Squirting Sugar Maples

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Hearth Supporter
Jul 11, 2008
8,908
Northern NH
I thought I had made my big tree drops a few years ago on my house lot but I need to revise the driveway plan to access it. That means I needed to clear out several maples. Some of them were leaners into the street so I had to get my tree slingshot and Dynema rope out to put them under tension with a power pull so they fall in the right direction. It is definitely prime sap season and these trees are still loaded so when I cut them I could see sap pouring out of the chainsaw cut. I normally drop them earlier in the winter so I do not see sap flow as the trees are still frozen, but today it was definitely running. I hate dealing with leaves so I want them on the ground before they leaf out. Some folks avoid cutting firewood this time of the year as the wood is so wet but my experience is that the once its bucked the "easy" water in wood escapes quickly so If I let it sit for a couple of weeks, its loses a lot of weight. There was some recent snow on the ground and lot of junk underneath so the trees sat up off the ground to keep the chain out of the dirt and away occasional rocks. I have cut a lot of it into rounds but still have another saw session and havent started moving it. Its a mixed load, a lot of nice rounds but one of the bigger trees was rotten in the center for much of its length. It looks like a victim of the ice storm of 1998 that broke off the crown but it managed to grow a new crown and form some nice solid outer wood but the core of the tree is rotten out. I was expecting ants but didnt see any. One plus is they were shaded out by a large white pine so the trees are tall and skinny, not a lot of crown or brush to deal with.

The road bans are on so it will be few weeks before I bring the Unimog over to haul a load or two. I need to clean out the area and get the transit out and start setting out some stakes where the driveway needs to go to have contractors take a look during mud season while they are not busy.

I am already two years ahead without it but will find somewhere to get it split up and under cover. I am supposed to be concentrating on getting rid of beech in the woods but I had already thinned that out of this area a couple of years ago. If some plans line up, I may end up with a big pile of hardwood logs that someone else is going to cut and stack at the lot next year as its in the way of their work . It will probably get me to the point where I might end up finding someone who needs it more than I do.
 
One of the forestry jobs I had involved getting the age of live trees with an increment borer. The borer gets you a small core sample which you can use to count the rings. One of the tree species we were measuring was white fir. The guys I worked with called them "piss fir" and told me to stand to one side when screwing the borer in. When you reach the xylem a stream of smelly liquid squirts out. If you're standing in the normal position it will hit you in the chest.
 
One of the forestry jobs I had involved getting the age of live trees with an increment borer. The borer gets you a small core sample which you can use to count the rings. One of the tree species we were measuring was white fir. The guys I worked with called them "piss fir" and told me to stand to one side when screwing the borer in. When you reach the xylem a stream of smelly liquid squirts out. If you're standing in the normal position it will hit you in the chest.
Before I had heard the term ‘cat spruce’ I thought I had a nice Christmas tree that wasn’t the top of a 20ft footer. We blamed the odor on the poor cat until we found it was the tree.
 
Have you designed your future house?
Not really, Its a sloped lot on a hillside with a "million dollar view" but the slope introduces some design challenges. It will not be Passive House (no heating system at all) but probably will be a Net Zero design (uses solar electric and net metering )or a Pretty Good House very low energy design. I have a spare wood boiler ready to be installed but there is a possibility that the heating load may be so low that it may just have a small backup wood stove and go with a next generation air source heat pump using the new propane or CO2 based refrigerants that can run effectively at lower temps. I have a couple of basic layouts but still not locked in on the ultimate design. I am in no rush. Worse case is I put in the driveway, throw a for sale sign on it and publish a set of photos of the view and have someone write me a check for a lot that I would subdivide and still end up with 80 acres to play on.
 
Here's one of my sugar maples squirting....

Squirting Sugar Maples
 
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Not really, Its a sloped lot on a hillside with a "million dollar view" but the slope introduces some design challenges. It will not be Passive House (no heating system at all) but probably will be a Net Zero design (uses solar electric and net metering )or a Pretty Good House very low energy design. I have a spare wood boiler ready to be installed but there is a possibility that the heating load may be so low that it may just have a small backup wood stove and go with a next generation air source heat pump using the new propane or CO2 based refrigerants that can run effectively at lower temps. I have a couple of basic layouts but still not locked in on the ultimate design. I am in no rush. Worse case is I put in the driveway, throw a for sale sign on it and publish a set of photos of the view and have someone write me a check for a lot that I would subdivide and still end up with 80 acres to play on.
Do you enjoy that part? We found the designing both challenging and fun when we built our previous house twenty plus years ago. Sarah Susanka’s ‘Not So Big House’ book was a source of good ideas in making the most out of a modestly scaled house. Of course there is so much more to consider and plan today in light of the work that has been done understanding and building efficient houses