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Green or Dry - Which cuts easier?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by ManiacPD, Oct 6, 2009.

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  1. ManiacPD

    ManiacPD Member

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    Every year I order a truckload of treelength right before mud season (mid/end of March). As soon as I get it I work it up while it is still green.

    This year I bought a second load and let it sit. I started sawing it a few days ago and it seems the green wood was more difficult to saw than the seasoned logs I'm working on now. I'm using the same saw and chain. Based on this I think I'll let it sit from now on and work it up in the fall.

    Anyone else have any insight?

    Thanks

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I cant tell any real differences
  3. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    I can't say for sure, but... from a wood turning perspective, anything I turn on the lathe I try to do green, as the wood fibers tend to separate/cut easier than dry/seasoned wood does.

    HOWEVER, I definitely think rounds split easier when dry, they seem to pop apart.

    -just my .02
  4. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Sawing I don't notice any difference, and splitting. . . I think the conifers split easier if the rounds have aged a while while deciduous species seem to split a lot easy when green.
  5. ManiacPD

    ManiacPD Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I've got some big maple and beech (22" - 27") and they seem to cut easier when dry. I guess I'll be letting it sit a while even if it's just all in my head!
  6. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    green pine and green oak seem to cut a lot easier green to me.

    I'd rather do all cutting and splitting in the cool days of Winter , but pine sure seems to split easier when it is frozen.
    However, pine is a when-you've -got-nothing-better-to-do wood (for me), and those days tend to exist only in Winter when there's not much else to do outside.

    I've come across some dead quite a while but still standing oak that was like cutting stone.
  7. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Minister of Fire

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    I guess it depends on the species of wood, but I can tell you that if you had your choice of cutting Hickory or Black Locust green or dry you certainly would vote for GREEN!
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    hit it with some hores power it'll be alright! lol
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Green is easier on the saw. When it comes to splitting, YMMV.
  10. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I cut some green white oak a while back it it was a PITA, started with a sharp chisel chain and it tore it up. It got so hot it took the paint of the bar! It was a 90* day and the bar oil wasn't staying on the chain so that may have contributed to the problems. I then cut the same wood to length a month later with the same chain just sharpened and it cut like butter. It's the only time I've noticed such a difference in fresh vs letting it sit a little.
  11. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    That's every tree I cut! And you're right. Green oak, at least in my opinion, cuts easier than dead. The easiest splitting, green or dead, is when it's frozen.
  12. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

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    Aint nothin like lettin large rounds of pine, fresh cut, oozin juice, sit out in the freezer for a week. they seem to split in half with 2 hits, and section out with less force. If not frozen then green still seems to split esier than seasoned.
  13. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    Yes, I don't notice any difference at first, but the chain does - seems to stay sharper longer with green.
  14. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    thats not a good idea, unless you are a year ahead. you dont want to buck and split in the fall to burn that winter... those logs will NOT be dry. they may be drier than green, but nowhere ready to burn.
  15. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    ManiacPD yup Andy is right. Wood doesn't start seasoning until it's split...so the sooner you can process those logs the better off your household will be. As far as ... 'more difficult to cut' hummm I dunno there may be a marginal difference but with properly maintained saw and chain it would be hard for most to detect any difference.
  16. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I haven't noticed much of a difference when sawing . . . but when splitting some wood such as maple and elm I have noticed a difference. I cut several maples into rounds last year . . . split up most of it then and there, but some of the rounds I left whole . . . and then when moving it into my shed this year decided to split those rounds since they were still a tad larger than I liked . . . and they split wicked easy.

    As for elm . . . no contest. Last year I split several elms that had been standing dead for several years with the bark falling off . . . the rounds would pop and split cleanly with few issues. This year I split up some fresh-cut elm and realized pretty quickly that anyone who splits by hand would really, really, really grow to hate splitting fresh cut elm -- incredibly stringy and nasty to split even with a hydraulic splitter when fresh . . . a major change from my splitting experience the year before.

    That said . . . my opinion is the same as Andy's.

    Good: If you don't have a lot of time, this Fall you should cut your wood that you're hoping to burn in 2010-2011 to stove-length . . . and in early Spring start splitting.

    Better: If you have a little more time, this Fall you should cut your 2010-2011 wood to stove length and split it.

    Best: If you have the time, this Fall you should cut your 2010-2011 wood to stove length, split it and stack it . . . this will give you the best results for next year's burning.
  17. ManiacPD

    ManiacPD Member

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    Yes, I know this. I bought the second load this year to get a year ahead.

    It was cut in late July and delivered in early August so it's been sitting about 2 months. It is mostly Beech. The processor ended up scraping off about 2/3rds of the bark from each log. This stuff is unbelieveably dry for two months old. Of course, it stopped raining in August and September after what seemed like monsoon season this spring. Those sunny, windy days did a nice job drying it out.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure how beech could get unbelievably dry after only a couple of months?!
  19. derecskey

    derecskey New Member

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    I always get jealous hearing people talk about splitting when frozen. That's near impossible in the snowbelt in Northeast Ohio, where if it's frozen, it's also covered in snow and sheets of ice. I recently heard that Ohio's snowbelt, just east of Cleveland, is the 7th snowiest place in the country. Looking at a map, you wouldn't guess that.
  20. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    In my mind (its crowded in there) green cuts better whether its oak, elm, chokecherry, or ash. It seems the sap is a added lubricant. I may be all wet, or my chain may be. I dulled a chain and burned a bar in no time on dead elm. I also cut a long dead oak down, then dropped the live one next to it...same variety, and there was a noticable difference. Maybe the farmbossessss just like wet stuff :lol:
  21. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    How much power do the hores you know have? ;-)
  22. crazy_dan

    crazy_dan New Member

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    I will go with it depends on flavor of the tree. some of the stuff we got around here (lots of hard woods) some of the trees I have cut tha have fallen on their own and have sit long enough for there to be no bark on it will make your chain throw sparks, they tell me that it is iron wood but IDK.
  23. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    7 on my big horse!
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    One great way to tell which is better; green or dry, is to cut one that is green and then cut one that is dry. Like quads says, his is like rock and all of his is dead.

    Here is a good experiment for anyone who has such. Take an elm that has died and all of the bark (not part, but all) has fallen off and it is still standing. Cut a green elm, then cut that dead elm. Which one is hardest on your saw chain? That should tell you a bit about which is easier.
  25. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    Well, my experience with White Oak has been the exact opposite! Green, my saws go through it like a warm knife through butter, dry it's a total PITA........


    NP
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