Need help identifying firewood.

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Bigsby

Burning Hunk
Dec 7, 2014
115
Southern Wisconsin
Long time creeper, first time caller. First I'd like to say as a newbie wood burner I can't tell you how much I've
learned from this site just by reading through the questions and answers in this forum. A friend of mine who's fairly knowledgeable about wood burning helped get me started last year and now I'm teaching him a few things since I discovered this place.

So, the aforementioned friend and I cut a tree down this March for his boss. It was a live tree that was crowding his driveway so he wanted it out, probably around 2' to 2-1/2' in diameter and around 40' high. Long story short, we can't figure out what specie of tree it was. The splits are really light-weight compared to say oak, maybe 1/3 lighter. Color is reddish tan with no visible sapwood. Rings are tight like oak would be and it has a slight aroma but hard to describe. It split real easy, not stringy at all, and the bark is 3/4" thick at the most and hasn't loosened in the eight months it's been seasoning. Being a woodworker I know my oaks from my maples etc.and can identify many trees native to my area (northern Illinois) but this one has me stymied. Any ideas? Thanks guys.
IMG_2840.JPG IMG_2841.JPG
 

husky345 vermont resolute

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2012
393
london, ontario
Long time creeper, first time caller. First I'd like to say as a newbie wood burner I can't tell you how much I've
learned from this site just by reading through the questions and answers in this forum. A friend of mine who's fairly knowledgeable about wood burning helped get me started last year and now I'm teaching him a few things since I discovered this place.

So, the aforementioned friend and I cut a tree down this March for his boss. It was a live tree that was crowding his driveway so he wanted it out, probably around 2' to 2-1/2' in diameter and around 40' high. Long story short, we can't figure out what specie of tree it was. The splits are really light-weight compared to say oak, maybe 1/3 lighter. Color is reddish tan with no visible sapwood. Rings are tight like oak would be and it has a slight aroma but hard to describe. It split real easy, not stringy at all, and the bark is 3/4" thick at the most and hasn't loosened in the eight months it's been seasoning. Being a woodworker I know my oaks from my maples etc.and can identify many trees native to my area (northern Illinois) but this one has me stymied. Any ideas? Thanks guys.
View attachment 147467 View attachment 147466
American elm bro
 

Bigsby

Burning Hunk
Dec 7, 2014
115
Southern Wisconsin
Any chance it could be a specie of alder? This stuff was the same color from the heart to the bark.
 

Applesister

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2012
2,483
Upstate NY
The grain is beautiful, looks like Ash, looks like Mahogany actually. Do you have any upper limbs still? Or is it all gone? (Opposite branching)
Its nothing common that Im used to seeing for the East coast anyway.
Alder, dont know, maybe chestnut?
Sorry
 

Bigsby

Burning Hunk
Dec 7, 2014
115
Southern Wisconsin
The grain is beautiful, looks like Ash, looks like Mahogany actually. Do you have any upper limbs still? Or is it all gone? (Opposite branching)
Its nothing common that Im used to seeing for the East coast anyway.
Alder, dont know, maybe chestnut?
Sorry
Know it's not ash since I split over 2 cord of ash this year and it's way lighter than ash but the rings are much tighter-1/32" to 1/16" on average. Plus ash is pretty white where this stuff is reddish tan. Bark is real thin too, thinner than ash. Saw some pics of bark via google from the common alder and looked pretty close to what I have so that's why I thought it could be possible.
 

Applesister

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2012
2,483
Upstate NY
You could go on Woodweb and see if you can match their wood samples.
There was a guy on here who liked alder (smoking salmon)? Or something...and he did woodworking.
The stuff I have(speckled alder) is a bush.
What I meant by it looking like Ash was the wood is ring porous. The color is all wrong for the Ashes I know but there's Black Ash and I'm not well versed in that tree. And you are right...the growth rings and very close together(not an ash thing)
The wood is alot prettier than Ash.
 

Nelson

Burning Hunk
Dec 5, 2013
237
Mount Horeb, WI
Doesn't look anything like the Elm we have around here. The grain is way too straight for the Elm I've been processing. My initial thought was Cherry but doesn't seem to have the heartwood that Cherry typically has.

**EDIT** Bark doesnt' look like Cherry. If anything, the bark looks like Oak to me
 
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husky345 vermont resolute

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2012
393
london, ontario
Doesn't look anything like the Elm we have around here. The grain is way too straight for the Elm I've been processing. My initial thought was Cherry but doesn't seem to have the heartwood that Cherry typically has.

