Do I need to split branches that 3-5" in diameter?

Dmitry Posted By Dmitry, Nov 7, 2015 at 1:07 AM

  1. Dmitry

    Dmitry
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 4, 2014
    764
    125
    Loc:
    CT
    After cleaning my property and got a lot of small trees and branches that run from 6 to 3" or so in diameter. It's all cut to the needed length and sitting on a pallets . Don't have a lot of time to split it but will if needed. Im wondering if it's gonna dry eventually. What is your experience ? It mostly maple and birch with bark on it.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. billb3

    billb3
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 14, 2007
    4,532
    686
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    I don't bother with anything under 5 or 6 inches.

    Although I've had birch rot from the center unless it was kept rather well dry or the bigger rounds split.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    BlueRidgeMark likes this.
  3. gerry100

    gerry100
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    May 16, 2008
    737
    260
    Loc:
    NY Capitol Region
    +1 me either

    If you stripe ( rip the bark lengthwise with the nose of your saw) the 3-6' birch, the bark will peel back and drying will be improved
     
  4. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 29, 2012
    2,651
    1,135
    Loc:
    Kennett Square, PA
    If you need well seasoned wood, I'd split 4 and 5 inch. They will dry much quicker
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 7, 2010
    1,447
    452
    Loc:
    Northern ON
    I don't lose sleep over these but I will split some of the 5 or 6" pieces if I'm outside farting around at the wood pile. You can split the 6" birch with one hand almost as fast as you can stand them up, it's almost no effort. As mentioned the white birch can get punky pretty fast so you have to keep the unsplit round high and dry. But IMHO they can wait until the bigger stuff is out of the way.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. kennyp2339

    kennyp2339
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 16, 2014
    4,317
    2,119
    Loc:
    07462
    Man you got some tough rules over there, you can only fart by your wood pile?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. Riff

    Riff
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 3, 2015
    78
    35
    Loc:
    Virginia
    Generally I don't bother with anything 4" and under, though sometimes I'll split a 6" piece if I want to mix in some smaller pieces for starting a fire.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. fespo

    fespo
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 14, 2005
    719
    200
    Loc:
    South West burbs of Chicago
    3" and bigger I split
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. BigCountryNY

    BigCountryNY
    Burning Hunk 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 16, 2014
    235
    122
    Loc:
    Putnam Valley, NY
    If it's larger than my wrist in diameter, I split it.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Oldman47 and Fred Wright like this.
  10. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 25, 2010
    10,439
    2,979
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    With small rounds like that, I sometimes try to crack them with a maul so air can get in the split, but I try to leave the round intact.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    CenterTree likes this.
  11. blades

    blades
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 23, 2008
    3,226
    968
    Loc:
    WI, Leroy
    I run them through my band saw, faster than the hydro, and less wear and tear on me than swinging and axe or maul. 2-3 inch even with no bark can still retain too much moisture for quite awhile.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. Poindexter

    Poindexter
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jun 28, 2014
    2,032
    773
    Loc:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Sealed up birch will rot, at least the varieties I can get up here. If I am felling I take everything down to about 1" in diameter.

    I stripe (or zip, or unzip) my small rounds as above while they are still on the tree so I can run the saw with both hands and not need a third hand or a saw buck or whatever else to hold the fool things still.

    In my experience 1-2" diameter birch rounds with the bark stripped open will dry in one season. 2-3" diameter birch will dry in two years with the bark zipped open, but usually have some fungus on it. Over 3" I split.

    I haven't fooled with maple in many years. I find if I treat everything like birch it all gets dry.

    striped.JPG
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. Fred Wright

    Fred Wright
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 26, 2013
    518
    241
    Loc:
    Delaware
    Soft maple rounds 3" and under will cure well without splitting in a year. Any larger than that, I split 'em.

    Small stuff like this is great for fire starting.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. Snotrocket

    Snotrocket
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 17, 2011
    256
    72
    Loc:
    Maine
    I would split the birch. It will rot instead of drying.

    The rest I would just let it dry as is.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  15. Dix

    Dix
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    May 27, 2008
    6,185
    1,571
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    I'm a fan of rounds for stuffing the stoves for over nights when it's brutal outside.

    5" - 6" is the limit for splitting, and I usually go 50 - 50 on that.

    Anything smaller than 5", just gets cut to length.

    They will dry, and pretty quickly at that size.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. BlueRidgeMark

    BlueRidgeMark
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 8, 2015
    262
    106
    Loc:
    Virginia
    Same here. It gets dry the same time as the splits.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  17. Poindexter

    Poindexter
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jun 28, 2014
    2,032
    773
    Loc:
    Fairbanks, Alaska

    I am not doubting y'all about maple, but birch will rot if the circumferential bark is undisturbed.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  18. Poindexter

    Poindexter
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jun 28, 2014
    2,032
    773
    Loc:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. BlueRidgeMark

    BlueRidgeMark
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 8, 2015
    262
    106
    Loc:
    Virginia

    I've never burned birch, so have no clue, but this I know: If I have to split the bark on every small round to keep it from rotting, it's going on the burn pile. I can't waste that kind of time.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. iamlucky13

    iamlucky13
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 27, 2015
    652
    173
    Loc:
    Western Washington
    Our county has outlawed outdoor burning. So depending where on my property I am, I might find it easier to cut branches, etc to stove size than drag them to my out of sight brush pile or chipping them, since my chipper doesn't handle anything larger than 1" very easily. Tedious, yes, but it's part of cleaning up.

    I was shocked to hear 2 year old maple sticks sputtering and see bubbles forming on the ends when thrown in the stove.

    So now I figure if I'm bothering to stack it, I split it, regardless of size. Fortunately, the really small pieces can be split with a hatchet, so it's not much effort.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  21. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 7, 2010
    1,447
    452
    Loc:
    Northern ON
    Yeah. Have had that happen a couple times.
    No worse than busting up kindling, easy and quick (and actually it is good kindling)...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  22. Knots

    Knots
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 13, 2013
    1,159
    525
    Loc:
    Alfred, Maine
    I like rounds, but I let them season a lot longer...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  23. CenterTree

    CenterTree
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 15, 2008
    1,007
    413
    Loc:
    SouthWest-Central PA
    Hey, that's MY trick too.:cool:
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  24. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    May 17, 2012
    416
    115
    I don't split the small stuff in life, oh wait that's sweat the small stuff. Never mind
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  25. Frank625

    Frank625
    Burning Hunk 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 4, 2013
    109
    51
    Loc:
    Near Mooresville, North Carolina
    I usually split anything above 4" in diameter
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page