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How long should Osage Orange season?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by derbygreg, Jan 20, 2009.

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  1. derbygreg

    derbygreg New Member

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    I have read where a few months is fine and where the bark needs to fall off for it to be seasoned.

    I've got a boat load of it coming and will split it the week it is cut. What is your experience?


    We are selling some of it to be milled for lumber, this is some great hardwood.

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  2. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    If I were going to save it for myself to be burned, I would let it season for two summers. I'm sure it could be burned sooner, but it's dense wood and takes some time to dry out.
  3. derbygreg

    derbygreg New Member

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    I understand that as I cut some last March and am burning it now. It still seems to be kind of green. The splits are OK, but the rounds are very slow to light.
  4. awoodman

    awoodman Member

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    I'd like to see some of that twisted up stuff milled for lumber. Nice how bright yellow it is when first cut then turns orange with age.

    Been burning that stuff for years, so dense it dosent hold much water I am mixing fresh hedge (small chunks) with seasoned elm right now.

    All the wood I have ever burned seems to be aged in 1 season.
  5. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    I'm burning a small amount of Osage this season and I'll be burning a whole lot more next season. It seems to season pretty quickly, but I'll give it at least 8 months. Mine lost it's bark before it was completely seasoned. Be careful when you burn it, because it behaves kind of oddly. When I have Osage in the stove and it's in full burn, it reacts violently when the door is opened and a large amount of air is introduced to it. Huge showers of tiny sparks gush out of the stove, kind of like a sparkler on steroids. And don't even think about flipping a log over. The sparks are usually very small, but I would think they can still char things in the room. The sparks will go right through a screen too.
    Even with the sparks, I still love this wood. It burns long and hot.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    If I leave my Osage in any sizable rounds, I like to see 2 years worth of seasoning. If split, 12-18 mo. It is a low moisture wood, but really does better if allowed to season for awhile.

    In the round, it will always seem to start off slow. As a matter of fact, I will not go from cold startup using Osage because of that. You are talking about some VERY dense stuff. Get a good bed of coals going, then toss the stuff on. I will typically mix it with other woods instead of using an entire load of osage. Once again, I just seem to get better performance from it that way.

    I love burning Osage. If white oak is the gold standard, then Osage is the Platinum. Closest thing to coal that grows in my opinion.
  7. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    That has been one thing on my 'to do' list. Can't say I've ever seen it as lumber, but I thought it would be neat to saw some up...maybe a couple of cross grain pieces and a couple of quartersawn pieces, sand it and polish it just to see what it looks like. I don't know that it would be anything spectacular, but who knows.

    As for seasoning, if I cut/split early in the spring and it sets through one hot summer, it will be ready in the fall. But further north/east might extend that time.

    +1 on the sparks...had a log 'go off' just last night. I wish there were a way to harness that for the 4th of July! Though the sparks are usually small enough (think metal grinding sparks or smaller) so there isn't much danger of them setting anything on fire, but it sure is a show.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    The stuff is like it is loaded with tiny little machine guns shooting tracers.
  9. Risser09

    Risser09 New Member

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    I popped my Osage cherry on Friday night. A friend gave me 4 big splits and I burned 2 of them. I'm going to save the other two for next year, because who knows if I'll be able to track some down for myself. I grabbed a bunch of the fruit from a local tree (off the road) and I plan on starting some trees from seed. Maybe in 40 years I'll thank myself for doing so, or my kids/grand kids will.

    Anyway, the spark showers are tremendous. I like how one spark shoots out by itself and then pops into 30 other sparks–just like fireworks.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't plant the dang things in your yard. Yuck. What a mess.
  11. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    They're ok to have in your yard if they are males. Only the females bear fruit. We have 2 within the yard itself and they're not a problem. It's actually a handsome tree if you keep it trimmed. There are a lot of females in the woods and when they drop they're fruit, I throw them in random directions.
    I think they grow fast enough that a person could plant them and burn them in their lifetime.
  12. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    They can grow fast, but then you're cheating yourself out of some of 'The Hedge Experience' (TM) What 'ya really need is some wood from a choked up hedge row, or a thick section of woods. These trees have been fighting for sun, water and food their whole lives, have probably 10-15 (or more) growth rings per inch of trunk and are just incredibly dense wood. A couple of logs will burn all night and still be hot enough to cook breakfast on in the morning!
  13. derbygreg

    derbygreg New Member

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    As far as milling the wood, the AEP butchers are taking the trees down. Since the wood is on land that belongs to a friend of mine, I have talked to the crew chief and insist that they be left in the longest possible logs - The only stuff they are to chip is the small thorny branches.

    Some of these trees are very large and straight. AEP is taking down probably 40 plus trees, so I contacted someone to mill some of them. The deal is I and the owner of the land get some of the milled wood. I too am anxious to see how it looks.

    I plan to post pictures of the milled wood.
  14. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    I hear so many great things about this wood, I wish I had some growing near me. I have to suffer with mixed oak and hickory! :cheese:
  15. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    Well ain't that just a shame.
    I'll trade you a cord of Osage for a cord of hickory.
  16. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    Hickory is great, isn't it?
  17. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Ive got some hedge thats season for atleast 5 years Wow its a hot fire for sure!
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