Neighbor wants my wood

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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,247
Western Washington
Dang, what a waist. It’s weird how hemlock differs even locally. When I was cutting hemlock locally, didn’t matter if it was old growth or second, it was very brittle. On the coast, total different story. Something killing it locally, not really an issue on the coast. A lot wetter on the coast
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,542
Ottawa, ON
About 35 years ago when the spotted owl crisis hit the Northwest logging industry there were a lot of Western Hemlock logs heading to China that stopped being available. The Chinese were desperate so they started looking for another source. Eastern Hemlock is not the same size and quality as western hemlock and its regarded as a low commercial value tree in the region. Long ago the bark was used to tan leather and trees were cut,stripped for bark and the underlying wood was left in the woods. https://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/hemlock-and-hide-the-tanbark-industry-in-old-new-york . That market was long gone so Hemlock was cheap. The Chinese buyers were not aware of the difference in Western Hemlock compared to Eastern Hemlock so they signed a big contracts with a pulp and paper company in Maine (SD Warren). They bought a lot and SD Warren started piling it up by the truck load along an unused section of the Portland Maine harbor. They ended up with a stack about 1/3rd of mile long by 20 to 30 feet high 12 foot logs about 4 rows deep. The Chinese hauled one small load back to China and realized the difference and canceled the rest of the deal despite signing a contract to buy it all. The stack sat for a couple of years until SD Warren finally hauled it off and I think chipped it up to feed their biomass boiler.
Very good writeup.