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What's With The Maple?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Chardler, Nov 5, 2008.

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  1. Chardler

    Chardler New Member

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    I've been splitting a lot of wood lately that's been bucked and stacked since last winter. When it comes to the maple, it seems like some of it has turned punky in places where it's been in contact with the ground (not actually dirt, we laid down 100 yds of wood chips in the woodlot where we process the firewood so we don't have to work in the mud and deal w/ caked on dirt in the bark). The rest of the wood species seems to be OK inside after it's split, even parts that were in contact w/ the ground.
    I heard a few years ago something to the effect that maple has some kind of chemical or enzyme in it that begins to degrade the wood if it's not split soon after it's been cut. Any truth to that?

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    dont know if thats true never had a problem unless it was questionable from the start(rotten spots fill good when wet but get very light when dry)silver maple
  3. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    I don't like to cut maple during the winter, because the water will fill in the punky. This is rough on chains, then when placed on the fire, totally wrecks my day - and most of the night!!

    Though I would burn nothing but hard maple if I had enough, I would get it cut and stacked and protected immediatly, as I have found it will rot quite quickly. Probably not as fast as Beech.

    Yet another reason I burn 95% oak :)
  4. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I do know that when growing mushrooms on wood, some woods do better and should be used when sugar content is highest. Maybe the high sugar content of the wood promotes fungal growth.
  5. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    I had some paper birch that grew mushrooms after being stacked...
  6. Chardler

    Chardler New Member

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    They all sound like possible reasons why the wood is turning punky after such a short amount of time. Though it was all in fine condition when it was cut down and then bucked. Just seems like it's 'turning' inside. Just wondering if there was any truth to the chem reaction in maple thing I heard about once.
    Either way, it's almost all split now for this year and not much is left of what was bucked last winter, so I'll be turning my attention to the oak so it will be ready for next season. That's got a moisture content of over 30% now, so splitting will get that down by next season hopefully.
    Which brings me to that thing I heard about the tannins in oak....
  7. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    The old timers around here call that Doty wood.
  8. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Every now and then I'll start bucking a prime maple and run into punky parts right in the center...most of the time it splits right out. Other than that I kind of like maple to burn and that really not so much as a complaint but an observation. Just say'en we burn punky wood probably more than the average Joe...it has its place in our annual 24/7 wood burning pilgrimage.
  9. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Spring cut sugar maple will retain sugar in the wood (attracting bacteria)and rot much faster than other woods.If your cutting tops out of a woods that was timbered in the late winter/early spring it's best to go after the maple first as it will rot the fastest. Beech ,birch,and ash next. Leave cherry and oak the longest as they will not rot very fast. I have seen cherry last 10-15 years and still sound in the woods if it is off the ground.
  10. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    You're burning in a Woodstock soapstone is that right? If so punky does fine in that stove.
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