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Why is Elm so bad?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by sapratt, Nov 16, 2008.

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  1. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

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    I've been reading for a while now people not liking to burn Elm. I put a peice of Elm in the stove today and man it burned
    great. It was worth the trouble splitting it.

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  2. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    Elm not bad, Elm good.
  3. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    Elm is great to burn and not bad to split with a splitter. It is a pain in the rear to hand split, but the memory fades while
    sitting in a warm room with a cold beer.
  4. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    I had elm and cotton wood on my old property and the elm was dying of dutch elm? I cut the elm and cottonwood for 15 years and heated my house with it and didn't have to buy the hard woods. My Kent tile stove and my somewhat small house saved me a ton of money over the years I lived there.

    Shipper
  5. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    The thing I've found with elm is that you have to let it season for a loooooooooooooong time. Lots of moisture.
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Ja, maybe if you have a log splitter. It burns fine. About the same as Black Ash but man, it sure doesn't split like Ash. When I split Ash on the splitter, I almost feel ashamed of the laziness. WIth ASh you barely have to drive the wedge into it but get a piece of Elm in there and I have to run the ram the full stroke and then wrestle it off the wedge and fight the last two inches of stringy wood. Sometimes I back off the ram and stick a piece of wood under it so the ram can go all the way through it.

    In many places Elm is illegal to transport and sell because of Dutch Elm disease. I cull off the dead and dying Elm off my property and burn it.
  7. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

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    One day I'll get big enough to use a splitter. I don't mind splitting by hand I'm still young enough.
  8. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    Loc:
    Yankee Springs....in SW Michigan
    I cut down a red (slippery) elm back in April and it split great. Barely had to get the wedge in and it popped. Dried pretty good in 7 months. My neighbor dealt with some elm couple years ago and said it was tough splittin.....I know it wasn't red elm, can't remember what he told me it was...
  9. fishinpa

    fishinpa Member

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    I have not had a chance to burn and elm yet, but a friend dropped me about a cord + or rounds. I couldn't split it. It splits, I guess but it leaves lots of 'fingers' (?) holding the splits together, and it seems to grow "twisted" if that makes any sense, adding to the difficulty. (?)

    I just stacked it on two pallets and will try to split it again in the spring. I'm hoping it'll split better, thinking it was just too wet when I tried.

    Suggestions?
  10. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    "Elm good- fire bad!"

    No, waidaminnit- "Elm good, fire good!"

    Never mind... ;-)
  11. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

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    I let my rounds sit for about months then split it. I use a hatchet on the finger.
  12. Jeff S

    Jeff S Feeling the Heat

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    I cut about 3 cord of dead elm and found that the wet pieces are very hard to split but if I let them dry out for a few weeks after bucking to length that they more bearable to split.No complaints about burning it.
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I cut a lot of standing dead elm on my property this past year as I was doing the typical newbie woodburner thing and getting a stove well before getting my wood. Now this wood was dead-dead (no bark), rather small in diameter (12 inches or less) and I was using a woodsplitter . . . but I had zero problems splitting this wood and so far the few pieces I have burned have been great. As others have said . . . splitting green elm by hand has been one of the main issues with elm so it seems.
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    If you can split that elm by hand you dont need to grow up your going to stay young FOREVER!
  15. bayshorecs

    bayshorecs New Member

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    Try splitting this one by hand. Notice you can see how the tree twisting as it grows.

    [​IMG]
  16. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    You might lose a couple wedges in that piece trying to split that by hand!

    That looks like a good beer holder / splitting block if-in you don't got no splitter!
  17. fallsfire36

    fallsfire36 New Member

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    Elm is gofer wood... ....if you are burning it, you better gofer more. If seasoned and dry, it will burn fast and hot. Elm is a decent wood to burn, but definitely needs a long time to season if cut live, it does hold a lot of water (they typically grow in moist soils). Also, if/when you split it...use a mechanical splitter, and be patient.
  18. Dill

    Dill Feeling the Heat

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    I love to burn Elm. I'm just running out of standing dead elm at my folks place. It is hard to split, I wouldn't attempt it by hand.
    Elm also holds up well, lots of old barns in New England have elm floors, I can't imagine working it by hand.
  19. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

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    I didn't think this stuff burned fast. Didn't last as long as Oak but still burned good.
  20. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    Chateaugay, NY
    I am a new wood burner, but have already learned that if it burns, burn it!

    Seriously, I won't go out of my way for less desirable woods, but if something is easily accessable then I will cut and burn it.
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