Help with wood id

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
853
Rochester NY
I'd guess the first pic is a type of maple but really not sure. Can you split them open and post pics?
 

PA. Woodsman

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2007
2,190
Emmaus, Pennsylvania
I cut some that looked like the one with the brownish red inside last year and was told it was Elm. The other one still looks like Silver Maple to me, can you split a round and show us what the inside grain looks like please?
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,785
NNJ
Looks like two different trees. Norway maple and silver maple.
 
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Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
810
Massachusetts
Here you go. I should have done that to begin with

View attachment 276583
I'm not sure what the dark brown wood is but the one on the right looks like Norway maple. Bark and they tend to have that particular sap stain pattern....dark middle then a skinny outer circle versus red maple which has more pronounced sap stains like this:

20210122_164543.jpg


The bark on the big rounds picture sure looks like silver maple to me.
 
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Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
810
Massachusetts
The good news is any type of maple is good! Red maple is my primary source. Its great shoulder season wood that burns hot and fairly fast. It's a hardwood bymut acts something between a true hardwood like ash and softwood. It olds it's own fine when it's 20-30 degrees but below that I start mixing in ash, cherry, and oak to give the fires more longevity.

My only complaint about it is that it makes a LOT of ash. When I'm burning pure red maple I need to clean the stove every few days versus every few weeks when I'm I to the harder woods.
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
64
Wisconsin
Here you go. I should have done that to begin with

View attachment 276583
The brown one looks like red elm to me, so I agree with the elm assessment. We get a lot of it around here. Splits better than most elm, and it makes some pretty good coals. I like it a lot for heating, but it does stink when it burns. The white layer should feel slippery when it is wet either from being a green log or if you add a little moisture to it. It has a musilaginous slipperyness. If you get hungry while you are working on your wood pile, you can eat the white layer.

When I say it splits better... I have noticed with red elm that the heart wood at the very center can be a real pain to split, but you can bust off splits all around it. Sometimes when the maul hits dead center, it will just bounce off over and over. Move over 4" and it will blast a split off the side and send it flying like you barely hit anything. When you are done, you might be left with a nice little round from the core of the heart wood, almost like there was a tree growing up the center of that tree.

One thing about red elm... when you are cutting a standing one or limbing one... It doesn't seem to want to come down slowly. You know, you are cutting away on a branch and you expect it to bend down gradually as you get close to the end of the cut. Red elm seems to want to let go all at once (we say, explode, but it doesn't really do that) and snap off. Just something to be aware of. Doesn't apply if the tree guy provides them to you. That is my preferred method, too. I don't mind going to get wood, but I much prefer for it to be on the ground when I get there.
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
64
Wisconsin
Scored a bunch of wood from a local tree guy but his yard man loaded me up and he wasn't sure what it was. Hoping you guys might have an idea on these two. View attachment 276508 View attachment 276509
From this picture, the one on the left looks like box elder to me. The one on the right could be, too. The shape of the trunk at the base looks pretty box elderish. Box elder is easy to identify by its smell when green. It has a pretty unique odor, but I don't know how to describe it.

It is a maple, even though the leaves don't look like maple leaves.

When you split it, if you see streaks or rings of red... Like really really red, not like "red" oak or "red" elm, but actually red like someone spilled their Kool-aid, it is surely box elder.

If it is box elder, it is best to get it cut up and split soon. It will season quickly, but not unless it has enough air to dry before it rots. If you get it dry before it gets punky it's an OK wood to burn. I have burned a LOT of it. It is available free around here as it is not anybody's favorite wood. A friend calls it gopher wood. You throw on a piece and then go fer some more.

I think that is an exaggeration. If it is split in good sized splits (relatively large compared to other hardwoods) and dried, it will burn just fine and keep you warm. I can even get some coals out of it.
 
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fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,966
Massachusetts
1 had 5 cord of box elder and yes it is a fast burner. and it does dry quick. i read something i don't remember where says the indians way back when would say if you burn it someone is going to die.
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
64
Wisconsin
I don't think its box elder. The bark looks similar but its missing the distinctive red sap staining. Here's a box elder I cut up earlier this year:

View attachment 277035
I have cut a LOT of box elder. My neighbor used to let me cut all the box elder I wanted from his fence lines.. So I burned an awful lot of it for 7 years. Most trees (that I cut) did not have the red stain. The red is the result of some kind of damage to the tree. I was more likely to see the red in a tree that was dead, dying, or otherwise in rough shape.

A healthy undamaged tree will have almost white wood throughout.

I can see what looks like rot at the center of your logs, so there you go. Or, maybe it was ants? The fence lines I cut were black cherry and box elder, and the ants much preferred the cherry.
 
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Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
810
Massachusetts
Interesting about the staining...I've seen it on all the stuff I've bucked but its mostly been old struggling or too big yard trees so that fits what you're saying. This particular tree was ants. Learned something new today!

OP still looks like Norway to me though. Could really be either, both good shoulder season wood.
 
The brown one looks like red elm to me, so I agree with the elm assessment. We get a lot of it around here. Splits better than most elm, and it makes some pretty good coals. I like it a lot for heating, but it does stink when it burns. The white layer should feel slippery when it is wet either from being a green log or if you add a little moisture to it. It has a musilaginous slipperyness. If you get hungry while you are working on your wood pile, you can eat the white layer.

When I say it splits better... I have noticed with red elm that the heart wood at the very center can be a real pain to split, but you can bust off splits all around it. Sometimes when the maul hits dead center, it will just bounce off over and over. Move over 4" and it will blast a split off the side and send it flying like you barely hit anything. When you are done, you might be left with a nice little round from the core of the heart wood, almost like there was a tree growing up the center of that tree.

One thing about red elm... when you are cutting a standing one or limbing one... It doesn't seem to want to come down slowly. You know, you are cutting away on a branch and you expect it to bend down gradually as you get close to the end of the cut. Red elm seems to want to let go all at once (we say, explode, but it doesn't really do that) and snap off. Just something to be aware of. Doesn't apply if the tree guy provides them to you. That is my preferred method, too. I don't mind going to get wood, but I much prefer for it to be on the ground when I get there.
After splitting a round of it you are 100 percent correct. It is red elm also called slippery elm. Definitely the white part under the bark is the reason for the slippery name. Your advice for splitting was dead on. Split with the rings away from the heart and it comes apart woth little effort.
 

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I don't know if the other stuff is norway or box elder but it is a nightmare to split. Maul just bounces off Just about anywhere i try to hit it. I can work a wedge around the outside with a lot of effort, but when i try these bigger rounds in the splitter it just shreds and it pushes out a ton of moisture as it starts to go in.
 

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WhitePlatinum

Member
Nov 24, 2017
51
MD
Tree company came by and dumped this at my house, he said it was hickory with one piece of holly. The wood is fresh still soaking wet, can't bust big rounds yet by hand but hopefully when it dries out a bit.
 

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