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Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by rideau, Jan 15, 2013.
A few snaps of my stacks, the ones near the house
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are those ash trees?
The trees are ash, beech, hickory, maple and ironwood -- and there is a big Tuliptree that is in the garden, seeded by a bird, just to the left front barely out of the picture. Some of these trees are amazingly old, though small. I have no topsoil...am right on limestone...and the woods have been left natural, no thinning, Have some really old much larger trees away from the top of the cliff, which is where this is...the top of the cliff near the lake..Anything large gets blown over eventually because of the shallow roots, if it is near the front top of the cliff. My biggest trees up here, which you can't see in this picture, are near the edge of the clearing and about 30 inches. There is a big maple impinging on the sliding glass door near the right in this picture, that you can only see a portion of the trunk because a beech in the foreground is blocking your view. The leaves are beech, I'll say without checking, because the beech leaves linger on the trees all winter oftimes.
The cut stacked rounds are ironwood (hophornbeam).
I was looking at the picture of the trees up close when I answered. There is an obvious white birch behind the stacks, and the large tree in the yard is a maple. The large tree to the immediate left of the stacks is a big maple and immediately in front of it you can see a length of the trunk of a very large for the species ironwood. It is about 14 inch in diameter at chest height. Unfortunately, probably not long for this world...a top branch is dying. I have to water it well this summer, if this summer is like last. To the left of and in front of the house toward the lake the two trees (one has a red tail hawk nest near the top) are beech...about 18-20 inch diameter beech. Maple is considerably bigger.
Classic northern Michigan looking woodlot. Very nice. I love the birch and beach in the mix. How are the ash surviving in Ontario? Pretty much all DEAD here in Michigan. sad but it will be providing a lot of firewood for many years to come. I bet that ironwood burns nice!!
Unfortunately, we are starting to see the tops of some ash suffering.
Ironwood is amazing wood. Lasts forever when used as supports under stacks, or in constructed boat racks. Wonderful firewood. A good size log (7 inches in diameter) will burn on a cat burn in my stove for 10- 12 hours and put out good heat. My wood is very dense, because I am on limestone, have very little topsoil, and the trees grow very slowly. Very narrow growth rings. A 7 inch ironwood can be 45 or more years old.
Nice stacks Rideau, I noticed you have some donut logs that you slid another log into
yes. Good ironwood donuts. You should see fire whip through them. Nice heat.
Yup - that is how it starts. A little flagging in the tops for the first summer, more the second summer with zero leaves the third and after that it the bark begins to look spotted and sticker shoots start growing out of the base and lower trunk. I would guess anything you see flagging is a gonner so if you are inclined feel free to take it while it remains relatively safe to drop. After you let them go to the bark falling off stage you run the risk of dead branches coming down on you while felling.
I love the pics of your house, Rideau. I like how it's situated and the cedar shake siding. Do you own much property?
Looks like some good BTU's in those stacks. Were they cut from standing dead trees? I usually split all my rounds that are over 5-6" diameter if they come from a green tree, but if they are dead and barkless I will let the rounds bigger like the ones in your pictures...
Beautiful home rideau. You are right about the ironwood. Wish we had more of it. And sadly, it does sound like your ash will not be long for this world. But it makes good firewood.
Only one comment I would make on the wood stacks. The rounds make poor ends. Wisely you have them leaning in to the stack so that might get the job done. In the future you might consider using only splits for the ends though. All in all, I wish those stacks were on my place!
. I drew the plans for my home, sited it, designed the trim and had knives cut by Condon's in Westchester, had them make all my wide board floors in long lengths...all 16 foot clear 1x6 tongue and groove, biscuited on end...white oak first floor, teak bathrooms, cherry second floor, sugar maple third floor. Halls and stairs white oak. All shipped by truck...along with all the 1x6 Doug Fir studs, 2 x12 joints, steel I beam...doubled up plywood under each wood floor...one layer 5/8, one layer 3/4. 110,000 pounds the truck weighed. Trucker told me he was glad none of the weigh stations were open. Trim matches in each room, all wide trim. Love the house. Designed to live in and look out, not to look at from the outside.
I love my home, and the property. I have about 24 acres with over 1000 feet frontage on the lake. Had the Ontario forestry department walk the property with me about thirty years ago...they told me it is the last ideal woodlot on the lake...they wanted to manage it, but the forester who walked the property with me told me he wouldn't let them touch it with a ten foot pole. Said they'd make a mess, and the property would naturally do the just fine on its own over the years. Last year Ontario designated the property a Heritage Wood Lot (bummer...now they can control me.) and the year before the lake was declared a United Nations World Heritage Site.
My woods are carpeted in grass under the trees. Spring you can't step anywhere without crushing wildflowers. Have so many , and so many species. Many, many interesting fungi, when we have any rain, including rare ones. Lots of ferns, again including rare ones. Pileateds and owls and hawks, wood duck, loons, mergansers, mink, weasel, fisher.....lots of butterflies, moths, tree frogs, ...you get the idea. I love it.
I never cut a live ironwood. Let them stand dead, and when they finally rot through at the roots and fall, then cut them into rounds. The wood is always solid. They are ready to burn very quickly. Only cut any trees if they become dangerous, or grow somewhere I can't let them grow. . Far more comes down than I can use. Leave big standing dead trees for wildlife, too.
I find it really hard to cut live trees. So my vegetable garden has become a wildflower garden as the trees have grown in, and I now grow my veggies on a neighboring farm...split the work, split the harvest.
Thank you, and thanks for the advice, Dennis.
I do know about the rounds. Certainly isn't apparent, but I am really careful not only to lean the sides toward the middle, but also to lay each piece so natural imperfections tend to keep the wood in place. Sometimes a good number of pieces and directions are tried. It goes really quickly, though, and unstacks withotut disasters also. Oddly, the only stack I have ever had go over was a stack of sugar maple that was comprised on lots of nice big squarish splits. I probably got lazy....