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White Oak - Love/Hate

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by shoot-straight, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Loc:
    Kennedyville, MD
    i have been working on my neighbors HUGE white oak that had fallen this past winter. i think it has shortened my life significantly. it has to be the stringiest, knottiest, largest tree i have ever done. far surpasses the large hickory that i cut up 2 years ago. it seems like no round is easily split. none.

    i actually called "uncle" and said "no more"... he has a logger coming in to take the rest of the 36" diameter logs that are left.

    i have learned that there truly is a sweet spot for the perfect size rounds i like. 12-18 is perfect. over 20, epecially with heavy wood like oak simply makes so much damn work just to get it prepared for a final splitting... i have lots of work left to do, but should have 2 years of oak starting in 2015.

    sorry just wanted to vent a bit.

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  2. Hickorynut

    Hickorynut Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    206
    Loc:
    western ky.
    I like a trunk 24" or less for processing myself. And I go for easily split woods when possible, like locust. Did you have a splitter? Tough to say uncle on white oak.
  3. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,793
    Loc:
    NNJ
    I fully understand. That is why I am a wood snob. The devil is in the details with scrounging firewood. Distance, hills, quality of the wood, speciecs, poison ivy, rot, lyme desease.....etc etc etc. You live and learn. I won't take oak unles its literally dropped off in my yard. I choose not to wait two years for wood to season. One year return on investment of my time and property is where I draw the line. Thats not to say I don't let some wood season for two years, I do, but its outstanding after two years, not just adaquate.
    JBinKC likes this.
  4. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,366
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    This must vary quite a bit from tree to tree. Last year I split some small rounds (branches maybe 8" in diameter) that were trimmed from a neighbor's white oak. It was heavy, but split very easily by hand. I hope the trunk is the same, because the rest of the tree is coming down soon.
  5. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Loc:
    Kennedyville, MD
    yep, i can honestly say that several of the knotty rounds last night made my splitter simply stop. that has never happened before. this is no ordinary oak. the knots and "stringyness" was amazing. the splitter would split it, but it would stay attached- i had to then roll it away, and whack it several times with a maul to seperate the pieces. that simply burns me out.

    i have a cord of locust sitting now. thats 3 yrs from hitting the flames. i have a bunch of ash too. that will be burned next year for the most part along with some maple, hickory and sassafras.
  6. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    5,498
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    Last year I scrounged a couple fairly big ones. They were in a yard but a lot of trees so they were pretty straight. A lone yard tree is going to have a lot more low branches, with more gnarly wood. I've got my eye on one like that now; I think if the section I'm sawing looks gnarly, I'll just go ahead and cut 10" rounds that will be easier to split and can be loaded N-S in my stove. I'll suffer the 2+ year drying time because when it finally gets dry, it burns so nicely, and looooong. White Oak is awesome! :cool:

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