hardwood out here (i.e. White, Black, & Red Oak, Ash, Maple, Madrone, Yew, etc) that are "native" to the area, and of course the settlers brought a lot of trees with them from back east and so people have planted many varieties of hardwoods out here that do quite well like Black Locust, Apple, Pear, Hazelnut, Cherry, Black and English Walnut, etc. Still, the vast majority of our woods/forest (public and private) out here are comprised of conifers, but I wanted to dispel the myth that we "don't know what hardwood tree look like," lol!!

    NP
  7. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    I'm from the Northwest and sometimes get a little mixed up with my Softwood/Hardwood trees, so maybe one of you guys from out East can help me clear something up,,,, Is this a Hardwood, or a Softwood???
    [​IMG]
  8. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    The house I live in was built in 1960. It has a cinderblock foundation. There is at least one shrubby Yew within 3-5ft on one corner of that foundation. Any concerns there? That 'massive root system' talk is making me nervous.

    I have found, BTW, that these types of Yew do produce wood that burns well in my stove. It seasons and splits well. Burns pretty hot, though perhaps more like hardwood than dimensional pine lumber IMO. I seem to remember it coaling better, as well. Some of this wood gets up around 5in diameter, with more like 8in at the main trunk. I've got a pair of them flanking my driveway that are getting pretty big. Have to trim them back somewhat aggressively every couple of years. They are planted just a little too close in and tend to want to pinch off the driveway. One of them looks a little sickly. May have to take out out eventually. The wood will not go to waste. My stove is always hungry.
  9. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Hey, that looks like it's been PhotoShopped. I don't know if it's soft or hardwood, but it looks female. I'm just sayin'... :)
    (I'll leave the hardwood jokes for others)
  10. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    tell me shes wearing acid washed carhartt coveralls
  11. Cedrusdeodara

    Cedrusdeodara Member

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    Hey Rick, Juniperus for all Junipers. For Cypress, it depends which one you are talking about. Bald Cypress and Pond Cypress are in the Genus Taxodium, while Arizona Cypress and Monterey Cypress are in the Genus Cupressus (this is the same Genus as the popular Italian Cypress, but all are different species). Lawson/Port Orford Cypress is in the Genus Chamaecyparis, which means its actually a "False Cypress". The popular hedge evergreen Leyland Cypress is actually a hybrid between Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and the Alaskan Cedar/Cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) -- or it is a hybrid between a Cypress and a False Cypress . There are a few other trees around the world called Cypress that are different yet, so it all gets rather confusing.

    By the way, I wouldn't chew on any taxus. I believe most of the plant is poisonous, so the "cancer treatment" I believe comes from the poison part... kinda like chemotherapy... which is what the extracted chemical Taxol/Paclitaxel is used for.
  12. Cedrusdeodara

    Cedrusdeodara Member

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    No, I wouldn't worry too much, unless the tree is very old and large, it which case the top would be encroaching on your home as well. The large root system I am referring to only occurs after many years. Yews are routinely used for foundation plantings.
  13. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Hmmm- Well, I'm still not breathing easy just yet. The top of this bushy, low growing Yew is indeed making contact with the bricks. We're talking a nearly 50 year old 'bush'/shrub here. The branches tend to grow pretty long and spindly. This is in a setting that's in full shade until the trees drop their leaves in the fall. It's only about 8-10 ft tall, and is trying to grow low and wide. Probably a pretty slow grower over the years due to the shade. OK, I'm not nervous any more, only apprehensive. ;-)

    We have a couple out front that got partial full sun for 50 years and they grew to around 20 ft tall and much more robust branch sizes near the trunk.
  14. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Clutter, The Yew drops its leaves in the fall? Post a picture of this yew.
  15. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Nope- I'm just saying that it lives under a heavy canopy of deciduous trees, many topping out well over 100ft. Oak, Poplar, Maple, Cherry, Gum, various other stuff. It's in full shade from spring to fall, when it might otherwise grow the most. Sorry if I was that unclear in my writing.
  16. FireaddictSC

    FireaddictSC New Member

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    Ever burn a coon turd droped in early fall when they were hoggin on choke berries and corn.
    Neither have i ,,, but just lookin’ at one gives me the inklin that it wood burn 4 times as fast in the fire as it did comin’ out from way down yonder.


    This is halarious!!! Love this statememt!
  17. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Brian! Rick
  18. GeneralBill

    GeneralBill Member

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    Here in Western OR, logging operations will stack huge piles of oak and maple. I've been given as much as I can cut a few times. A fellow down the road has a deal where he is delivered a few trucks worth at a time then he cuts and sells. He'll did 110 cords a few years ago, looks like he does yet more now. During the worst part of the building downturn last year, I saw softwood being delivered.

    His oak was going for $220/cord last time I called. Makes me feel better about all the hours spent cutting and splitting.

    - Bill
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