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Thought's on Cedar

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by WeldrDave, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

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    Hello all,

    I have an elderly woman on the block want's to get rid of her Cedar tree in her yard. It's decent size, maybe 25' tall. I've "never" burned it before, she told me I could take it, but to let her know soon before she has a tree guy take it away.

    Is it worth taking?, *NOTE* free, two houses away......:confused:
    ScotO likes this.

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  2. curtis

    curtis Member

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    I use cedar for kindling, when its split and dry that stuff burns almost violently. Not sure how burning bigger pieces would be but I would guess hot and fast.
  3. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    2 houses away I would take any wood out there
  4. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

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    I'm not as lucky as you Marine;)
  5. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    A 25' yard tree is probably a lot more brush than wood. It might be easier to let a tree guy put the butt end into a chipper and be done with it rather than dealing with all the brush. As I recall cedar branches are rather sharp and unfun to deal with.
  6. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    I had a sizable portion of cedar come down after and ice storm. As others have said, the brush is the problem, either rent a chipper or get a big trailer to take to the dump.
    There is nothing better to burn than aromatic Eastern Red Cedar. It burns hot and fast, and seasons quickly. If you have an open pit, use it for that, the smell is heavenly.
    Thistle, gmule and Backwoods Savage like this.
  7. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

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    At the trunk, I would guess it's 20"-24" there would be some nice rounds, I do agree though, it's a dirty tree, thats why she wants it gone. I just don't know how it burns? If it's anything like pine, I don't want anything to do with it!
  8. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Not as resinous as pine if it is ERC. Also, makes wonderful chests if you are handy.
    Thistle and Backwoods Savage like this.
  9. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks firebroad, I do not need another project though, I'm looking for BTU's;) I do have a fire pit. I'm up in the air on this one,:confused: it's a good size tree for me to get and fairly easy. Like you and Paul said, I have to get rid of the junk.
    ScotO likes this.
  10. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    If it were me, I would go for it. Just my opinion, based on past experience.:)
    ScotO likes this.
  11. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    The vacant lot behind me is 7 acres of woods, and 95%+ of that wood is cedar. I've cut and split quite a bit of cedar in the last two years, and here are my thoughts:

    1. Not economical for heating, given the high work to BTU ratio.
    2. Great kindling wood, if split small!
    3. Splitting is surprisingly difficult, given the fact that cedars grow branches like I grow beard stubble.

    If you have a hydraulic splitter, it's manageable. If you don't have a hydraulic splitter, you'll be doing LOTS of noodling, to get those rounds processed. I've completely split pieces several times, to have all the splits still "linked" together by a half dozen little branch stubs / knots.

    In fact, my two favorite splitting stumps, which I use when splitting with the maul or sledge, are both large cedar rounds. Due to the high branch count (think like 50+ branch stubs in a single round), they're almost indestructible / will never split.

    When they cleared the lot behind me for building another house, they told me they'd leave me all the wood I wanted. I told them I'd take anything but cedar, as there were literally many hundreds to be had, but I can really only use a few cedar trees per year. They ended up shredding all of them, hauling the chips out in tandem axle dump trucks at a rate of three trucks per hour for two straight days! They left me 11 big but crooked trunks of ash, walnut, maple, and hackberry, while the majority of the straight hardwood trunks went to the mill on a big logging truck.
  12. teutonicking

    teutonicking Feeling the Heat

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    I've never burned it before but I got a small amount from a neighbor last month. It smells awesome. I'm planning to use it in my stove for some "Christmas wood." I think it will add a nice smell around the holidays. I only have enough for a few days of burning.
  13. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Enough cedar for a few days of burning would constitute a full pickup truck load. It burns fast!
    Big Donnie Brasco likes this.
  14. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    Looks like it is a call between doing your elderly neighbor a favor vs. being taken advantage of. Depends on what her situation is and how ugly that tree really is.
  15. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

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    She has the money to get rid if it, she's not the poor old lady we think of, more like the retired from "Ma Bell" with thousands of original shares, old lady! I was thinking for me, She is very nice though, when my daughter went to college, she gave her a $500.00 gift so I don't mind helping her.
  16. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    Have a tree guy take it down and deal with the brush, and tell him to dispose of the rounds at your place on his way out.
    Joful likes this.
  17. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

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    I thought about that, "but" as scarce as wood is around here, they will either "charge" me for it or they will usually sell it to the campgrounds this time of year.
  18. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    Ask the old lady to have the tree guys leave the rounds for her then. It is her tree, she can tell them to leave it. Then you just go over and pick up the rounds. Or even better, have her demand they drop it off at your place :)
  19. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

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    I'm gonna talk to her after work, she offered to me yesterday when we were chatting. She has here grand kids coming in for the 4th of July and wanted it gone by then. She asked me to take it this weekend, if not she was going to call a local tree guy. I'll figure something out! I just wanted to know how it burns, and if I'm gonna be cleaning my chimney after I burn it. I may grab it and "deal with the concequensis" _g
  20. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I like cedar -- eastern white cedar up here -- splits like a dream . . . but it burns fast. Very good for kindling and fair for the shoulder season fires . . . not the wood to go to when you are looking for long burns in middle of the winter.
    fishingpol likes this.
  21. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Burn characteristics is similar to pine. Burns hot, fast and if seasoned properly, no more dangerous than any other wood.

    Manual splitting sucks. The dang things have a new branch every 8 inches.
  22. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Every 8 inches? The cedar around here has two new branches per inch!
  23. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

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    Don't sound fun:eek:.... I split by hand too.
    Big Donnie Brasco likes this.
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Between the brush, the modest heat value of the wood and toss in the fact that you have to hand whack it. My opinion - walk away. Maybe even jog a little bit.
    Big Donnie Brasco and Joful like this.
  25. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

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    I'm thinking hard at that one;ex It's just hard to pass on free wood
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