Throwing Eastern Hop Hornbeam Rounds versus small boulders?

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
8,835
Northern NH
Stil trying to figure out what is worse;).

I normally do not cut hornbeam (one of the tree species nicknamed ironwood) but I had a maple caught up in one and it had to go. It takes a sharp saw to drop it and the chips are closer to sawdust than actual chips. They are understory trees and grow slow so super dense and quite heavy. It they are up off the ground they take forever to rot. They rarely grow large but this one was about 10" in diameter. Its about the densest wood I I normally deal with. I got it stacked up in woods but until its split it takes forever to dry and the splitter gets a workout.

The leaves are just about on the ground at my wood lot but still plenty of tourists driving around so It time to get dropping.
 
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Yeah, I have few of those on my property. One got brought down by another tree about three yrs ago. It is ready to burn now. But I am now burning wood that is 5yrs old😝
 
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I‘ve been told that horse loggers liked hornbeam for wiffletrees for it’s strength.
 
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We have quite a bit on our property. My dad used to call it "ironwood."
 
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I've been cutting quite a bit of Hop Hornbeam lately. The woodlot where I cut has a great deal of it in the understory and of course several of them die off each year. As you say, they aren't large and most of the time I'm just cleaning up the stuff that is 2 to 3 inches in diameter. There's usually a few that go 3 and 4 inches and maybe one per year that I get that made it all the way to 6 inches. Why do I cut stuff so small? Well, as you say that stuff is extremely dense, so the small stuff burns "bigger" if that makes sense. I'm also one of those guys that cuts and burns small stuff to fill every nook and cranny in the stove. I hate buckthorn as a weed tree, but it's another very dense small diameter "tree" that makes great firewood!

This year I hit the jackpot and found three dead 40 foot hornbeam trees that ran 8 or 9 inches in diameter! I just cut up the last one yesterday. I haven't found that hornbeam is difficult to cut or hard on the sawchain. My woodchips are normal size and I'm not finding the teeth go dull any sooner than cutting anything else. I split everything by hand and have found it is somewhat stringy and can take more effort to split. But that's a price I'm willing to pay for what I consider premium fuel!