Hardhack/Ironwood

thewoodlands Posted By thewoodlands, Oct 17, 2012 at 6:17 PM

  1. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands
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    The oldtimers in this area call it hardhack, grabbed this tonight. The circumference of the biggest round is 26.7035.

    This will be split then stacked with the Oak, I will be making my way back up to grab more that are topped off or blown over.

    zap
     

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  2. Thistle

    Thistle
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    Yup around 8"-9" diameter/40' tall is getting close to max size for them considering they're an understory plant.Biggest ones I see regulary around here are 5"-7" & a bit shorter.State record is just 12" diameter,I've heard of a few ancient ones in northern MI & WI that were almost 18",but they tend to be mostly hollow after that long...
     
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  3. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands
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    How small do you go before you just leave it in rounds and not split?

    zap
     
  4. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z
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    Thistle hit it right on the head! 6-8" diameter is what we get around here.

    Gary
     
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  5. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands
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    Gary, I think the biggest Ironwood we have is 34 inches in circumference.

    zap
     
  6. Thistle

    Thistle
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    If its extra dry when I find it & cut it,I leave most whole up to 5" -6". A handful that size get split in half for variety & especially when they're damp or have extra thick bark like Bur Oak. I still like keeping a few more 7"--8" whole for when I'm gone several hours or those extra cold days/nights.
     
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  7. Thistle

    Thistle
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    Most of the White Oaks around here arent as brilliant with their fall color because of the drought,the Hickories are a dull yellowish brown instead of usual yellow gold.But the Ironwoods seem nice as usual.
     

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  8. Shane N

    Shane N
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    Where did you get that trailer? Looks nice! :) I need to find a bigger one, and that one looks like the perfect size.
     
  9. rideau

    rideau
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    I'm surprised 12 inch diameter is a record. And, Zap, it looks like that ironwood you have still to cut is a good size....

    I'm going to have to check the circumference of some of mine. While many just die when they are 6-9 inches in diameter, I have quite a few that are substantially larger than that.

    The one across from the east side of my house, just by the woodpile and adjacent to a good sized maple (read > 30 " diameter), is about 11 1/2 inches in diameter at 5 foot height at this point. Its lowest branch is starting to die. It's way too close to the maple, but I couldn't cut it. When it does go, it will heat the house well and long. Ironwood is fabulous firewood, burns long and hot. I don't split any ironwood rounds that will fit in my stove door. Ironwood dries really well in the round, is usually beautiful and totally bug free. I always keep a good amount of really clear ironwood in the house and stacked in the basement. One good sized log in the back of my stove will burn for many, many hours. I keep mine for really cold weather, or really bad weather (when I don't want to go out to the woodpile to haul wood).

    Have you ever counted the rings on a 9 inch diameter Ironwood? On my land, those trees are often 80 or more years old. Really dense, heavy wood. At some point, I'll weigh a few logs that I have had in the house, dry for many years, and post their volume and weight.

    I have really shallow soil. Despite all my trees' very shallow roots, I find that the ironwood has a small enough crown that it seldom goes over in the wind when it dies. So I never cut an ironwood down unless it is somewhere where it is a safety risk. If I leave them standing, they dry standing, don't rot, don't get bugs. Eventually the very base, right at the roots, will rot and the tree will either lean way over or fall. Then, I go cut it.
    Usually even part of the root system is still solid..the tree itself always is. And all the branches are always ready to burn immediately, as also, not unusually, is the trunk.

    At the moment I have a big Ironwood at the very edge of the top of the cliff in front of the house, blown so it uprooted about four years ago. It went over about ten degrees and hung up in a large tree (that is gowing just a few feet down the cliff); it still has some roots in the ground. It is still growing well!!..and there is no way I can cut it without the entire tree going down the cliff...there is so much beautiful wood in that tree that it makes me sick thinking about it going down.
     
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  10. bogydave

    bogydave
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    26.7035. Inches?
    A big Micrometer to measure the diameter eh?

    The BTU of the hardhack will be a great addition to the oak stack. ;)
    I'll have to stick with birch ;hm
     
  11. TimJ

    TimJ
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    Ironwood is both Hop Hornbeam and American Hornbeam. The American will not get very round. Completely different to what Zap is cutting
     
  12. fishingpol

    fishingpol
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    I was just going to ask if he was cutting a different variety. All the ironwood around here looks like an elephant leg. All sinewy bark and smooth. Dense and a bit heavy.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Ehouse

    Ehouse
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    If you split it by hand, turn the open face away from you. It likes to throw a center spoke right at your privates!

    Ehouse
     
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  14. Thistle

    Thistle
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    That's American Hornbeam or Musclewood.Also called Ironwood like Hophornbeam,both are distant cousins & in the Birch family.What zap & I have are Hophornbeam.
     
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  15. rideau

    rideau
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    Mine is hophornbeam too.

    Never heard it called hardhack, but can see where it would get that name. Some of mine, even that growing in the woods, spirals around many times from base to summit.
    Can be some fun to split.

    All over the world, the densest, toughest wood in a particular region may be called Ironwood, as well. I usually try to double identify mine when initially referring to it, but didn't, I guess likely because Zap had the pictures attached...

    Have never seen American ironwood. Is it superior firewood? I don't think I have ever seen it is a cordwood/BTU table.
     
  16. TimJ

    TimJ
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    I have American Horbeam and it stays small. I never found a dead one until a few days ago and I cut it up to try. I only got maybe 7 small 3" rounds.
     
  17. fishingpol

    fishingpol
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    Same around here, pretty small. Someone told he once that they were used for mallet heads and tool handles.
     
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  18. Thistle

    Thistle
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    Hophornbeam/Ironwood,Black Cherry base.
     

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  19. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands
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    We have some of that muscle wood, just not that big.

    zap
     
  20. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands
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    We bought it from our local boat dealer who sold them for ice fishing (they offer a ski kit for it) I think the company is out of Canada.
    http://www.rescraft.com/trailers.html

    zap
     
  21. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned
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    Looks like you'll have a busy upcoming weekend.
     
  22. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands
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    Looks like Sunday will be the only good day this weekend. Still have a big Cherry up top that I want before we get a good snow, after I get that it's stacking time.

    zap
     
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  23. Waulie

    Waulie
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    Ironwood (hophornbeam) is my favorite! As for what to split, I agree with Rideau. Ironwood dries very well in the round and is a pretty low moisture wood to begin with. I have a half cord or so for this winter that I cut last summer, and it is very dry.

    I have a couple live ironwoods in the 12" diameter range that look good. Who knows, in 40 years they might be 14" in diameter. :)

    Ironwood does throw sparks when burning (and when cutting now that I think about it). So, if you open your door with ironwood in it, watch out!
     
  24. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn
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    Thisle, You a turner too?
     
  25. Thistle

    Thistle
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    Almost 20 yrs,yes. Bowls,platters mostly,occasional small vase,box or candlestick,table leg.Dont do as much now as in the past though.
     
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