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See and yee shall find

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by TimJ, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    Southeast Indiana
    I've been gathering red elm. I only go for the kind that has been air dried and barkless for the last 10 years. If I learned one thing this year, it's it is not the kind of wood you have, but the kind of wood you have and the condition it is in when you burn it. I stumbled on the most beautiful speciman yesterday. It was 30" at the base and had 3 main branches that were about 16". This stuff probably was dead standing and air drying for at least 5 years and fell and laid off the ground another 5 years. A year ago I would have passed this stuff over, but now I seek it out. I have four large stacks of this stuff now, but I believe my luck will soon run out finding it.

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  2. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Not to worry. Being in Indiana I am willing to bet you are going to begin finding ash in the same shape very soon and ash is even better than the elm on so many levels. I like elm to burn almost equal to ash but after splitting all that elm you will likely feel like ash splits itself(elm sucks for splitting) and ash is about as easy as it gets. With elm I often have to take the splitter full stroke on every pass and then need to pull the split apart. Ash often falls apart just as the wedge hits it. From a BTU standpoint I believe ash is higher but I find them to burn about the same.

    Needless to say the EAB is coming and dead, standing, barkless ash will follow.
    AJS56 likes this.
  3. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Wow, Tim, I have yet to see one anywhere near that big. I've gotten several over the last couple of years, biggest might have been 18" or so.
    Don't know if you've had Red Elm, but it's better than American. Splits easier (but still not easy by hand) and burns better, closer to Ash in BTU. The stuff I've gotten is as Tim describes, barkless and pretty dry. You could throw most of it in the stove off the stump if you had to. I hope I can find a little more...my stack is getting pretty low.
    Backwoods Savage and Thistle like this.
  4. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    Northern Kentucky along the Ohio River
    Let me know if ya need any help burning it!;lol I'll come by for a truck load of it!
  5. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    10,825
    TimJ, nice grab. You just joined the ranks of the GIBIR club. ::P
  6. oppirs

    oppirs Member

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    Loc:
    SE Illinois
    Git it before it gone. Nice rack
  7. f3cbboy

    f3cbboy Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    rockland county, NY
    nice looking stacks!!
  8. AJS56

    AJS56 Burning Hunk

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    Central Lower Mich
    Nice looking stacks there! I also like the standing dead or dead on the ground stuff. I have been cutting some fallen ash, ironwood and beech that I passed over previously for lower hanging fruit... easier to get to that is. Especially the ash and ironwood can be on the gound awhile and still in good shape. Last year I cut some large oaks that looked to have been down for many, many years. It looked weak and I had ignored it until I happened to grab a branch and it was still strong. That yielded about 4-5 cords once c/s/s.

    And as Bob pointed out, if you have any ash in the area, you may have a lot of dead/dying ash to utilize in the future.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  9. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Great looking Red Elm there.Not many left around here,small amount of sapling to medium sized still growing & healthy where I cut.Biggest one I seen so far is only around 13"-14" diameter & 50 ft tall.Most are quite a bit smaller.Back in early-mid '80's when DED was still rampant,there was lots of huge snags & quite a few fell/blown over that I was gathering,on neighbor's 80 acres also before original owners passed away & their farm was split up/sold.

    Then it relented a bit,& in past 10-15 yrs its returned.Not many American/White Elm of any size left either.Lots of smaller ones,they seem to put forth very large seed crops starting at 20 yrs old & they spread everywhere,so I doubt we'll lose all of them.I rarely get more than 2-3 dead ones a year now no matter the size either Red or White.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  10. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    Best way to get Elm....dead and standing it splits so much nicer. Red elm is a plus
  11. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Upstate NY

    TimJ why do you seek this wood? Very interesting that you wrote this, is it because the wood is petrified? Do you cut it green if you find it like that? Why Red Elm??
    I found 2 here this year in NY isolated in the apple orchard. I read they are hybridizing with Siberian Elm which has been listed as an invasive species.
    Maybe Siberian Elm has the same qualities as Red Elm. For burning.
  12. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Lots of Red Elm around here still. Some big ones too. It's been a big share of my btu's for the past 2 years. Good do-it-all wood, kinda like Ash (not as easy-splitting tho). Lights of easy enough for shoulder season and lasts long enough for mid-winter use. It does make a lot of ash in my stove. It seems the ash piles-up & covers the coals 'till they start piling up, so I need to turn up the coals on re-loads. Also, as I've discovered this year it will absorb rain-water. The top couple rows of my uncovered stack this year were wet :(
  13. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    I would not touch the wood in any state other than that. The wood is hard and dense. It is clean with no bark or debree. As I mentioned, it is not what kind of wood you have but the condition of the wood you have when you burn it. The stuff I had for this year was truely ready to burn. It kept my house nice and toasty. The wood I have now will be ready for next year. It will do the same.
  14. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Red elm is pretty not bad. The only thing I don't like about it is that it tends to leave a lot of clinkers behind.

    All the big elm trees are long dead here. Siberian elm is not worth the time to process into firewood, IMO.

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