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Splitting Green Wood -- Mouthwash Odor?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by 80s Burnout, Dec 4, 2008.

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  1. 80s Burnout

    80s Burnout New Member

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    Just splitting up some greenish wood that was delivered. Call me crazy but some smells like apples and some smells like mouth wash or peppermint. And no, I was not eating candy canes just before. Do some tree species emit these odors? Apple tree I could see....but peppermint?

    Thanks.

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  2. mikepinto65

    mikepinto65 Minister of Fire

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    the peppermint was probably Birch
  3. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I think that is the kind of birch, birch root beer originally came from.
  4. 80s Burnout

    80s Burnout New Member

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    That must be it. I do have some birch in this load. Thanks. Smells nice!!
  5. mikepinto65

    mikepinto65 Minister of Fire

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    could be wrong, my grandfather always said it smelt like cat piss! I disagreed and thought it had a nice smell. One of us was WAY off!
  6. leaf4952

    leaf4952 Member

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    2 yrs ago I bought a small carload for $30 in a pinch from a local guy with a roadside sign who bragged how he sold lots to NYC tourists visiting the Poconos. When I got it home & started to burn it - it hissed & foamed like a mother -* $*^*er ! I reviewed my bank account on-line the next morning before heading out to confront him, and the son-of-a-bi*** had already cashed my check ! The wood smelled like cat piss and I had to take it all back outside to age open but top-covered for another 3 months before I could use it for real. On retrospect he was hesitant to take a check instead of cash (from me - a local person !) and that should have been my tip-off, as well as the huge logs with cutting tools and fresh saw chips on the ground and absolutely NO aging or seasoning wood stacks anywhere in sight. The smell was unbearable indoors within 5ft.
  7. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

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    If you pull off a fresh twig, you can chew on it if it is birch.
    It tastes very good.
  8. skinnykid

    skinnykid New Member

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    black birch. I have loads of it on my land. When I was young, we used to cut it and make bows and arrows out of it. We used roof nails as arrow tips and used to nail chickodee's when the were on the lower branches of trees.
  9. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Yup.. the minty smelling stuff sounds like black birch. Peel away the bark for more of that smell.
  10. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    If it smells faintly of hot garbage it is black locust.
  11. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    spruce will have sort of a mouthwash smell to it as well.

    80sburnout, what did the bark look like?
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    leaf, sounds like you might have gotten ahold of some green elm or even cottonwood. Nasty stuff when green. But when you took it outside and stacked for 3 months, you should have left it uncovered. Much better to evaporate that smelly sap. We leave ours uncovered from the time we cut it (now!) until the following fall. So it has all winter and the next summer to dry before it gets covered. Then, for good measure, it stays in the stack a couple more years before having the honor of being thrown into our wonderful wood stove. Now that is what we call seasoned wood!
  13. 80s Burnout

    80s Burnout New Member

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    Cowboy - the bark is dark blue - grayish in color.
  14. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Your grandfather was likely referring to oak....what a lot of fellow stove owners sometimes refer to as "piss oak". When it's freshly cut, the tannins in the wood are extremely pungent and smell like an animal just peed on the rug. My neighbors always remark that they can tell when I've been splitting before even seeing the new piles, the smell wafts several hundred feet away. But it does abate over time as it seasons fortunately. Its a helpful measure to determine when the wood is drying out.
  15. mikepinto65

    mikepinto65 Minister of Fire

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    Your right, sparked a memory once u said that...he even said piss oak
  16. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    I would say more towards aspen than anything else. I c/s some of it earlier this fall that is exactly like you describe it.

    Does it look like this?

    [​IMG]
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