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Osage orange

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Shipper50, Aug 2, 2009.

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  1. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    I met someone new yesterday and she said she had some osage orange trees on her property and some are dead standing and some are alive.

    I said are you sure, and she said they have the hedge apples? I said that is them. She also said some of them were at least 25 inches across. I told her they would bring premium money and would she want to sell them if she helped me cut and split them.

    My questions would be, how much more money would they bring over hickory or oak and is this wood hard to split and season?

    Thanks for any help.

    Shipper

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  2. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I would guess a 10% premium. Only if you can find someone who appreciates the added benefit. Not worth more to most people.
  3. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    +1...why not buy the trees from her and process them for yourself? Or, if she burns, trade some processing for her for the wood for you. You likely value them more than anyone else will.
  4. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    This makes sense in a way, she said she needs the money due to vet bills and we could both benefit with this. She could help me, I could help her with the money part, and maybe get some fringe benefit's on the side ;-P

    Shipper
  5. bayshorecs

    bayshorecs New Member

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    Maybe she would help make some heat with you later in the winter ;)

    If they are straight, you might be able to source a market for bow wood i believe. Not sure where to start there, but it may be worth more than just firewood...
  6. fespo

    fespo Feeling the Heat

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    if the are standing dead, they are VERY VERY HARD wood to cut. it will smoke a chain ,if not sharp and enough oil.
  7. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Isn't there always a compromise. She makes $200, you need to by an new chainsaw because you beat it to death cutting the Osage.
    How many Osage trees does she have?
  8. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    I talked to her again today as we seem to have hit it off, older people still like what younger people like I found out.

    Back to the hard wood, she told me someone tried to cut some of the trees in the past and dulled their saw. I have a 7900 Dolmar with a 24 inch bar and a bench chain sharpener. Is this wood that tough?

    Shipper
  9. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    I don't know for sure how many trees she has, will find that out later on, we just met yesterday as she is a horse woman and I got to see my first up close horse and trailers.

    I will take pics of this wood if it gets to where I see it in person.

    Shipper
  10. onedog

    onedog New Member

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    First time poster. I burn 80+% osage orange. Pretty prolific specie here in KS. My father would only burn osage when they had their farm. I've never felled a dead osage. After cutting a couple of live trees, my chains require sharpening. Been told a standing dead osage will dull a chain quickly. Have cut some logs after a year sitting in the field and saw sparks when cutting the smaller diameter pieces. Excellent firewood, however, does throw sparks when burning. It's a mini fireworks show when looking through the glass if the wood hasn't seasoned enough. I hand split with wedges and usually let the logs sit for 4-6 months before splitting and place the wedges where the cracks develop. I love the stuff.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum, onedog.
  12. Cutter

    Cutter New Member

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    In NE Kansas they are getting $185/cord for the hedge and $150-$165 for mixed hardwoods. I only cut the Orange monsters. I usally get by cutting for 5-6 hours without addressing chains. Some of the things that make it worth more is the fact that the Osage orange has thorns that making brush bucking a potentially bloody mess. I cut some yesterday and I have a few punctures and seversl scratches up and down my arms. And I haven't even moved any of the brush away yet. Another item to address is that these trees are seldom straight. This makes for odd lengths and messy piles. I have access to a mile of eighty year old trees that run from 20"-30" trunks. Another challenge to cutting them is the fact that they are so inter grown that sometimes I can have two or three of them cut completly through and I still can't get them to fall. Most of the trees I cut were part of a fence row and quite often there is barbed wire burried in them So I cut them first, above the top strand. Then i will cut through the stump just above the ground below the bottom strand. This seems to be working for me as of late. When I first started cutting I was hitting the wire with my first cuts and doing a real job in chains. I only seem to throw sparks when I get into a piece that has been dead for many years that is dry and without bark. I cut them towards the end of the day. But I still love burning them.
    Onedog, welcome aboard. I live in the Tecumseh area. Where are you located.
  13. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the board and thanks for the info. She is to count the trees and let me know how many there are and I will go from there.

