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Wood ID in western Massachusstes

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by rawlins02, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. rawlins02

    rawlins02 Member

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    What do I have here? Two types here. The wood in first pic is very dense. Splits are heavy. Rounds were left behind by previous homeowner. Very stringy and red inside when I split them. The wood in second pic is lighter and has a nice ringing sound when I tap two splits together. And there are psychedelic patterns through the ends of a round (cross section) Not much bark left, as this was from a downed tree that I bucked and split. I can take more photos from further out if needed. IMGP1098.JPG IMGP1099.JPG

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  2. nrford

    nrford Minister of Fire

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    top pic is red oak. Bottom is Hard Maple, that is very punky!
  3. rawlins02

    rawlins02 Member

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    Thanks nrford. I just looked at a BTU table. Red Oak is mid-high it seems. Good. That stuff is was really tough to split. Probably because many rounds were 18-20 inches long! Is there a consensus on hard maple BTU content per pound? Wasn't in the table I saw. Yes there are a few punky splits. But most are not, from what I can tell. Do tell: What are major drawbacks to a bit of punk.
  4. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    The punky wood will absorb rain water so keep it top covered.
    It has lost most of the lignen and cellulose structure that would normally release BTU's to rot/fungus that is feeding on it.
    punky wood won't coal that well so not really great unless you're around to tend the fire - it tends to be a bit messy as well.
    midwestcoast likes this.
  5. nrford

    nrford Minister of Fire

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    BTU's are nearly as good for Hard maple as Oak. Your chart may show Hard Maple as Sugar or Rock Maple. Hard Maple is the lumbermans term for Sugar Maple. And basod covered the punk issue.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. rawlins02

    rawlins02 Member

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    Yes I recall some pieces were like a sponge. Those get tossed out. My stacks are top covered with a tarp. I do tend the fires. How to tell if fuel is coaling well? What to look for?

    Sugar maple and Northern Red Oak are both exactly 24.0 million BTUs per cord in the table I found. Same to one decimal point. Right on nrford!

    Edit: Just read that red oak should season for 2+ years. Mine was in rounds when I arrived last Jan; split 'em in Feb. Moisture content with my meter is in upper teens but of course that's at the edges. I will go through my stack and burn smaller splits first.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Any maple will spalt. I'm not sure what type it is. I agree with the red oak for the 1st one.

    Matt
  8. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Agree on both id's. Good call.

    Spalted maple in the earlier stages can be a nice wood to work with before it is in the punk stage.
  9. rawlins02

    rawlins02 Member

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    It's been quite dry here recently, so I pulled back my tarp. Just remembered, I've also got some other kind of oak. Nearly certain it is anyway.

    IMGP1101.JPG

    I was given a dozen or so some rounds by a friend. Anyone know what type of oak? Stuff was very knotted and tough to split. It's all been tough to split! When I split them they were not fresh, but not rotten. I believe moisture content is good after seasoning, once split, for 9-10 months. How about these logs? Is this pine or spruce?

    IMGP1104.JPG

    My year 1 measly stack of all scrounged. Two stacks to left are red oak, sugar maple on right, with oak(?) not visible to the back. Plan this season is to burn anything there but the red oak, as it needs another year I'm sure.

    IMGP1103.JPG
    raybonz likes this.
  10. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I think the original pictures show Black Oak (pretty much the same as Red Oak), and maple. The next set of pics includes a pic of two rounds (the second picture). Those look more like Pignut Hickory than Oak, at least that is my impression. Hickory is about as good as oak, from a firewood perspective.
  11. nrford

    nrford Minister of Fire

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    Hickory not oak.
  12. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Some of the stack in that first pic looks like pine.
    I'd second the rounds that you've had trouble splitting are hickory - save for cold nights
    As far as coaling goes: The punky stuff will burn fine when you go to reload it will look more like you burned a tightly rolled newspaper - flaky thin coals.
    When you get into some seasoned oak/hickory you'll have rounded hot coals intact - alot easier on relights
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Definitely 2+ years on oak. We give it 3 for sure.
  14. rawlins02

    rawlins02 Member

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    Thanks for replies folks. I was most interested in the splits in first pic from earlier today. My friend said the rounds came from a huge branch of his Oak tree. We know it's Oak from the acorns :)

    Some of the splits toward the bottom left of that first pic are the Sugar Maple. The second pic are some scrounged large branches from the side of the road here. There is more. I take it from replies that those are hickory.

    I've got a small stack of splits from another downed tree sitting in the woods near my friends house. Need to get them moved and covered. Can't wait to find out what that is.

    As you can see I've been gathering these little scrounges. I only burn on weekends and I have no pickup truck. In fact I don't own a car! Makes scrounging a real challenge. LOL. Someone I work with has 10+ acres with several recent downed trees. Hate to rent a truck to move 1-2 cords but oh well.

    basod: Understand about coaling. Will observe. Thanks.
  15. rawlins02

    rawlins02 Member

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    Would like to confirm what I've got. Not sure based on replies to post last Tuesday. Here are two pics of what I thought came from an oak tree. I understand I've got mostly red oak, shown in my first post in this thread. But are these splits of another type of oak? I was told rounds came from a branch of a tree throwing acorns.

    IMGP1105.JPG IMGP1106.JPG


    Amazing what these well seasoned splits do when tossed on some coals. Like throwing gasoline in the box! I'd been trying to burn my red oak, not knowing they need another year to season.

    Splits here, I believe, are more hard (sugar) maple? These came from a downed tree I bucked and split over the summer. Unless I'm mistaken, I got that wood at just the right time. Another few months (late winter?) or year will be plenty for this group.

    IMGP1111.JPG

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