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Killing Trees?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Yamaha_gurl, Jan 29, 2009.

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  1. Yamaha_gurl

    Yamaha_gurl New Member

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    Most people on here claim that a standing dead tree has less moisture then a live standing tree. So, would it make any sense to start killing trees you know you're going to cut down in the next couple/few years? Wood can't be too dry can it? :p How can you kill a tree? Other then by cutting it down?

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  2. garmar

    garmar New Member

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    I would just cut them down and split and stack them. Dead trees are dangerous and I wouldn't deliberately kill one so you have ready-made dry wood.

    I don't know of any ways to kill them. I also don't know if it can be too dry. I don't know much, do I? :down: Lol!

    I would say that dryness will be dependent on the environment. I like it to be as dry as possible. Usually, big cracks on the end and a gray appearance is good enough for my uneducated guess.

    I do push or cut dead trees down, but I'm extremely cautious and have a spotter or two to make sure I don't get killed by a falling branch.

    Be careful.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    be better just to drop it and leave it!
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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  5. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    I'd have to agree with the other posters. Dead trees can be unpredictable when cutting, so I'd have to say cut them when they're alive. However, you probably want to fell standing dead trees before cutting any live ones. This will help you better manage you're wood lot.
  6. FWWARDEN

    FWWARDEN Member

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    It's called girdling. You run two lines around the tree with the chainsaw. Cut deep enough to be all the way through the bark.
  7. kwikrp

    kwikrp Feeling the Heat

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    A friend of mine whomis an arborist said pour a gallon of bleach around the base, the tree will begin to die within a few weeks. I never tried it but he says he has and it works !
  8. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Please don't pour bleach on the ground, especialy in S.E. Mass. Bleach runs off into bays and estuaries and causes shellfish infant mortality. Any tree can be girdled with an ax in a minute or two.
  9. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    That's a great point. Is it better to pour down our drains?
  10. atvdave

    atvdave Member

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    Even dead tree's will still hold some moisture. Not as much as live one's but more that what you want to burn.

    The best way to get dry wood is to cut it in fire wood lengths, split it, and stack it to dry..
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Nope, not if you're on septic. If you send it to a central sewage system then it's fine. We'll take care of it.

    Why use bleach at all? I am also a fan of girdling but more to kill trees that are invasive. The tree dies, roots rot, and wind blows it over someday.
  12. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    FWWARDEN has got it right.....cut a couple rings around it and it's a goner......ain't no saving it then....but, as long as your going through the trouble, I say drop it, while the fall is still a bit more predictable........after all, there isn't anything called "a little dead"
  13. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Maybe others have different experience, but I don't know that I've noticed dead standing or dead/downed trees to dry very much in any reasonable amount of time...say a year or two. If you drop a tree and cut it into stove length logs, that seems to at least get the drying process started. I have some like that setting out in the woods now. Of course if it is on public land - it's just easy pickin's for the next guy to come along, but I'm hoping mine on private land is still there!
  14. fyrwoodguy

    fyrwoodguy Feeling the Heat

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    on a 12" tree would it not be better to cut in at least 1"-2" past the bark and into the tree deeper?
  15. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    I've found it takes a VERY long time for a tree to dry out unless it's cut up. Splitting the wood makes this happen even faster. You're far better off cutting it and splitting it ASAP. With that said, I do try felling trees a couple weeks ahead of when I'll actually be bucking them up if my schedule allows. By doing this, the tree will continue to use up as much of it's own internal moisture as possible before it completely dies (it starts the 'seasoning process for you!) So when I go to cut it up, the wood already has a little less moisture in it and it will be a little easier to move the rounds. The first two or three weeks this moisture is consumed fairly quickly (even faster when there are leafs on the tree), but after that it starts to slow down and the remaining moisture can remain for far longer than you probably want to wait.
  16. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Drop it and let it sit.
  17. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I have girdled trees, but then you have dangerous branches, and the tree is harder to cut and harder on the saw/chain by far.

    If you drop it and let it sit, there is little or no advantage, as it won't dry on the ground and may start to rot (though not in really cold weather). If you drop it now and process it as soon as the ground clears, then it should have less moisture than if cut in spring. Otherwise- wait until you can buck and split it.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I see people girdling trees around here and always wonder why bother. I also agree with the other posters about the possible danger in doing this. So....I am also with them on cutting it into firewood immediately.

