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Author Topic: Lumber vs. firewood vs. habitat?  (Read 720 times)

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Offline Greyhound

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Lumber vs. firewood vs. habitat?
« on: October 24, 2018, 10:41:12 PM »
I have about 2 dozen+, 18-24" dbh chestnut/rock oak trees (Quercus prinus) dead on the stump.  I'm trying to find the best use for them.  What are your thoughts?

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Lumber vs. firewood vs. habitat?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 10:58:34 PM »
What suits you best?
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Lumber vs. firewood vs. habitat?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 11:45:21 PM »
How long have they been dead?  Are they going punky at all? Bark peeling off or limbs breaking free?  Was it oak wilt that killed them?  Most mills won't purchase dead logs, or if they do they will give you less than firewood price.  Are they a potential danger to any structures, fences, livestock around them?  If it is wilt do you have other white oaks in the immediate area?  The disease spreads by the root system.  

You may very well get some spalted or otherwise unique lumber out of them if you could get a portable mill to come to you or bring them to a mill that would custom saw them.  Really need to know more about the present condition to begin to make an educated assessment of what may be lurking on the inside of your trees.  
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Lumber vs. firewood vs. habitat?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2018, 04:38:20 AM »
Just a bit of different look at things than Southside, we have no problem selling standing dead logs as long as there are no mushrooms and the bark is on the tree.  We might get slightly less than normal but in the case of Chestnut Oak we'd do much much better to sell that size log for the Stave or Sawlog market.  Pricing ranges from $800-1500 a few weeks ago but pricing is moving higher by the week.  But with Chestnut oak quality determines all because that's a tree that grows well on bad sites, but it doesn't grow beautiful logs so sometimes it can be hard to find a good 8' straight butt log.

Southsides other questions are also good.  Here are some more: do you have the means to fell them, drag them to a road, I am sure in Central PA an Amish mill will have someone pick them up and pay you well.  

How tall are they?  Is the butt log ok?  

Anyhow lets assume they are sound, no interior rot, metal from fences, etc.  If you have a 16' section of good butt sawlog per 20" tree you'd have about $3000-8000 in logs.  Pricing is going to depend on quality.  That's the value of the logs after felling and getting to the mill.  If someone buys from you after you fell and collect them onto a spot a truck can reach on your land they'll charge for trucking.  

You'll have a world of firewood after felling 20" trees but it won't be what the firewood processor guys really want.  They want straight 18" logs 12' long for their automated machines.  Small poorer guys might come cut firewood from the tops to help clean it up or you could do the same.  I'd never sell whiteoak butt logs of any kind to a firewood guy.  The second quality white oak logs go to fenceboard mills here, still pays much better than firewood.  That last knot infested log is what we sell for pulp or firewood.  

To me if it is standing dead but the bark has slipped and mushrooms are on it I would leave them.  

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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Lumber vs. firewood vs. habitat?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2018, 07:23:09 AM »
No tie mills up there NW?  In white and red oak i can make a top log that goes right past the first fork to make a tie.  Number and size of knots generally not an issue if its got good diameter, straight and 2 sound, single hearted ends.  30-40cents/bf doyle.
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Offline dustintheblood

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Re: Lumber vs. firewood vs. habitat?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 07:33:30 AM »
The way we operate our own woodlot is one dead standing (habitat) per acre, and UGS (unacceptable growing stock) is removed.  Once the tree's down, we do all we can to get lumber out of the logs - and then the rest's firewood.

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