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Thoughts on elm?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Sully, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Sully

    Sully Feeling the Heat

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    Will have a chance this afternoon to add elm to the stack. After Reading some other posts and the tree trimmer saying it sucks I figured I'd get some opinions if it is worth it.

    I would only be getting a pick up truck load and I split everything with the x27. Heard elm is hard splitter. What are the elm experiences here?

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  2. Sully

    Sully Feeling the Heat

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    Also after a quick look it is american elm, seems to be a bit darker brown heartwood
  3. lindnova

    lindnova Feeling the Heat

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    Yes it is usually really stringy and hard to split. It does burn real nice though. I would take it. If it splits real hard you could either rent a hydraulic splitter or leave it in rounds for a year and let it dry and season some then split it. It seems to be worst to split when wet.
    Applesister likes this.
  4. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    Pass on it. You seem to have a steady stream of wood otherwise. (Or better just get a piece or two so you can know how elm behaves and base any further decisions on your own experience.)
    BillLion likes this.
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh - I think you need to grab it up. Just for the experience.
    Joking aside - you wouldn't believe the difference from tree to tree. I have had some elm that really didn't split too bad. I have had others that were really tough.
    You may have a good experience...or maybe not.;lol
    jeff_t likes this.
  6. Sully

    Sully Feeling the Heat

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    I will most likely grab a truck. Try it out and if it's to difficult I will toss it lol
  7. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Minister of Fire

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    Put it on Craigslist and ask $50......;lol :p

    I don't get Elm around here for some reason-either that or I do and don't know what it is, but I know more woods than I don't. Have often wondered about it too because some guys on here say they like it, but I always remember that line from that one firewood poem that goes akin to "Elm burns like a churchyard mould, even the very flames are cold", so that doesn't sound too good to me?!
    Applesister, JoeyD and Clyde S. Dale like this.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Splitting with that, I would definitely pass.
  9. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    The X-27 is much better with elm than a maul in my experience. It cuts through the strings better. It can still be a total PITA though. Depends on the tree.
    1 pick-up load is worth it, just to see how it goes. I guess you've already decided though…
    Good luck.
  10. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    If you have a good supply now pass it up. It's tough to split with a X27. I wouldn't get it without a hydraulic.
    It only burns well if it's really seasoned. Otherwise it's a smoker at best.
  11. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I leave Elm to rot. Way too much trouble to split by hand.

    Hey Jags, Where's that famous picture of Elm in the splitter that you post?
  12. Donk4kyv

    Donk4kyv New Member

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    I cut up a dead tree. Couldn't even split it with hydraulic. Cut up some smaller rounds from the limbs and it burnt OK after sitting for a few months. Laid some of the pieces too large to fit in the stove on the bottom layer of the stack and stacked good wood on top of it. At least it serves to keep the good stuff off the ground.
  13. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    It sucks. If you've never tried it, you should get some to see just how bad. They say 'A cord of elm will last a lifetime' ...because that is about how long it will take to split it.
    BillLion likes this.
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    This one?
    100_1025sm.jpg

    Or maybe this one:
    1035small.jpg

    Notice the axe in the background? Yeah, it was used quite a bit that day.
    BillLion likes this.
  15. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I had an Elm tree on my property that dies a few years ago. I had my tree guy take it down. When he was working on it I asked him if it was good for firewood. He said yes it burns nice. After he was done I started splitting my stack of very dead and dry Elm rounds. Everything I hit it with just bounced right off it. After about an hour I had split two or three rounds. I stacked the rest of them out in front f the house on the curb. After a few weeks somebody took it! A year or so later I met the neighbor who took it. He said that he and his sons were able to split it by hand just fine. Better him than me. I saw my tree guy buddy a after I tried splitting the Elm and I told him what I had done with it and asked him why he told me it was good firewood. He said it burns real nice, but its a SOB to split! I said thanks for leaving that part out. I guess he didn't want to pay to get rid of it. As I said above, as far as I am concerned Elm is compost.
  16. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    That's the one Jags.
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't mind it, but I am pushing some pretty big hydraulics.
  18. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    My bio mechanical powered splitter is no match for Elm.
    Jags likes this.
  19. BillLion

    BillLion Minister of Fire

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    Mixing some American elm with some higher BTU woods now. Not bad burning wood, but once it's gone I'm done. I don't have a hydraulic splitter so it's not worth the headache for me.

    That said, I do suggest everyone that has access gets it and tries to manually split it at least one time. It's worth the bragging rights!

    I scored 2 free loads last year until I came to this conclusion! :oops:
  20. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Skinny wedge on hydro splitter =Elm no problem. Most of the commercial bought splitters have fat wedges and/ or very fast spreaders and then you get what jags had. I like Elm worth the time spent on it.
  21. bigbarf48

    bigbarf48 Minister of Fire

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    I'm of the opinion that any wood is worth a truckload, at least for the information. I enjoy processing different types of wood and learning their characteristics :)
  22. Clyde S. Dale

    Clyde S. Dale Feeling the Heat

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    Pass on it Sully. I don't think the BTU's justify it. You've got a good mix so far and in your line of work you will definitely find better wood than elm. Although I do like the $50 CL ad comment from our friend up in Emmaus...
  23. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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    Darker brown heartwood to me indicates red elm which is usually much easier to split. I would also take it if most of it doesn't require splitting.
  24. Sully

    Sully Feeling the Heat

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    Jags this picture makes me want to run. Haha. The tree was cut down and homeowner is going to remove. House is next to a friend of mine and the suggestion got tossed out that sully has big chain saws. Thanks a lot! So if I'm going to help cut smaller for the guy I mine as well get a truck load
  25. Sully

    Sully Feeling the Heat

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    I think your right. Not enough good comments to justify an afternoon

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