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Author Topic: Red Maple  (Read 3522 times)

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Offline jmmy6767

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Red Maple
« on: May 12, 2010, 05:19:04 PM »
Good afternoon everybody.  A friend of mine bids work for a landscaping company up here near Cincinnati, and he has a job clearing six acres of mostly, what he identified as Red Maple.    My question to you is this;  Can Red Maple be used as lumber for any part of a pole barn?   I have a saying I stole from my brother in law:   "If it's free-its for me"   But I have searched, and searched for info on using red maple in barn construction, and so far having no luck.   Finding a lot of comments about rot, firewood, pulpwood,  and worthless ::)   So, anybody want to share their insight, I sure would appreciate it.    Thanks,      jimmy
jimmy

Offline WDH

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 09:51:39 PM »
It should work fine in a barn.  It is a little less dense than sugar maple.  It has about the same density as black walnut.  It is a good bit denser and stronger that yellow poplar which is a common barn wood.
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Offline jmmy6767

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 09:56:49 PM »
WDH, Thanks for the info.   I am getting ready to try and find info. on the stregnth of red Maple.  as in for beams, purlins, etc.....
jimmy

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2010, 07:30:16 AM »
Jimmy,its what we call swamp maple usally has a dark heart.Its not prime but will build a barn,it will do some twisting.Frank C.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2010, 08:11:56 AM »
Calling it swamp maple with generally a dark heart would not be a fair assessment at all for our area other then perhaps that grown on specific sites. Red maple (or more locally known simply as soft maple) is very often sawn for grade lumber here with little heart wood at all.  It all depends on where and how it grows.
**********************************
Red maple is one of the most abundant and successful species found in the Eastern Deciduous Forest. It is most abundant in "bottom lands" along streams and rivers and is tolerant of wet soils and flooding. Even though it grows well in these wet areas, it is a "supergeneralist", growing well on a wide range of sites and under a range of conditions. It can grow on sites which are sunny or shady, and in many types of soils from dry to wet and high to low nutrient contents.

Uses:
The "sap wood" of the red maple produces white fine-grained lumber which is used for many of the same products as sugar maple. The lumber is commonly used in products as diverse as furniture and flooring, to pallets and crating. Red maple trees are susceptible to defects, which sometimes results in low quality lumber.
The trees are sometimes tapped for their sap, which is boiled into maple syrup. However, red maple sap generally has a sugar content which is much lower than that of the sugar maple.
Red maple has long been a popular ornamental tree because of its ease of establishment, rapid growth and brilliant fall foliage.

USDA, NRCS. 2001. Plant Guide; Red Maple. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 03:28:55 PM »
I would think that "swamp maple" was silver maple.  Looks like red, but grows more in wet areas.  They do use it pretty much as a landscaping tree.  Silver maple gets sold as red maple when sawn into lumber.  But, most specs that I see say no silver maple. 
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Offline jmmy6767

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2010, 07:56:24 AM »
Thanks for the responses.  The trees that are to be cleared out , are growing in an area that has had fill dirt over several years, pushed up, raising the surrounding area, creating a, you quessed it-----swamp.  The trees are just so tall and straight,  they look like they would be great for sawing into lumber.   I guess you cant judge a book by its cover.   Thanks again,     jimmy
jimmy

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2010, 06:48:54 AM »
Jimmy,buy all means cut them and use them for your barn.Probibly easiest to use them green.Around here most red/swamp gets used for pallets.Our silver maple is different from the red and is usally a yard tree.Its tough, different parts of the country have so many common names for the same tree.We may have to go to latin genus/species names,like  Acer Rubrum.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2010, 07:14:45 PM »
We harvest a lot of red maple here. It's prevalent in many of our timber stands along with our northern hardwoods.
~Ron

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2010, 05:43:39 AM »
Red maple is also referred to as "swamp maple" here in New Brunswick. It will grow in cedar swamp and hardwood ridge and most anywhere in between. Usually, the soil around here it most commonly grows on is sensitive to rutting. We are thinning some hardwood with brush saws and the land is rutted by machines where ever they traveled, up to 3 feet deep. Water coming out of the ground everywhere and yellow birch as thick as raspberry canes in those ruts. The red maple suckers and grows fast as suckers. One old stump can have 20 stems you have to cut off.  :-X

That being said, small volumes are used here for flooring, ties and pallets with the price of pulpwood. No one much wants it even for firewood around here and most look at it like elm and black ash, don't want it. It is very common to find dark brown heart, not many white heart trees. Moose will destroy saplings rubbing bark and breaking down tops.
Move'n on.

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2010, 06:11:24 PM »
In Maine, my dad used red maple as his most common firewood, mainly because it was what he had most of. We also made syrup from red maples, because we didn't have any sugar maples of any size on our place. Only when I came down south did I learn that it was a valuable lumber tree prized for its wood working qualities.
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

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Offline WDH

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2010, 11:34:33 PM »
I actually enjoy working with red maple as a medium hard hardwood.  Nothing really soft about soft maple  :).
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Red Maple
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2010, 06:59:40 AM »
I saw a few pole sized red maple up to Jeff's and they were smooth. I said to him, you haven't any moose. He said they do, but they are few and far between. ;D

I did have a nice little grove of red maples in one place on the woodlot that were kind of thick. They were nice trees to. Well, when I thinned them out the moose moved in. Not so nice any more. ::)
Move'n on.


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