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Smelly Maple

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Cross Cut Saw, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    I scrounged some maple a few weeks back and have it stacked in my backyard on some pallets until I get some time to split it and stack it.

    It REEKS almost like a chemical!

    We were away for a few days and when we got home yesterday it was all we could smell in the backyard, I thought maybe someone had spilled some sort of paint thinner or something next door, is this normal??

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  2. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    I'm thinking No, not normal.

    You sure it's a maple? Could it be a Laquer tree?
  3. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    Here are a few photos of the wood I took, those look like maple leaves to me (second picture).
    2012-09-08 10.18.35.jpg 2012-09-05 07.04.22.jpg
    2012-09-06 06.21.01.jpg
  4. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, looks kinda like maple, not 100% sold, the leaf & growth rings are making me think Poplar (which has stunk when I cut) But don't take my word for it....
  5. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Thats weird, maybe someone had dumped a chemical close to the tree prior to you scrounging it. Roots could have soaked it up.
    ScotO likes this.
  6. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    That's a maple alright, norway to be exact. Can't understand why it smells like chemicals? Was it near anything that could have contaminated it? If so, the leaves should be showing that stress. Does it smell like lawn chemicals?
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, Norway Maple. It shouldn't stink. I can't imagine a chemical pungent enough to make the wood stink that is also harmless enough that a tree would absorb it into the wood before it killed the tree.
  8. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    Is it surface smell, or does it smell when you cut and split it?

    Just wondering as if it's just surface smell, whatever it is may get washed away with the next rain (make sure it isn't on a valuable bit of lawn).......
  9. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Third norway, cutting and splitting it now, mine has no significant aroma and mine's from Jersey, it should smell!
  10. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I find that most maples I cut have almost a starchy smell to them, almost odorless.
    PapaDave likes this.
  11. Standingdead

    Standingdead Burning Hunk

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    I cut a lot of Maple and never had it smell at all. Maybe try washing some off with a garden hose. One things for sure if it stinks up the whole yard it won't be pleasant in the house! GL!
  12. scotvl

    scotvl Burning Hunk

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    Norway smells sweet to me, so something is definitely wrong with that wood.
  13. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    The weird thing is that I scrounged it in the rain and it smelled like that in my car, but not so strong. Then it rained for like 3 of the last 5 days and it's back. I wonder if it could be all of that moss and stuff growing on it, I'm going to split it this weekend and I'll report back...
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    The moss and stuff should not give that smell at all.
  15. Triple19

    Triple19 New Member

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    I've had a similar problem. Two years ago my neighbor dropped a maple in his wood line that had a large pine hung up in it. After a year he realized he wasn't going to harvest it and offered it to me. Since early spring it was cut, split and stacked in my yard and I never noticed an odor. But now that I'm burning it I notice a strong chemical smell. I started a fire earlier and left the door propped open to encourage the fire. My daughter opened her bedroom and asked what the burning plastic smell was. I can't explain it.

    Uncertain of the maple variety.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Triple19.

    That is weird for sure on that smell. Not heard of that especially in maple.
  17. Triple19

    Triple19 New Member

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    Thanks.

    Agreed, I find it odd too. There were some tiny purple ringed mushrooms growing on the bark in some areas. At first this was my suspect, but every load smells the same. This was a large tree, pieces with or without bark have an odor when burned.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I highly doubt the mushrooms would cause any smell.

    I will add that every once in a while we'll get a log that sort of smells (maybe a coon took up residence in that tree and not only used it for home but also for toilet). It is just like every once in a while we'll get a split that seems to have lots of moisture. The reason this is odd is that we always let our wood dry after being split for a full 3 years. The last time we had both a smelly log and one that had moisture was in some wood that had been in the stack 6 or 7 years!

    btw, I'll also add that if you let your wood dry for 3 full years, you'll never want to go back to the old way. It really does make a super difference in how the stove operates and it also takes less wood to heat your home!
  19. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    I have to admit I haven't even gotten around to splitting this wood, it's just stacked on pallets in the back, yard.

    It hasn't smelled funny in quite a while and I'll have to check back after I split it.

    I'd love to have room for 3 years worth of wood, but it's just not possible in our in-town yard, we may be moving a little South of here, I'm trying to talk the wife into a few acres...
    firefighterjake likes this.

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