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Is this Shagbark Hickory and approx yield

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by TheBaron, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. TheBaron

    TheBaron New Member

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    Loc:
    Eastern ON, Canada
    Good afternoon

    First post in the woodshed. I was wondering if I can get a few opinions on a tree I found on my folks lot. Attached are a few pics of the tree (fallen).

    Is this Shagbark Hickory? I believe it is... This wood I'd a more desirable species for burning, but I've never burned it before. Also, based on the size of it, beer can as reference, how many cord of wood would I expect (very approximate).

    It just came down in the last few weeks.

    Attached Files:

    smokinj, ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.

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  2. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    Yes Baron, that is Shagbark Hickory, and although pictures can be decieving, I would say you will get a little over a half cord with the tree that is leaning.
    Also, welcome to the woodshed
    ScotO likes this.
  3. TheBaron

    TheBaron New Member

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    Thanks Tim. Up until now, I have always paid someone to harvest wood, split it and drop it off in a pile on my driveway. My parents having a large acreage with lots of good hardwood trees has made me rethink that. I like the independence of going from the start to the end (tree to heat) with my own hands, hence my interest in harvesting this tree for firewood.

    I will do a lot of research (here and elsewhere) on safety and chainsaw use. Get this bad boy split (probably rent a splitter), and then haul it back to my house to be stacked and sit for 20+ months before use (winter of 14/15). Hopefully that gives it enough time to dry out.

    How would this compare in burn characteristics to hard maple (sugar maple is what I burn now mainly)?

    ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  4. Motor7

    Motor7 Feeling the Heat

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    ScotO likes this.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the Wood Shed Baron.

    Firewood just does not come much better than that! Also the fact that you plan on drying this stuff for at least 20 months is good. Yes, you may want to rent a splitter for this too.

    Many of us enjoy the whole swing of things from felling the tree, bucking it up, splitting, stacking, putting in stove, cleaning ashes and finally putting those ashes where they will do some good. In our case, the ashes are spread lightly on our vegetable gardens.

    One small bit of warning though. Apparently you do not have experience with the chain saw. Be very careful where you get your advice!!!! Especially on youtube. There is lots of poor advice out there and also poor videos. For some pro videos, Stihl is one web site that has some good videos on the care and feeding of the saw. I think they also have some felling and bucking videos but don't remember for sure. Just be sure you get pro advice and not redneck advice.

    As for the chain saw, I have no fear of it but do have the utmost respect for it. Just consider how it rips through a large piece of wood and then realize that wood is not the only thing it can cut. Also if you buy a saw, especially for your first saw, don't think you have to get the big saws. First, consider what you will be cutting and that will tell you how long of a bar you need. Then it is just a matter of choosing the right hp for the saw.

    Here is one good example. Our large saw is a Stihl 290 and it has only a 16" bar. That bar is long enough to cut 99% of the trees we have on our place so we just don't need a longer bar and the 290 has plenty of hp to run the chain. We recently acquired a Stihl 180, which is the smallest saw they sell. I love it! $200 bought it too. In fact, I now find myself reaching for the small saw most of the time. So far I've cut 20" diameter for the largest and that was oak. The saw performed way above my expectations.

    Good luck.
    Nixon, Thistle, ScotO and 2 others like this.
  6. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    A stove load of half hickory and half sugar maple runs 50 degrees hotter for me for 1-1/2 hours, and coals longer as well. I don't run full stove loads full of hickory - always mix it half and half - since I have to watch the stove too much during the first hour of burn time to avoid 700+ degree temperatures.

    Give the wood a good 20 months in wind and sun and you will be happy with the result.
    Thistle and ScotO like this.
  7. TheBaron

    TheBaron New Member

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    My next big project after tackling this tree is going to be building a wood shed that is simple and performs well in terms of drying and ventilation.
    Thistle and ScotO like this.
  8. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    You'll want hydraulics for hickory
    Stuff tends to be knarly especially when large like that
    Dry stuff is extra tough on chains
    Thistle, smokinj and ScotO like this.
  9. TheBaron

    TheBaron New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I will also aim for a really cold day to help it split more easily.

  10. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Great stuff, that shagbark hickory.....
    Great advise in this forum too, welcome to the 'shed, BTW.
    Don't forget to make a small batch of those slivers for cooking on the grill or firepit. Gives some of the best flavor of any wood ('cept for applewood), even the bark is good to use for smoking meats......
    Thistle and basod like this.
  11. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Cutter up butter cup. One way to the center of a toosie pop! Great find.
    Thistle, basod and ScotO like this.
  12. TheBaron

    TheBaron New Member

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    It's funny because until I started burning wood again I didn't notice all the trees and their possible contribution towards my warmth and pocketbook. Now on the way out of there today I saw a huge sickly looking red oak and another monster shagbark that could use some horizontal loving. Maybe some vertical splitting! .:)

  13. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Both are primo wood. Top of the BTU charts.
    The hickory has multi uses, heat & cooking ;)
    Nice finds :)
  14. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    You've got access to land now...Don't rent a splitter for a single tree. Get some rounds piled up and then go rent one so you can get some decent bang for your buck. Ask for a Sunday rental from someone other than HD. You'll pick it up on Saturday early afternoon and split for a few good hours without charge.
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Don't be afraid to venture over to The Gear forum for some advice regarding anything you need (and how to use it) to harvest your own firewood. We'll learn ye' the right way sure.
  16. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    NE Ohio
    Nice old Shagbark there. My place here in Ohio if full of them and their smooth bark cousins. Awesome burning BTU gold mine! I often mix it with some ash for a great burning blend!

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