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Author Topic: Ash Tree Question  (Read 805 times)

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Offline 123maxbars

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Ash Tree Question
« on: July 26, 2018, 03:39:24 PM »
I was offered a free Ash tree today, The timber is around 36inDBH and should yield 4 good 8ft saw logs. The tree will be no problem to drop/harvest. Here is my question, the tree according the the land owner did not have any leaves this year. While looking at the bark I noticed signs of the emerald ash borer. Being it unknown just how long the tree has been dead (land owner says less than a year) has anyone sawed up any ash like this that is already dead standing? Other than no leaves the tree is intact, no limbs have fallen and the bark is in tact.  Just wanting to get an idea of what I will get in return and if it is worth the effort to harvest it. I am hoping the lumber will not be effected too much by the insect. Thanks for any help,

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Offline Southside

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Re: Ash Tree Question
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2018, 03:47:39 PM »
Maybe it's OK. EAB killed ash tends to decay pretty quickly from my experience. Try prying on the bark to see just how much it is slipping. I have not had good luck with it personally. 
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Online WV Sawmiller

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Re: Ash Tree Question
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2018, 04:01:41 PM »

   I saw a good bit of it off my place and it produces good lumber. Very straight grained. I sawed some for a customer in January that had been standing dead for many years before he cut it. Likely not EAB killed. Produced some really pretty dark boards nearly the color of walnut. Usually it is white. I have customers who buy it to mix with walnut and cherry when making cutting boards and such. Use a good sharp 4 degree blade with plenty of lube as it tends to gum up the blade during sawing. 

   It can get brittle when dead so be careful when you cut the tree. Be sure to paint the ends good with Anchorseal as soon as you buck the logs because it checks badly and quickly. 
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Offline WDH

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Re: Ash Tree Question
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2018, 07:59:55 PM »
I bet if you slab it, it will turn out nice.  I would go for it. 
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Ash Tree Question
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2018, 08:00:51 PM »
There is a better than average chance that it will be just fine. If it was erb killed the bark would be loosening before it even actually died. Look for other problems like seams or obvious rotten spots. If you dont see anything stand out, I'd bet it'll be fine.
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Offline PAmizerman

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Re: Ash Tree Question
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 08:47:40 PM »
I've sawed over 3000 feet of it after it had died. It's a little darker in color but other than that it is good and sound and the eab  don't harm the wood at all.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Ash Tree Question
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2018, 09:43:25 PM »
I've heard that EAB killed Ash can be very brittle, things can change if you catch it early enough!
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Ash Tree Question
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2018, 10:16:08 PM »
I've sawed a ton of it in the last 2 years.  95 percent of it is still good If you see no significant sign of rot.  If there are holes in the tree that water has been infiltrating, it can be punky from that.  But like I said, Most of it is just fine standing dead.  If you slice it and see any sign of spalting, examine carefully cause then it could be bad. If ash has any spalting, it's probably bad.  But that has not been the norm in my experience.  Usually the wood is just fine. It's actually better than fine because it is partially dry on the stump and is more stable when milling in my experience.
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Offline MAF143

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Re: Ash Tree Question
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2018, 11:44:22 PM »
I agree with Brad.  I have cut and sawn some for our own use here and it is nice.  We have lost almost all of our ash trees in our woods to the EAB over the last 5 years.  We have heated our home with it and cut standing dead for both firewood and lumber.  I have cut many that stood dead for a couple years that were still solid with no rot.  I'm a rookie having just gotten the sawmill this spring but I like the ash that we've sawn.  I hate losing the trees, but I'd rather use them for anything than see them rot in the woods.  Unfortunately many of them are doing just that.  almost all the ash that has heated our home for the last 5 years has come out of just 5 acres of our woods and there are 60 more acres with a mix of various hardwoods.

If it is standing it's probably good, if it's on the ground it goes bad fast.
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