    Cutter, thanks for the help also, I have never cut this stuff, so all the prior users knowledge will help me in the long run.

    Shipper
  14. onedog

    onedog New Member

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    Cutter, I live in Wichita. Been cutting at a couple of homes near Udall for the last 3 years. Cleared approx. 10 trees at one of the homes and when his neighbor saw me, he asked if I wanted to cut on his property when finished. He has some fence rows along with 5 or 6 acres of hedge trees with a creek running through his property. Your spot on regarding the barbed wire strands. Have found them imbedded deep in some of the trees. Can't seem to avoid the thorns either. Usually have blood running down an arm or two at some time during the day.

    Onedog
  15. derbygreg

    derbygreg New Member

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    I've got some that is on its 20th month of seasoning. Does this mean it won't spark as much as I have experienced?

    My question is if you season osage for a couple of years will it spark less?
  16. onedog

    onedog New Member

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    derbygreg,
    I've noticed that the drier logs throw less sparks. For this upcoming season, I'll be burning stuff that has been cut and stacked in the field for approximately 30 months. I'm hopeful that I'll have less sparks as I've recently installed new carpet in the family room where the stove is located.

    The lower the moisture content (sap) in the wood, the less sparks you'll have. Splitting your wood will help maximize the drying and result in less sparks also. The only reason I split is if the rounds won't fit in the stove so I don't help myself. I did notice that when I was transfering the wood that has been in the field drying for 30 months, it was significantly lighter than the fresh cut wood. This will be my 4th year of burning and I'm still learning a lot.

    Have you burned a lot of osage previously derbygreg?
  17. derbygreg

    derbygreg New Member

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    Onedog, I have not burned much Osage because of the sparks. That is why I have it seasoning for so long.

    I'm encouraged that the drier the log, the less sparks. I have about a cord for the coming 2010 and 2011 winter. In fact I am going to go cut some today.
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Not in my experience. Its still like lighting off a sparkler.

    And to answer the question "is it really that tough?" - Yes it is. Green cuts easier than standing dead.

    All that being said---I'll still take a dump truck load. Man does that stuff have some btus hidden in there.
  19. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    I got to see the trees she wanted to cut down, they are some big trees and have grown close together where it will be tough on my limited skills to get them on the ground. I will cut what I can and see how it goes. I will take pics next time there and show how big and close they are.

    Shipper


    UPDATE,

    I took some pictures of the Osage trees my new lady has for cutting and wondered if anyone has experience in making fence posts from trees? My farmer friend says they might bring more money than firewood from these trees.

    Shipper

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  20. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    I took some pictures above this weekend of the Osage trees my new lady has for cutting. Anyone know of this tree for fence posts?

    Shipper
  21. waynek

    waynek Member

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    The tree maybe more valuable as fence posts. I do not have osage orange in my area, therefore have never dug a post hole and planted one. Two neighbors came from eastern Iowa in the late 1960s and from time to time our conversations lead to fencing. They go on and on about the fencing attributes of the osage...to the point of ad nauseam.
    jackpine
  22. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    Hey shipper, I'd be happy to buy a small amount of that if you'll ship it to MA. I'm a wood turner and love working with that stuff, cool color too.
    Take a look on ebay and see what it is bringing in. I don't think we have them in New England.
  23. onedog

    onedog New Member

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    Yep, makes excellent fence posts. Won't rot so it lasts for years. Termites won't eat it. Not sure if that is due to its hardness or whether hedge (osage) has other attributes that turns the termites away. Since hedge was everywhere, farmers had access to an easy source when needing to lay a new fence line. A lot of farmers, even today, prefer to use a good thick post for their corners as opposed to the steel T posts.

    onedog
  24. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    Send me a PM and let me know what your looking for and how much and I can see what I can do for you.

    Shipper
  25. vdog

    vdog Member

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    My Grandmother always wanted the hedge apples she always said that they keep different bugs away. I still to this day see hedge posts. You better drive the fence staples into it while the post is green you wont get them in when it is dry. To me this is the true Iron wood.
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