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Possibly the holy grail of wood scores ***Edit in OP, Got 4 truckloads of Osage Orange

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by CountryBoy19, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 Minister of Fire

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    Pics, one is of the first 2 loads I got, the other is of the last (and largest) load that I hauled, the large rounds nearest the tailgate are from the log I was trying to sell but found that it wasn't worth the hassle for just one log.

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  2. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 Minister of Fire

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    The truckload

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  3. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    Nice load there Countryboy. Looks like your dog is getting ready to mark his territory in the top picture ;-)
  4. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 Minister of Fire

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    Ah, she is our curious little hyper-active dog. She was just checking out the "new stuff" to see if it needed any kisses or if it might rub her tummy... the other one (not in the picture) is the one you've got to worry about marking things, he marks everything.
  5. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Nice load. Seems like the holy grail should of made the truck squat though.
  6. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 Minister of Fire

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    For some reason, this truck doesn't squat much... that was a pretty heavy load. I've had nearly a full cord of green oak on that truck before and it was barely squatting. As a matter of fact, I was "called out" on that claim not long ago (either here or on arboristsite) saying that there was no way a truck could hold that much weight without squatting. There is picture proof, that is green Osage Orange (some of the larger rounds were oozing sap all over so it was definitely green), IIRC 6700 lb/cord green, and there is probably just over 1/2 cord there, truck isn't squatting more than an inch from unloaded suspension position.
  7. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    That is some great looking wood. Thanks for posting the pic's. And congrats on the score.
  8. dreezon

    dreezon New Member

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    I've gotten a lot of both woods in the last couple of years. Osage may be tougher to take down, but in my experience, it really isn't that hard on chains. I've only gotten stuff of medium-to-small diameter (14" max), but it amazes me how easy it actually is to split. Even pieces with good-sized branches pop nice and clean with only a few blows of the old maul. Black locust isn't terrible to split, but it's a little stringier, and when you hit a branch or a crotch, it will fight you a lot longer. Of course, all this is a moot point if you use a power splitter.

    BTU wise, black locust is not that far off of osage, but here's something to consider, black locust is one of the worst smelling woods I've come across. It smells like a dirty barn when split and only a little better when burned.

    OK, one more factor... black locust has one of the lowest initial moisture contents of any tree, so it does cure very quickly.

    As for burning characteristics, I was forced to burn less-than-seasoned wood last year, so I can't say for sure, but I think the difference is almost negligible.

    Sounds like it's a wash, but that said, I would definitely get some of the osage just to have it. Can you get a little of both?
  9. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Shagbark hickory is usually placed in between the two, BTU wise. I have burned plenty of both, but I always preferred the way shagbark burns over locust. Haven't burned any locust in several years, but this year I was able to get hold of a little over a cord. I really like the way it burns in this stove. One good size round on top of some lesser wood seems to last forever. I split it mostly big for those overnight burns in Jan and Feb, but I just couldn't resist trying it out ahead of time. Who says you gotta burn pine and popple in the shoulder season? :coolsmile:

    Definitely worth putting up with the stench. And I think it splits just fine, a lot better than shagbark for sure. Gave the new Fiskars a nice workout yesterday. Most rounds up to 16" cracked open with one well-placed shot, then I was able to circle around and take 2-4 more quick swings until I got the splits down to the size I wanted. Good thing, too, 'cause I busted the brand new handle I just put on my 8-pound maul on the second swing of the day. Been a while.
  10. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    For many years I didn't burn anything but hedge because I had a hedge row to cut in every winter. That finally dried up. Anyway, I stack ends on my stacks and for many years I just left the stacked ends so I didn't have to do that every year. After the hedge row was gone and I started cutting other wood, the hedge stacked ends were still doing their job....for about 15 years. I finally burned some of that stuff last winter when it got below zero and to my surprise, it hardly popped and cracked and sparked at all! burned like coal. You better do everything you can to get that hedge. There is nothing like it!
  11. dreezon

    dreezon New Member

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    Hey, tfdchief, I just noticed your location. Where exactly are you in "East Central Illinois"? Bloomington-Normal area?
  12. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    My wood encyclopedia lists many woods as "very durable", but they have an asterisk by black locust, red mulberry and Osage orange, saying these three woods have "exceptionally high decay resistance".

