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How soon before I can split Poplar?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rudysmallfry, May 3, 2006.

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  1. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    I had a huge Poplar tree cut down last month. I've got it all stacked up off the ground to dry out. I'd like to spilt it as soon as possible, but so far it's way too wet. How long does it generally take until it can be split without feeling like I'm splitting glue? Also, I'm planning on renting a log splitter for the huge trunk sections. What's the fattest piece those splitters can take? This trunk is easily 2' across.

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Last time I split poplar I found it split real easy when wet. Just used an axe, didn't need a splitter. I would split and stack as soon as possible and it may be ready for this winter.
  3. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    I tried splitting a few 8" rounds, and they were so sticky that I couldn't get them to come apart completely. I was using an 8 lb maul. A regular axe would be better here? I'm not the strongest girl on the block.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Dry or wet isn't going to make a lot of difference. On the big guys ya have to slice steaks off of the outside to work your way into the heartwood. I have taken down a few of the big pops on my place and that is the only way to do the big stuff.

    Once you take the outside tension off of the big slices the inside comes apart pretty easily. In fact wrestling the big ones up to the splitter is more work than whittling them down by hand in place.
  5. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    I was planning on renting a splitter because I'm not sure I can split them by hand. I agree that trying to move around the big pieces would tend to break my back more than splitting them in place. I'm sore from stacking it all as it is. I'll give it another try this weekend. If I can just perfect my technique a bit, I might be able to do it. Luckily they cut the biggest stuff only about 12" tall, so I might stand a chance.
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