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Yet another western firewood species to ID

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by StihlHead, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Silviculture 101 :p

    This is native to the western US but is now grown worldwide. I have cut more of this than any other species of tree. I wood say its easy, but have stumped the panel on previous posts. These rounds were cut in March, but not by me. The grey bark color is a bit misleading, and they are usually brown.

    cut wood 1.jpg

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  2. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Hemlock?
  3. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    Doug fir
  4. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    No and no. Sorry.

    While they do grow in the PNW, they do not grow well this far north and this particular species was hybridized and a complete failure in attempts at growing it commercially in Sothern Oregon.

    Here is some cut and stacked, Overkiller style.

    wood stacks.jpg
    ScotO likes this.
  5. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    Lodgepole Pine?
  6. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Sitka spruce? Ponderosa pine?
  7. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Yellow pine
  8. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Lodgepole pine is a good guess, but they grow well in Oregon. There are several sub species of Lodgepole pine; one is called Shore pine and I have several of them on my property here, and they are all up and down the west coast. They do not get very big. Then there are two larger types of Lodgepole which grow huge in size, tall and straight. One grows in the Cascades and the Sierras at higher elevations. The other grows in the Rockies from Colorado up to the Yukon in Canada. But this is not any of the types of Lodgepole pine. Sorry.
  9. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Not a spruce. Sitka spruce grows really well here in Oregon, and this is its native habitat. Same with Ponderosa pine, which this is not, nor is it the closely related Jeffery Pine which grows at higher elevation than Ponderosa.
  10. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Yellow pine? Scratching head. Like southern yellow pine? Not that. Some call Ponderosa and Jeffery pine yellow pine in the western US, but it is neither of those. This species does not do well here in Oregon, or anywhere that gets below 23 deg. F.

    But it is a pine. This species' native habitat is in California, where the OP photo was taken. It also grows well waaaaaaaaaay farther south where the second photo was taken.
  11. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I'm gonna try Knobcone pine.
  12. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    OK, we have a winner! Ding ding ding! Here is your grand prize cash reward!

    1000 Mongoloan.jpg

    1 US dollar = 1,500 Mongolian whatever they are...

    I will give it to you with that guess. It is actually Monterey pine, but Bisop, Knobcone and Monterey are so closely related I cannot tell them apart other than looking closely at the needles and cone orientation. I have dropped many Monterey pines, as I lived on the Monterey Peninsula for over 20 years.
  13. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    As an aside, Monterey pine is the most widely planted commercial tree species in the world. It is heavily cultivated in Oz, NZ and Chile where it is grown for making into lumber. There it is selectively planted, thinned and pruned to get the nice straight lumber that you see on the piles in the second photo above. Oddly where it is from originally in California, it is considered a trash tree species. They are prized in landscaping there, but otherwise they are only cut and used for firewood if they die or fall over. The types grown in Oz and NZ are so heavily hybridized that they are not allowed to be imported back into the US, for fear of genetically crossing with the indigenous stands. Commercially it is grown in Australia and NZ because of its very fast growing habit. Down there it is called by its Latin name, Pinus radiata, or just Radiata.

    It has been crossed with knobcone pine to make a highly commercial hybrid species called KMX. KMX was machine planted in southern Oregon in huge plantation stands with high hopes of a fast turnaround and fat profits. However, the stands grew to about 20 feet and simply stopped growing. They became stagnant stands, and no one has quite figured out why. Many of those stands are still "growing" around Roseburg, OR. As firewood, the three species are all about the same and not unlike most other pine. They burn hot and fast, as they have a lot of resin and terps on the wood. It is considered sub-standard firewood in the Monterey area as they grow in and around California Live oaks, which have more than twice the heating value per cord. They are rather short lived trees, usually living about 60 years. They have large and very disruptive surface roots, and for that reason I would never plant them.
  14. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. Always wanted to go to Mongolia, and now I have the right money!

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