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Tree size versus amount of wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by GeeWizMan, Jul 9, 2009.

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  1. GeeWizMan

    GeeWizMan Member

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    I just got through cutting up an oak tree. The tree was approximately 75 feet tall with the base at ground level being 24 inches. After cutting, bucking, splitting and stacking the wood to let it age, I measured the stack of wood. It came to almost exactly one full cord of wood, (4' x 4' x 8')

    When I cut down a tree, I do try to get to as much burnable wood as possible with in reason. I mean I do not waste my time cutting up branches smaller than 2 inches in diameter.

    I was just wondering if you all get a similar amount of wood out of a tree?

    Now, I got to get back into the woods cause I go through about 7 cords of word per season.

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  2. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    7 cords per season! How many stoves do you run?
  3. GeeWizMan

    GeeWizMan Member

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    I run 2 stoves 24/7 from mid November to mid April. I have my 2 parents that are 89 and 92 living with us and they like the house very warm.
  4. fsk2

    fsk2 New Member

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    7 cords of what type of wood?

    Here in Buffalo I go through 5 cords, but that is buring 24/7 Fri eve to mon morn, and 6pm to overnight during the week.
    50% willow and pine, 25% ash, 15% maple, 10% cherry and locust.
    Free wood but i usually only can find willow and pine.

    Avalon Olympic stove is what we have.


    Wish I had a 2nd small stove for other half of house.
  5. fsk2

    fsk2 New Member

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    What type of wood do u burn?
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I have dropped a lot of big oak both red and white. I have never gotten more than 3/4 of a cord of tightly stacked wood out of a tree in my life. Most times not that much.
  7. MNtreewood

    MNtreewood Member

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    Oaks seem to vary a lot I think on usable wood-probably most hardwoods in general. On our property they all grew close together so they have the main large dia. trunk but very little firewood sized branches, while I've got more open farmland/pasture areas not far away that have and oak or two along the fence line and they not only have a nice big round trunk but some monster branches that have a good diameter and can go way out and up.

    I used to not cut up much of the branches until I bought a smaller arborist saw and now I find myself putting less on the brush pile because I can use one hand to hold the smaller stuff and zip through it fast with small saw in other hand. Leave the bigger saws for felling, bucking.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Quit doing that. Please.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I guess "big" is a relative term. I don't have any real big trees on my land but some of the big trees I've seen posted here have to be more than 2 cord.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Not at 24" at the base of the stump they aren't. Well, one here might have been. 14 feet up it split into two huge oaks all their own. Until it split down the middle at the crotch.

    That was a lot of fun. Two huge oak "springs" hanging in the air in a "Y" shape. The whole neighborhood brought lawn chairs and beverages to watch me whack that one in 1992.
  11. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I would have gotten more, because I save everything down to one inch. Less brush to dispose of, more firewood.
  12. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    My 'original tree' that started it all for me was a Red Oak over 100ft tall, around 36-40 in at the base, close to 100 years old. It had several branches that ran between 12-18 in dia. I believe it gave me over 3 cords. But I agree, the average 'big tree' gives a cord or so. I'll probably still be burning that Oak 2 years from now, as I have other sources feeding my collection.
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Most of the family land has been cut at one point or another so while there is some big wood there is no "monster" trees out there . . . but that's OK since I actually prefer not to tackle too big a tree since it seems that there is a direct correlation (for me at least) to the size of the tree and problems with getting the tree cut down. For example here are some math formulas that I have discovered affect me.

    The greater the size of the tree (X) = the greater likelihood that my saw will be pinched . . . divide the Y figure (likelihood that my saw will be pinched) by the Z figure (the time spent looking for another saw to free the first saw + the time spent whacking away at the tree with an ax before it breaks) and you have the XYZ figure which is the time I spend swearing at the tree and my Irish luck


    The greater the size of the tree = the greater likelihood that the tree will fall directly opposite from the direction that I intended . . . subtract the Y figure (the likelihood of the tree falling in the opposite direction) by the number of times I say "Oh Sh@% . . . oh sh@! . . . oh sh@#" and the number of times I exponentially multiply the Oh Sh@# factor by now yelling "Oh f@*# . . . oh f@*^" as the tree is now heading towards something that I really don't want it to hit (i.e. my ATV which I foolishly thought was far enough away, my ax or me) and you have the XY figure which is the number of years that have just been taken off my life span

    The greater the size of the tree = the greater likelihood that the tree will get hung up in a nearby tree . . . add in the Y figure (the likelihood of the tree getting hung up) to the circumference of the tree it is hung up to, multiply that figure by the number of large branches that are now partially broken off and just hanging overhead by a wood fiber or two and now multiply by 2 the fact that while you have a tractor and a winch you are unable to get that close to the tree due to the terrain and the winch is exactly five feet too short and you have the XYZ squared factor which is the number of days you leave the tree in the woods in the hope that a strong windstorm or heavy snowstorm will bring the tree down to the ground
  14. GeeWizMan

    GeeWizMan Member

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    That is funny Jake, and there is a lot of truth in what you say.
  15. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    Hilarious....and so true. I like big trees for the amount of wood but man....your corollary above is spot on. I've pinched saws, had to use tow straps, axes, brut force, everything to get some big trees to move. I thought I was the only one that could make a tree go the exact opposite direction it "looked like" it wanted to go. HA! This board is full of real people. Those pro tree cutters may do it right every time but us part timers have much better stories to tell.....
  16. MaineMike100

    MaineMike100 Member

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    I used to have a chart giving the quantity of wood in a tree based on diameter. Can't find it right now, but I do remember it said an average hardwood tree 18" dbh has 1 cord of wood. That's probably consistant with your 24" tree at the base, usually quite a root swell that diminishes rapidly as you go up on oaks.
  17. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

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  18. GeeWizMan

    GeeWizMan Member

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    JBinKC that is a very cool pdf file you linked up. I will keep it as a reference for the future. Thanks. :)
  19. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    I cut up a big oak that was basically just shy of 3 cords of oak. It was a monster though. I have had a few that were 2 cords. But we are talking 3 ft plus diameter trees. The 18 inch bar on the farm boss had to be run down 3 sides and twist to get it to break. Thats realllllllllly pushing it!
  20. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Good thing the 029 doesn't have big dogs stealing bar length. No dogs on my saw with the 16 inch bar. I run it so close to the hilt the muffler sometimes sets the bark on fire.
  21. michaelryba

    michaelryba Member

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    The chart that was posted is good--but to complicated for my simple head. I just remember: "A tree that's a 1' accross at eye level= 1/3 of a cord"
    Also, variables that haven't been mentioned yet--"R" (rot) and "B" (bugs) can really do a number on yield.
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