    In reclaiming about 20' of overgrown backyard this spring, I discovered several old locust fence posts that had probably been in the ground for more than 50 years. I was able to break them off (with some effort) at the ground level, but the top parts were still pretty sound. I cut them up to burn in my firepit. They burned long and hot, even after all that time. Incredible. I can only imagine how that hedge must have been.
  13. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Tuscola
  14. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    Just to chime In on the hedge. We cut and burn it every year off of the farm in a Yukon Klondike furnace or I should say my parents do and have for years. I found an old brush pile on some property they purchased when I was a teen and found hedge all through it. I thought I had scored the mother load of seasoned wood sitting in a pile in the open air for probably over a decade. I pulled 4-5 trees out and it was like trying to cut granite with a handsaw. I went through about one chain per tree it seemed like and there was not much left other than trunk and main branches left. It burned with no sparks and no pops...I have little knowledge of coal or how it burns but I would say this was the closest thing to coal.


    If you cut it and split it to size when it hasn't had a chance to season out it isn't bad to deal with. If you leave it in log lengths or wait to split it until after it is seasoned you will have your work cut out for you.

    Get some cut/split and ready to burn and let it season out even fairly well and you will be totally impressed. We cut one tree and I will admit it was one of the largest hedge trees I have seen but still was able to heat the house for two winters with it.

    One other tip is to go ahead and cut it for wood on down smaller than you might for some other firewood on the branches. What some other trees branches would only be good for kindling hedge will still put out a lot of heat for a long time.

    There is nothing like it you can put in your stove without going mining.
  15. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 Minister of Fire

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    It must cut much easier green because I was only going through about 1 chain a day, and that chain was still making pretty good chips at the end of the day.

    It also splits pretty easy green. I've been splitting by hand and I'm quite impressed. I think one thing that makes it much easier is that the grain is so strong that it spread the impact straight down through the crack rather than the wood just deflecting a bit. What that means is that you don't have to run the maul all the way through it, once the top pops open it pretty much splits the whole way through except a couple strings that can be pulled by hand.

    It's going to be a few years until I burn this.

    Oh, and I ended up with 1 more truckload. I found a few trees that I had missed in another section of his pasture so I grabbed those up on one of the trips that I had originally gone to get black locust. I think there is 1-2 more truckloads of good black locust out there (got 3 so far) then the rest is pretty eaten up by bugs and partially punky. After I get those few loads I think I'm just going to start splitting all the wood and stacking it and wait for spring to cut more. The source near my house is getting held up on the land clearing; because it's a building site and part of the site is located within the 12% slope line of an ACOE managed reservoir he has to wait for the planning commission to come out and ok his plan to clear trees and they have to mark each tree that is permitted to come down.
  16. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    Throw a chunk or two in this winter when it gets really nasty cold that have been split. The splits will dry pretty decent especially if you bring a little inside for a few days before they go into the fire. Next winter that hedge will be like a bunch of coal with bark on it.

    I have a pellet stove since I live in town and don't have the storage area for regular wood and did find a place in central ks that was pelleting hedge but didn't make it through the recession. I couldn't imagine how hard on equipment it would be to pellet. I wanted a dozen bags or so to try...so much for that.
  17. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 Minister of Fire

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    I'm going to try to keep all my rot-resistant stuff for when my wife and I decide to have children. I'm stocking up now so I don't have to spend so much time cutting and splitting when we have kids.

    That's not to say that I won't burn any, it's just not going to be my primary fuel source for a while.
  18. krex1010

    krex1010 Minister of Fire

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    Man it's too bad we don't have many hedge trees around here, sounds like all you have to do is load up the stove once on Sunday and you got heat for the week!
  19. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    It isn't that good Krex but in a draft controlled furnace or insert the comparison on seasoned hedge to anything else is quite a stretch. It is nice to load the furnace and in the morning it is still keeping the house at temp 10-12 hours later. Excellent hot fire with a long burn rate the only bad thing is the sparks sometimes. In an insert or furnace the sparks don't matter cause there is nothing combustible for them to get to.
  20. krex1010

    krex1010 Minister of Fire

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    The hedge/Osage species is not common around these parts, i have only seen a handful of them. The one I remember most was right on the edge of an orchard on a property I used to hunt, the deer seemed to absolutely go crazy for those big ol green balls that tree dropped. I can remember a number of times being in my treestand and the deer would stop and eat any of those green balls that were laying on the ground before going out into the orchard and eating apples and pumpkins etc. But if they beard or saw another fruit fall out of the hedge tree they would leave the orchard and come back to eat the Osage fruit. That was a good hunting spot, too bad that it is now a shopping center.
  21. uggabugga

    uggabugga Member

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    i've never had the opportunity to burn it or tried to split any, but when i lived in oklahoma, it was commonly used for posts.

    they had a saying that you could put a rock on top of an osage orange post, and the rock would weather away before the post did ;)

    it's not common around here, but i did get a couple hedgeapples off the road last summer that i started seedlings from - but they're only about 8 inches tall at this point.

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