1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Scrub oak

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Sinngetreu, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Messages:
    405
    Loc:
    North Iowa
    Good evening.
    I have a chance at getting a bunch of scrub oak. Is it worth it?
    The trees are about 20-30 feet tall and the trunk is around 12" diameter. It doesn't look too bad in terms of ability to get some good rounds.
    They are at a local nature preserve and I can get a cutting permit on the cheap for as much as I want. I know there are a few guys that burn in my area, so I'm wondering if they know something I don't, or if they don't know about the trees.
    Should I go for it, or is it a lot of work for nothing? Is it hard on a chain and hard to split?
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. AmarilloSlim

    AmarilloSlim Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    147
    Jump on that oak. Around here the scrub oak really isn't worth the effort. 5' tall and 2 or 3 inches diameter max.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  3. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,259
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    The scrub oak I have here in NY is a shrub. Its called Bear oak here.
    Umm...not worth the bother.
    But it may be a fun day out with the saw. Get some fresh air....
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,632
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    In Lubbock we called that a "Stately Tree". ;lol
    TreePointer and AmarilloSlim like this.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,632
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Every time I flew back into Lubbock I picked a seat on the right side of the plane. On approach you could look down and see open irrigated fields as far as the eye could see. And that one big spreading Oak tree. It was in the middle of nowhere with a fence around it and obviously lovingly cared for.
  6. AmarilloSlim

    AmarilloSlim Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    147
    The only big oaks I've seen are in yards. The Canadians river and Palo duro canyon have scrub oak. If I ever fly to lubbock I will take a gander.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,632
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    It's a big'un and well protected and cared for. Of course it has been almost twenty years since I flew into Lubbock. It may have died and have been firewood some year since. !!!

    It looked like a memorial with that fence and grass growing close around it.
  8. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    567
    Loc:
    Shingletown, Northern California (elev. 4000 ft.)
    When you say scrub oak, are you referring to Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa, big acorns with a large, furry cap), the state tree of Iowa? If so, the btu value is about the same as Red Oak (Quercus rubra). Get all you can, but plan on waiting for it to season.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  9. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,052
    Loc:
    Richmond, VA
    In Colorado, scrub oak was also known as Gambel oak and was more of a large bush than a tree.
  10. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    188
    Loc:
    Central NJ
    Any kind of oak will make good firewood, I think.
    "Scrub oak," though, is not a very meaningful common name. In CA, people call several species by that name. Where I live, they usually mean bear oak (Q.illicifolia) or blackjack oak (Q. marylandica) when they talk about "scrub oak."
    I have to wonder what kind of "nature preserve" gives out cutting permits for "as much as [you] want."
  11. AmarilloSlim

    AmarilloSlim Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    147
    Also curious about this?
  12. BCC_Burner

    BCC_Burner Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Loc:
    Wasatch Front: 7800'
    Sounds like a nature preserve that will be making way for a Wal Mart parking lot sometime in the near future.
  13. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Google Maps aerial view?
  14. dmmoss51

    dmmoss51 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    356
    Loc:
    Michigan
    "Nature Preserve" may be there to preserve something else or these trees could be considered non-native etc. Also it can mean land preserve. We have a land preserve near us that allows all sorts of things including cutting wood. It is just preserved from building or other development as it is actually the wellhead for the drinking water system. Would only want to cut wood near the road though as in the preserve itself is only foot/bicycle traffic.
  15. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,083
    Loc:
    Kennett Square, PA
    Unless its a bush. Go get it. Its still oak.
    Jack Fate and Joful like this.
  16. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Messages:
    405
    Loc:
    North Iowa
    It does look like bur oak. It seems to be a shorter tree than others that I have seen.
    To be clear, the name "scrub oak" was said by my dad. He knows a lot, but proper names is not one of them.
  17. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Messages:
    405
    Loc:
    North Iowa
    This preserve is trying to restore the wetlands to a much earlier date which didn't have any trees to really speak of. They referred to the oak as an invasive species.There apparently is a bird that will mate and nest only if there isn't any trees around. I don't know what the details of this bird is, all I know is there is free oak. They have a map that they want you to cut in, and it sounds like if someone didn't cut, they will cut and shred it. Might as well get good use of it.
    You have to stay within an area, but they don't have trees specifically tagged.
    Admittedly, Its a very unique situation.
  18. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Messages:
    405
    Loc:
    North Iowa
    Luckily, most of the trees in this wetland is near a scenic road that goes through one side of it, so getting trees shouldn't be too much of a trek. They do consider the oak to be non-native. There is also Ash and cottonwood that they want cut down. I dont think I will bother too much with the cottonwood, but the Ash is on the list.
  19. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    570
    Loc:
    Central MA
    My parents have some land in SE Mass and it is mostly red oak. My dad calls it scrub oak because of the way it looks. The soil conditions are poor so it takes a long time to grow and can be kind of stunted looking. There was a fire 50-60 yrs ago that wiped out the area, and with everything growing back all at once the trees were further stressed and grow even slower.

    My point is....get it. It is the densest oak I've had my hands on. If I threw a round in the pool it would probably sink! A 50+ yr old tree is only 12-15" in diameter, It takes a couple years to season but it burns great!
    Jack Fate likes this.
  20. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Messages:
    405
    Loc:
    North Iowa

    Well, I think its unanimous, I will be all over it like white on rice as soon as I can get to it.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Oak should be great. Just be aware that in your area, you will need at least 2 years after being split before it will be ready to burn. In our area, we look at 3 years.
  22. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Messages:
    405
    Loc:
    North Iowa
    Yeah, thankfully I have quite a bit of Ash on hand. I'm working on my wood store now. Its fun collecting different varieties.
    AmarilloSlim likes this.
  23. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Ash is very good and is our most abundant at present. Any oak we get is saved for January burning.

Share This Page