    Yamaha_gurl, I don't know just what length of time you are wondering about, but wood, if properly taken care of will keep for many, many moons. For instance, we are over 7 years ahead on our firewood and I do not worry in the least. Also, this wood will not turn punky. We've burned wood that has been cut and stacked for over 10 years with no problem.

    Just cut the firewood, split it, stack it and leave it uncovered. The following late fall or early winter, you then cover it, but cover the top only. It will last years and years with no problem this way. If you plan on leaving it a long time, you could cover it right away, but we don't. We still leave it uncovered its first summer.

    Also, you can make some cheap runners for under the wood pile by simply cutting saplings or even use some small limbs. Lay down two of them and stack the wood on top. It works.

    Good luck.
  19. leaf4952

    leaf4952 Member

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    I don't know alot, but I did take a horticulture class in college and from that I gather a trees main sources of livelyhood are its leaves and its root system (sap flow). Cut those off & death begins. Obviously the fast human approach is cut at the base with a saw. Sure if there are nearby trees to hold it somewhat upright for a year while it ages that is the perfect hands off aging system. BUT MY WORD ! ! ! One has to be concerned about the odd wandering teenager, hiker, nature walker, or hunter happening though the woods. There is enough danger of falling deadwood by nature without man adding some more into the odds. Being a nature walker myself, I just think its irresponsible. I cringe simply driving up over quary ridge on my way to work when I see all the danglers above the road as I travel under. A forest which is mix of old timber & new. The Electric Co. comes in every year & trims & culls what they think might fall on thier lines when an ice storm might hit. They trim back quite a bit. Regardless there are even large trees within 12" of the road (no shoulder to speak of). The township is working on this problem but MY WORD why would anyone want to create this problem further into the woods where you already have a false sense of security just because there are other trees to slow the fall of a dead one ? I say cull all naturally down already, then responsibily remove the dead leaners. Dont create more dead leaners for the purpose of keeping it off the ground for your own convenience to harvest later. One of my customers got killed when taking a tree down. And he was a professional. Never underestimate the weight of a tree and the power of gravity. And the the stupidity of man for not thinking out all the possible angles & secarios he could be causing.
  20. Yamaha_gurl

    Yamaha_gurl New Member

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    Thanks all, guess this isn't a good idea. The trees would be from my dads property, about 30 acres...in which he doesn't walk around, and they would be only little less then one foot diameter trees, but as all said...I won't kill them.
  21. chunkyal

    chunkyal New Member

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    I have 15 acres of spruce and the driest Ive split thus far (this is only my second winter) was some of the standing dead - much more so than any of the fallen (even the ones that were lying just above the ground). I dont know if this is specific to the species or just my experience. Also they're handy if (like me) you run out of wood half way through the winter. If you're not sure if you have time in following seasons to drop, cut, split AND they're trees you would drop anyway - maybe having a few standing ones ready to go (and not rotting) might have merit?
  22. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    girdled leaning or on the ground ,you really cant burn any of it any time soon ,you cant leave it on the ground to rot you cant slice around the bark and expect any major drying effect ,you cant cut half or part way through and potentialy kill a passerby ,so why not fell it and buck it the same day .IMO wood drying doesnt seem to start working till its atleast in cut log lengths
  23. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I have 22 acres and I tend to cut down, cut off the branches and spread out so they rot faster, and bring the trunk out to a common area, even still out on a trail.
    All piled up in one spot can be easier to deal with later in the year (Winter) when a spot of decent weather comes.
  24. chunkyal

    chunkyal New Member

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    "Passerby" trespasses at his/her own risk. Should I be removing barbed wire/trip hazzards/sink holes also? On my property live trees fall more readily than dead ones (needles to catch the wind, more weight, sandy soil, no tap root). The time I put into wood (not as much as I'd like) in the summer is spent bucking fallen trees (so as to not let them rot).

    Like I said - maybe this is specific to the species - but this tree is dry - no opinion needed (so much so I've been throwing a bit of wet on for an over-night burn, just to keep it under 700 F). I don't doubt it would have dried faster if it was cut and split green - but the end result is the same.

    This one is next - I suspect it will be just as dry. (none of the trees on my property have been ring-barked - all natural causes)

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  25. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    No. It is better to not use it at all.
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