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Stacking Wood Against Trees

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mountaineer79, Mar 10, 2009.

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  1. mountaineer79

    mountaineer79 Member

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    I've got several stacks of wood braced between two trees, and I'm thinking about stacking some more wood that way. Does anyone know if this is very harmful to the trees? My stacks are only about 4 feet high. I don't want to kill/sicken the trees in my yard, but they sure are convenient for stacking.

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  2. coolidge

    coolidge Member

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    I have stacked only a few cords this way, but stacked them against some poplars that i dont care for. I didnt have very good luck with it. The wind blows the trees apart and closer therfore your pile falls over.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    When I was clearing the land for my house, I stacked a lot of the wood between Poplar trees and it damaged the bark, eventually killing the tree. Now the trees were also disadvantaged by having the area disturbed, so the damage to the bark was just another nail in the coffin.

    Why not just drive some steel fence posts in the ground?
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Any tree will wave in the wind and it also grow wider every year. Anything against that tree will do some damage. Some trees can take a lot of damage and turn out okay. You've probably seen pictures of things that trees just grow around, so trees are remarkable in their ability to absorb damage and still live. Still, it is best to leave them alone. I agree with the fence posts.

    Another thing you might think about is how you stack your ends. When I am splitting wood, I always split a big bunch that end up almost like 2 x 4's and 2 x 2's. These are what are used for building the ends. They just seem to hold the piles better than using wedge shaped pieces. It is easy to split for these too.
  5. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    It can lead to bark damage or rot. I've killed trees this way, but it's not always an issue.

    On a similar note- Never pile bark mulch against a trunk. It has been popular for landscapers to make mulch volcanoes against trees for a while- they slowly sicken and die.
  6. Hurricane

    Hurricane Minister of Fire

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    I have been stacking my wood between trees for about 10 years and never had any issues. Lots of people here do it because it is convenient. I use the same trees too. I stack between 5-6 ft high, never had piles fall over from trees moving.
    I guess it depends on what type of trees you have. I am piling against ash and oak.
  7. mountaineer79

    mountaineer79 Member

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    Thanks for the info. They're mostly 8"+ oak and walnut trees, so they don't move much. I guess if I do kill one, it will be easily accessible firewood.
  8. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I no longer stack against trees due to the damage it does to the bark. All my stacks are free standing, raised, either on 2x4's or pallets, only the top covered.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Ja, mine turned into firewood too. I didn't mind losing the trees. I didn't want them anyway but the wife didn't want them cut down. Poplars blow down easily and if they have any sign of disease and put other trees and buildings at risk, they're firewood.
  10. mountaineer79

    mountaineer79 Member

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    I have been using HHs. My ground has a slight slope where I stack them. I've stacked about 6-7 of them since I found them on this forum. I haven't had any problems until last week. I stacked a bunch of green oak in a HH last November. It shrank a lot, and the HH blew out on the downslope side. It pissed me off. I'm thinking it's too much work if there's a chance they'll fall over. Plus conventionally stacked wood out in the open seasons at least 25% (my guess) faster than stacked in a HH. I am thinking about leveling a spot and putting some pallets down. I wouldn't mind having a few HH of wood for 2-3 years down the road, but not if every now and then one will fall over.

    As far a fence posts, I can't drive anything much deeper than 6" into the ground. I live on top of a ridge, and there's about 6"of dirt on top of solid shale.
  11. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Pine and oak here without damage to the trees, but the pines were younger (about 40 years) and they would wiggle / sway just enough in high winds to contribute to a stack falling over.
    I have some piles against them now 10 years later and none fell over this Winter or last, so I'm assuming the trees are a bit older, mature, stable.
  12. BroadCove

    BroadCove Member

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    I stack my wood between trees and never thought anything of it. My trees don't seem harmed by it, but, the stacks don't sit in any one spot for more than a season, so maybe that's part of the reason they don't seem bothered.
  13. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    I don't stack between trees BUT this year, after seeing it done here, I got a bunch of 7' metal stakes at Lowes and used them on the ends.

    Last year we did the criss/cross stacking on each end, that I also learned about here, but it was very time consuming and, since we don't cut our own wood, it was very hard finding same sized pieces to use so that they would stay straight and stable. Stakes a lot easier to deal with and, because they are green, they blend right in. :)
  14. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I use stakes as well, or cheaper yet, lengths of junk pipe. Drive in about 6" or so, around 12 feet appart (whatever my pallet spacing worked out to) two pipes per row, one on each end. Stack between the posts until you are up about 4' or so, and / or the posts start to spread. Tie a reasonably stout, non-stretchy, weather-resistant rope (I used mostly about 3/8" polypropelyne) between the posts, getting it reasonably snug. Keep stacking on top of the rope. The splits on top of the rope will tighten it up and the sandwich effect will take most of the strain. I have used this to build stacks approx 5' high on the ends, going up to about 7' in the middle - as high as I could reach w/o a ladder.

    Note that the pipes don't have to go into the ground very far, you really only need far enough that they will stand up by themselves, and that the bottoms won't kick out.

    Gooserider
  15. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    How dare you, Sir!

    What's next? Are you going to tell us that there's saws out there as good as Dolmers?

    EDIT - There's other ways to brace conventional stacks. For example, with braces.
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