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Would you take a 36" oak that has.....

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by fabsroman, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    been sitting on the ground for 2 years? I have the opportunity to take a couple of trees like this that have been down on the ground for around 2 years. Just wondering if I am wasting my time, or if the wood will still be good.

    Seems like getting anything under 36" is impossible lately. Might take a drive over there in the car and take a section out of the trees to see what they look like.

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  2. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    I'd venture a guess and say that will be some great firewood. Might have some punk on the sap wood but I bet the heartwood is fine. Probably will still take a good while to dry once it is split.
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  3. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Yes I would take it. The sapwood may be punky, but that is often the case with standing dead oak. The heartwood will be solid I'll wager, and big rounds are great to split. You get a ton of rectangular splits which are great for stacking and packing into the stove.
  4. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, if the sap wood is punky, I am just going to split it off the wood and throw it away. Dealt with some of that punky stuff in late October and November and would rather take it to the dump than put it in the furnace. Hoping the cross section I take turns out to be relatively decent.
    burbbilly and ScotO like this.
  5. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    I had a log load sitting on the ground for 2 years before I got it finished and the stuff on the bottom had a bout an inch or so of punk.
    Sandy soil though, so YMMV.
    I also had some stacks on Oak sleepers for over 2 years. Sleepers were 4-5" diameter, and when I pulled them this past fall, they were still mostly solid.
    Big tree like that, the amount of wood to punk ratio would make me take the chainsaw with me.:cool:
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  6. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    I agree - take it! There's probably a lot of good wood there!
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  7. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    A big "HELL YEAH" from here, too! I cut TONS of downed oak on my neighbor's 385 acre farm......some of it has been down for over a decade or more....and it burns fine once split, stacked and seasoned. Granted the standing, barkless, sapwood-less snags are usually only a year or so from use, that downed tree is gonna be really wet inside. But give it 2 to 3 C/S/S, it'll perform just as good as the others.

    One note, when you go to split that downed oak, if the sapwood is punky (which it probably is), I'd consider taking it all off when splitting. I've done this many times and it really helps out both in the seasoning department and in the cleanliness department when bringing the wood in the house and loading the stove.....
  8. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    What are you still doing sitting here!! Where's it at? I can be loaded up & on the road in 30 minutes.

    I routinely take various oaks 8" - 20" plus that have been on the ground 10 or 15 years easily.Over 90% is still sound.
  9. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    Allot of my 1500 sq. ft. of red oak flooring was from trees that were downed in a storm a fee years ago. Maybe the outer inch was bad, but everything inside was solid and beautiful.
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  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Well, we took some 10 year old oak that has been sitting on the ground. A lot of it was cut to 16" too. Still hard stuff and will burn nicely in a few years.
    AJS56 and ScotO like this.
  11. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    Same here Thislte.........the stuff stays sound.
  12. legrandice

    legrandice Burning Hunk

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    I would agree. I have taken oak that has been sitting on the ground for 5 years...no problem. Great wood. Silver maple next to it, just about to fall apart and soft.
  13. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    I dont mind a few bug holes,small hollow centers,black ants or grubs either.They get knocked out when the wood is thrown in a pile during unloading or later splitting.Those holes help it dry even faster,the bugs dont last long once the birds swoop in....
  14. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    !!!Are you kidding? Take it!!
  15. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I get a lot of oak with some punky wood on the outside. I have been splitting the outer layer, including some god wood and the punky part, away from the main part of the round. This yields a slab with punk on one side and good wood on the other. I have been stacking it separately and covering it. most of my wood is uncovered and it'll wait three years to be burned, but the punky stuff I'll burn next year. I think if I keep it dry the thin wood will dry quickly and be ready in a year. I don't like to stack punky wood in the regular stacks - it seems to get even punkier if left uncivered, and I don't have a way to cover the main stacks.
  16. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    No brainer. Go Go.
    I doubt if its punky if the bark is still intact.
  17. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Very good advice, but I think I am just going to take the punky stuff to the dump. Just got permission on a 5 foot oak. How the heck I am going to cut that one up, I have no clue. Looks like it is time to buy a 36" bar and chain for the MS660. Between these 3 oaks and tax season, I am going to be a pretty busy guy for the next couple of months.

    All in all, I am pretty psyched about this wood burning stuff. Loaded the furnace up at 11:30 this morning with half cherry and half locust and came home at 7:30 this evening to a 78 degree house and coals still sitting in the furnace. No complaints from me so far. Oh yeah, also tabulated our 2012 utility bills so I could use the number on our tax return and it came out to $3,600. I almost fell out of my chair. That was with electric space heaters last winter and portable AC units last summer. Cannot imagine it being anywhere near that for 2013 between the wood burning furnace and the new AC condenser and coil.
  18. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    I've never tackled a big one like that, but I'd guess you could just make cuts lengthwise, taking out pieces of the "pie" every time.
  19. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yep, gonna end up doing something with it that is for sure. Might be a year's worth of wood just in that tree.
    Locust Post likes this.
  20. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Yes, indeed! Nice big rounds that aren't too hard to split down with sledge and wedge, so that you can load 'em. As said, the heartwood lasts a long, long time.
    ScotO likes this.
  21. fishinpa

    fishinpa Member

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    I second this motion!
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  22. Bocefus78

    Bocefus78 Minister of Fire

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    Buy a longer bar and get out there!
  23. wh401

    wh401 New Member

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    About 2 months ago I cut up a 24" diameter red oak that had been on the ground for about 2 years. About an inch of the outer layer of wood was rotten, but everything inside of that was perfect. As I was splitting rounds I would just skim the rotten stuff off with a hatchet and I was left with a lot of good wood.
  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Wow, 36 inch oak and you got 660. Kinda reminds me of the knife to a gun fight. Here a small chunk for you (66 incher). Its been there around 5 year its still wet as can be on the inside.




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  25. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Cutting it into rounds isn't the problem. Splitting it up is. Trying to figure out if there is an easy way to deal with 36" rounds to get them to a vertical splitter and split them. Going to start working on a 60" oak on Wednesday. That one should be fun. Planning on noodling that one. Might even start noodling these 36" rounds to make moving them easier.

    The issue was never whether I could saw the 36" trees up. It was whether I should waste the diesel to go out there and work on them if they have been laying on the ground for a couple years. It would suck to go out there and then find out they are not worth it. Granted, it would only set me back about $6 to $7 for the gas.

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