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wood ID

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by bogydave, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I'm 99.9999% sure this is cottonwood ;)
    I got 10 rounds from a nice log 4 days ago when scrounging some spruce & birch.
    The log was on top of a birch , so home it came.
    Just split it 10 min ago , just to get a picture. :)
    DSCF0906.JPG

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  2. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    There are very few choices up there in the interior. You have White Birch, White Spruce, Black Spruce, Cottonwood, and that is about it. Is there aspen in your area? I think it has to be Cottonwood.
  3. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Yes, Quaking aspen.
    Alder too.
    AK-WOOD-BTU.jpg
  4. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Well if that's Cottonwood then your Cottonwood looks nothing like it does down here. Not surprising really with vastly different growing conditions. I guess you need another Northerner to confirm your I.D.
    As an aside I'd be interested to see the difference in density & btu's between your Cottonwood and something from around here....
  5. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    The bark is weird, but the wood looks like cottonwood.

    Huh, didn't know Tamarack grew up here. I've never seen it.
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    nate379 likes this.
  7. nrford

    nrford Minister of Fire

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    That is Aspen.
  8. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Definitely not aspen that grows here.
    The aspen here looks similar to birch,
    whitish bark, just not the flaky paper bark.
  9. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    It would never pass for cottonwood we have here.....not stringy enough in those splits, but like midwestcoast mentioned, you have a tad different growing conditions than us 48ers.
  10. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Yup, I've mistaken it for birch a time or two. The baby birch, before the bark starts getting all flakey, looks alot like aspen.

    I think it's cottonwood just from the way the grain is in the wood. Is has that big section of heartwood and it's really straight. I like cottonwood for splitting and stacking, don't get twisted pieces very often.
    I'd guess maybe the tree was in the shade a fair amount so the bark didn't get cooked by the sun and turn light grey.

  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Don't look like cottonwood but more like plain old popple.
  12. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Yea the young ones like this one do.
    I'll have to get a picture of one of the big mature cottonwoods, 4' to 5' diameter ones sometime.
    2"+ thick bark & usually hollow. But huge :)
  13. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I think it is a Quaking Aspen.
  14. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Not aspen, but close. That's from a tree that commonly grows in the western US and Canada. It is called black cottonwood here (Oregon), and western balsam poplar inland and farther north, and California poplar farther south. The botanical name is: Populus trichocarpa. It grows from CA up to southern Alaska and inland to Montana and Alberta. There is a lot of that stuff growing around here. It has dark greenish-grey to light green-yellow heartwood. It has green smooth bark on young trees and the new/upper branches of older trees, and has deeply furrowed bark on older trees. The 'tweener' bark looks like that, thin bark with emerging furrows, and the milky white specks and blobs. It gets rather large here up to 150 ft. tall and 6 ft. in diameter (largest Populus species in North America).

    I am burning that last of the black cottonwood that I got 2 years ago. It has low heat value and has a smell like cat pee when burned. Those are the reasons I stopped getting more. It is always available for free here. I would rather burn alder, pine or cedar or any other light wood. It burns OK and coals up well, but... depending on the locality and dryness of the wood, the BTU ratings for black cottonwood are 13M - 16M BTU/cord, seemingly better than eastern cottonwood species. Tamarack/larch is often times listed as being low, but some rate it better than doug fir at about 24M BTU/cord. I have found it to be about the same as Doug. I would go after the tamarack there if you can get it. They call it larch here.
    Applesister likes this.
  15. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Here is a free pile of black cottonwood posted on CL in the Seattle area today

    cottonwood seattle.jpg
    Applesister likes this.
  16. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Pic of 3 trees close together
    What medium size ones look like here.
    left is aspen, middle is birch & right is cottonwood.
    Not full size mature trees but a big difference

    3TREES1.JPG


    Can see the cottonwood is getting ready to crap on you the first of 5 times it craps on you thru the year :)
    It'll drop these sticky bud covers (you can see it has buds before the other trees.)

    Tops: all 3. .. .. .. ........................... ....... . Aspen: .. . . . .. . . . . ........ ................... . . . . . . .Cottonwd:
    APN-BCH-CW.JPG ASPN2.JPG CW2.JPG

    The cottonwood in the OP had been fell, rolled, knocked & drug around & stacked; so the bark was been smoothed up some.
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  17. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Yep
    Cottonwood ;)
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  18. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, bogydave for these pics. Too bad about the Larch trees bug problems. That sounds pretty serious. There is a sawfly here in NY that is on the watch list. Its actually on DOT's watch list. Like the Emerald Ash Borer.
    Larch or tamaracks have beautiful pine cones.
    Does your 'cottonwood' have that 'balsam' scent? The gummy resin? Or is that a completely different Balsam Poplar?
    There are so many....
    Im in upper part of NY and all aspens and some cottonwood here. Cottonwoods here follow waterways. Champlain canal system up to Canada. All of the types I've split were pure white wood all the way thru. No dark heartwood.
  19. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Here is a medium size cottowood
    Tried to stack the pics , rough bark near the bottom & smoother as you go up.
    DSCF0929.JPG
    DSCF0928.JPG

    It has the sticky resin.

    The thing I notice about trees, one area the same species of tree looks different.
    Different wind patterns, different nutrients, different water etc.
    Environmental conditions effect the trees growth & appearance ;)
  20. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    That is true about black cottonwoods looking different. I have been fooled into thinking they are other species in winter. Some have smooth bark even when they are older, some are deeply furrowed bark even when they are young. They can have many branches and spread out when growing in open places, or be branchless and upright in groves. They typically have dark heartwood, but many suburbian and farm cottonwood trees here are crosses with non-native eastern poplar/cottonwood species and they have solid white wood. They grow in large stands along the waterways here as well, and we have a lot of rivers here. Likely they also root graft or are fungal grafted in stands.
  21. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Here is a 3+ cord pile of fresh split cottonwood from a cross species not far from me posted on CL. He wants $200 for it all, you haul. If it were a better species of wood, it would be mine.

    cottonwood cross split.jpg
  22. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    This is why its called cottonwood. The black cottonwood ripened seeds are covered in fine cotton hairs that help with wind dispersal.

    cotton on cottonwood.jpg
  23. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Here is the typical transitional/varied bark of black cottonwood

    cottonwood bark transition.jpg
  24. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    +1
    Mid summer snow fall !

    That's the phase of the tree that plugs air filters,
    Plugs the screen to my Green house fan.
    Some folks have allergies.

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