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Tree ID Sugar Maple or Hickory...or something else?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by KingNFM, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. KingNFM

    KingNFM New Member

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    Brand spanking new to this stuff. I have two pictures, one is from a tree that was cut down 3 years ago in my neighbors yard. My son and I went out yesterday and started cutting it up into more manageable sizes. The second picture is a tree that I'm going to have taken down in about a year since it's dying and leaning over my shed.

    I live in an area that is known for Hemlock, Hickory (Ironically it's also the name of the street I live on), Maple, and Oaks. I'm very new to cutting and burning so getting an ID will help me.

    Next I have to figure out how to split these things with an axe....I'm a hefty guy and I came down on it REALLY hard and barely dented it.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Looks like shag bark hickory to me.
  3. KingNFM

    KingNFM New Member

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    Are these things always this difficult to split?

    I'll have to test them on my better working wood splitter (aka my 15 year old son who doesn't have back problems......yet).
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    The longer it drys the hard the wood....Milled one a couple months ago you would have thought you where cutting rock.
  5. spacecowboyIV

    spacecowboyIV New Member

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    If you are new to splitting the tendency is to want to hit everything dead center, even these large rounds. Try to work on the outside first and move your way towards the center. Also makes balancing the round easier as it gets smaller.
  6. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    That sure looks like Oak to me.
  7. the_dude

    the_dude Feeling the Heat

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    I agree.
  8. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    Same here
  9. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I see rays in the wood (you can see lines radiating from the center of the round), which are characteristic of oak. Definitely looks like an oak to me, perhaps Red Oak or similar.
  10. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Looks like oak to me also.

    Matt
  11. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Big guy even a crappie swing should have split oak....
  12. KingNFM

    KingNFM New Member

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    LOL

    Apparently true.

    This is the first time I've ever actually split wood. I found out that I had the wrong stance, which was causing more pain to my back and I wasn't giving enough force to the head of the axe. I stepped back and spread my feet shoulder length and even....now on the downswing I drag my right hand from the top of the axe down to meet my left hand and BAM! Splitting these logs as if I was a pro now. Also...I do notice that once I've split it the insides are a bit red. So...I'd assume (because I know jack squat about this stuff) that it's Red Oak like these other guys are saying.

    Now...from what I'm reading on these forums....red oak is great for burning right?

    If that's the case....I've hit the jackpot since I have about 5 of these trees grounded ready for me to saw up and split.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    LOL OAK!
  14. ckarotka

    ckarotka Minister of Fire

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    If your abs don't hurt the day after splitting your doin something wrong. Every spring after being lazy all winter I'll go back out start splitting again and the next day......a tad sore in the abdominal region.

    This way in your down swing your not using only upper body strength but also your core. When I hit the wood I look like I'm in a good position to do my business. By bending at the knees takes some of the "Ache" out of my back at least.

    My video series titled "Axes to Abs" is going to infomercial next month :p
  15. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    No way is that any kind of hickory with that narrow band of sapwood. If I had to guess, I'd vote for oak, but it ain't hickory, that I'm sure.
  16. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19 Minister of Fire

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    Possibly could be cherry as well... a picture of a split will tell us a lot more...
  17. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Red oak is super to burn.

    Many people jerk up a bit on at the end of the swing, cutting their power by quite a bit. If you think you are doing this try bending your knees just a bit when you are coming down. Bending my knees a bit helps me keep the velocity up and the head moving straight down vs starting to move back toward me at the bottom of the arc.

    Matt
  18. Corriewf

    Corriewf New Member

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    Not oak...hickory.
  19. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    I took another look at it zoomed in on my monitor. Those lines aren't rays, rays are light in color. I'm leaning toward some funky, punky cherry.

    I just went out the other day for a splitting session. About a cord of locust split as easy as any oak I've ever split, except for a couple of "rubber rounds" that the Fiskars just bounced off. Some shagbark just laughed at the Fiskars, but several well placed whacks persuaded it to stop laughing. I saved the easiest for last - about 20-30 decent size cherry rounds (up to 18"). Well, Mr. Fiskars didn't like them at all. I'm a beefy guy myself (275#) and am no stranger to hard work. Never met cherry like these before. I grabbed the 8# maul and took about three huge swings near the outer edge. On the last swing I overshot the edge and broke the GD handle.

    I'm noodling the rest of this stuff. Now I will stop laughing when somebody says cherry is hard to split. Never found it to be true before, but even Quads would have a tough time with this cherry. :roll:
  20. KingNFM

    KingNFM New Member

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    I'll get some pictures later when the sun comes up. Once I found my position they were splitting pretty easily. I do hope they are red oak, after looking at some of the leaves in the trees in the area I do see a lot that look like oak leaves.
  21. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    That red oak is great for heat in two years.
  22. KingNFM

    KingNFM New Member

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    It was cut down and sitting for 3 years already, I just split it yesterday. I hope that cuts down on the seasoning time...lol
  23. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Maybe 23 months if its in the sun split small, single row.
  24. CTYank

    CTYank Minister of Fire

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    An axe is a tool meant for cutting wood, not usef.ul for splitting larger than kindling. Either it gets stuck in the wood, or sometimes it just pops right through the wood (like, on the edge next to you) and heads for a shin. Not good. And ... the hardened steel does not take well to being hammered on once stuck.

    A maul is a tool that evolved for the purpose of splitting wood. Much "chubbier" cheeks. Typically forged mild steel. 6-8 lb head.

    Red oak take a long time to reach equilibrium moisture content, but when it does, it burns fine.
  25. KingNFM

    KingNFM New Member

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    Honestly, I think I have a maul, I'm just used to calling it an axe. It's got a long fiberglass handle and the head is pretty hefty, the back of the blade looks like a sledge hammer almost.

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