**EDIT** Bark doesnt' look like Cherry. If anything, the bark looks like Oak to me
 

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gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,693
NNJ

Bigsby

Burning Hunk
Dec 7, 2014
115
Southern Wisconsin
Looks like a very dry elm. What is the moisture content?
15% is the lowest I've been getting, most average around 17-18% with a real wet one once in a while-30% or better but even so the splits are very light. The day we fell and bucked it (live tree) we couldn't believe how light the rounds were. I could take a 2' round and lift it over my head easily. Wouldn't even attempt if it were oak, locust, ash, etc.
 

Bigsby

Burning Hunk
Dec 7, 2014
115
Southern Wisconsin
The grain is beautiful, looks like Ash, looks like Mahogany actually. Do you have any upper limbs still? Or is it all gone? (Opposite branching)
Its nothing common that Im used to seeing for the East coast anyway.
Alder, dont know, maybe chestnut?
Sorry
Here's a pic of a limb I have left, 3" to 4" dia.
IMG_2843.JPG
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
The split grain looks like White Ash, but it doesn't look white enough and the bark is off. I want to say Slippery (Red) Elm, but that would be a big one. Dutch Elm disease usually gets them here before they get that big. I have one out there that just fell, the biggest I've seen so far, about 19". Plus, Red Elm usually has at least thin sapwood, so I'm not sure that's what you have. If it is Red Elm, BTU is about half way between American Elm and White Ash...I love burning that stuff, and the look of the wood. Where's @nrford?
 

Bigsby

Burning Hunk
Dec 7, 2014
115
Southern Wisconsin
The split grain looks like White Ash, but it doesn't look white enough and the bark is off. I want to say Slippery (Red) Elm, but that would be a big one. Dutch Elm disease usually gets them here before they get that big. I have one out there that just fell, the biggest I've seen so far, about 19". Plus, Red Elm usually has at least thin sapwood, so I'm not sure that's what you have. If it is Red Elm, BTU is about half way between American Elm and White Ash...I love burning that stuff, and the look of the wood. Where's @nrford?
The split grain looks like White Ash, but it doesn't look white enough and the bark is off. I want to say Slippery (Red) Elm, but that would be a big one. Dutch Elm disease usually gets them here before they get that big. I have one out there that just fell, the biggest I've seen so far, about 19". Plus, Red Elm usually has at least thin sapwood, so I'm not sure that's what you have. If it is Red Elm, BTU is about half way between American Elm and White Ash...I love burning that stuff, and the look of the wood. Where's @nrford?
Whatever it is it's not giving off much for btu's and didn't really expect it to being so light. Heard elm can be a bear to split but this stuff just popped apart with minimal pressure in the splitter and clean as a whistle. Absolutely no stringiness.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
Whatever it is it's not giving off much for btu's and didn't really expect it to being so light. Heard elm can be a bear to split but this stuff just popped apart with minimal pressure in the splitter and clean as a whistle. Absolutely no stringiness.
OK, probably not Red Elm then. It's pretty heavy, not real easy to split and can be a little stringy (but not as hard to split and stringy as American.)
 

nrford

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2011
1,297
NW lower Mi.
Looks like the Red Elm I have in my home. However, what about Kentucky Coffee Tree, or Sass? Bark is a little off for Red Elm.
 
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Bigsby

Burning Hunk
Dec 7, 2014
115
Southern Wisconsin
Could it be sassafras? An oddly spicy smell when split?
I guess you could call the smell when split "spicy" but what spice it resembles I don't know. I kinda get a whiff now and then of a slight diesel fuel smell-sounds odd but that's what it reminds me of.
 

Andy S.

Feeling the Heat
Oct 28, 2013
405
Southeastern, PA
Except for the missing orange in the bark I see Sass. Does it smell great when split?
 

Bigsby

Burning Hunk
Dec 7, 2014
115
Southern Wisconsin
Except for the missing orange in the bark I see Sass. Does it smell great when split?
Wouldn't call the smell "great" and not seeing any orange in the bark line. Here's a pic of a split that I hack on at an angle through the bark. IMG_2846.JPG
 

Applesister

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2012
2,483
Upstate NY
The wood description says it has ring porous grain like Oak and Ash and also glows fluorescent under a black light like Black locust.
You need a fresh split to see the fluorescence.
Cool chit....I love this site.
 

Bigsby

Burning Hunk
Dec 7, 2014
115
Southern Wisconsin
I think nrFord got it,
Kentucky Coffee tree is the closet shot.
But at 42 lbs/ ft3 I dont know. It says on Chimneysweep its clocking at 19.0 MBTU Not bad.
Check out:
http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/coffeetree/
Yeah, the coffee tree bark and wood pics look real close to what I have, but the weight listed seems comparable to oak. If oak is 45lbs/ft3 this stuff is more like 30 or less. I'll definitely research this tree some more. Thanks for the lead man.
 
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