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Author Topic: Ash trees and ash bore  (Read 846 times)

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Offline 1countryboy

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Ash trees and ash bore
« on: February 12, 2019, 09:47:41 AM »
Looking for advise on my ash logs that I harvested a year ago.   They were dying from emerald ash bore.  Some of the smaller trees will definitely go to firewood and my outdoor furnace.   There are larger trees (20 inches and up) that could be used for lumber cut with my mill.

IF.  What have any of you experienced with the structural strength of the ash?   Like to hear any input you have.   The ash bore has been in our area for about 15 yrs and now ALL ash in the state of Ohio are either dead or dying.   Terrible economic loss of a fine hardwood tree. >:( >:(
Ohio Certified Tree Farm, Ohio (almost there, Centennial Farms)

Offline randy d

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 09:56:38 AM »
If you don't have a use for your ash logs now cut them into cants and store them under a roof once the ash supplies are gone they will be worth a lot more. randy

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 10:04:48 AM »
   I cut a couple of 2X12 headers and quite a few 2X6 trusses and made shelves and knee braces for my pole barn mostly out of ash and have been happy with the strength of it. I cut some 2 days ago for stacking/drying pallets and the log had some doughty wood in it and lots of PPB damage so I'd check it close to see how it has held up. 


 The header on the low end (under ladder) and all the 14' 2X6 trusses are ash.


 Most of the shelves and knee braces are made of ash
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Online Old Greenhorn

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 10:23:17 AM »
Yup, everything here is dead or very nearly so. I have been taking these down regularly. Beautiful wood. The EAB only hits to outer layer so the wood is sound. The grain of our trees is wonderful and straight, the wood is quite strong, but lighter than oak. I love the stuff, but for framing it can be tough to drive a nail through (pre-drill). I am trying to save all I can for lumber now. Before that it was all firewood and I burned many cords of very pretty saw logs. Now I know better (and have a mill). I'll be making cants like Randy said if I don't have a purpose for them just yet. Like the free range bison, it will soon be all but gone. :'(

 WV, love those shelves for spindles, great idea and nicely done!
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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 11:14:42 AM »
OG,

   I am not sure what you are calling spindles. There a 3' and 4' stickers then the rest are legs for my primitive benches. With the legs already turned on my tenon cutter I can just select a slab, bore 4 holes with a spade bit, glue and drive legs on, trim the excess off the top then put them upside down on the mill and cut all 4 legs at one pass.


 Stock slab with mortise holes drilled with spade bit.


 Glue and drive on legs, cut excess off with Japanese pull saw. I now drive a steel wedge in once trimmed to tighten better.


 Set blade to 17" and one pass cuts all legs same height and angle.

Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Online Old Greenhorn

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 11:25:27 AM »
It was just a general term for the short narrow wood that you have up there. I recognized the legs, thought I saw some stickers, but they could also be for other purposes, so I generalized. Sorry.
 Nice benches, they are on my list soon.
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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 11:47:39 AM »
OG,

   I forgive you this time. I just did not want anyone thinking I had skills and abilities beyond my raising. :D
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2019, 12:28:40 PM »
There's nothing wrong with the wood from dead ash trees.  The Emerald Ash borer only eats and kills the cambium layer, the outer new growth layer just under the bark. The wood inside is solid.  I've been milling as many ash as I can that have been taken down on our property.  Great wood.  I've probably milled at least 100 and still have more than that stacked on bunks waiting to get milled.  I'll mill anything 10 inch dia  or larger.  I'll mill smaller ones for timberframe braces if they have a good shape.  Largest I've milled is 36" on my mill.  I've chainsaw milled 3 larger ones for tabletop/countertop slabs.  I love Ash for all it's qualities.  Pretty wood, split easily for pegs, takes stains well, pretty for flooring or furniture, milled a bunch for horse stalls(I treated it with permanchink's Shellguard to prevent Powder Post Beetles).

If you do come across an Ash that has been dead standing too long or laying on the ground too long, and the wood looks spotty inside or punky, don't use it.  Once you see punkiness or spalting inside, it's no good.  I've only had about 2 logs in 100 that were punky.  

Also, always put your logs up on bunks or some sacrificial logs so they can get airflow around them and dry out.  Fastest way to lose and Ash log is by leaving it on the ground where the bottom will stay wet in contact with the ground.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2019, 02:02:29 PM »
Ash lumber can be deceiving. It can look sound but in decay. Take a 1" sample board a smack it with a hammer and if bad go to pieces rather than a clean split.  I prefer to keep my logs on the wet ground and have never found any advantage trying to 'dry' logs. The longer you keep the moister in the better, that's what end sealing is all about.

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2019, 03:19:11 PM »
   I end seal so my logs don't dry too fast and crack/check since the moisture escapes much faster from the ends than the sides due to the capillary action of the wood as I understand it. My logs last longer if kept up off the ground where the bugs and such have to work harder to get to them.

   I find ash and cherry are two of the worst I deal with for end checking.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline GullyBog

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2019, 06:54:05 PM »
 

 I've used spalted ash with good results.  This was from a standing dead tree before the ash borer was here. I don't know about holding stuff up but it's held five rascals in.

 

Offline richhiway

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2019, 07:17:52 PM »
  I cut a couple of 2X12 headers and quite a few 2X6 trusses and made shelves and knee braces for my pole barn mostly out of ash and have been happy with the strength of it. I cut some 2 days ago for stacking/drying pallets and the log had some doughty wood in it and lots of PPB damage so I'd check it close to see how it has held up.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 The header on the low end (under ladder) and all the 14' 2X6 trusses are ash.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 Most of the shelves and knee braces are made of ash

That is a great looking shed!
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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2019, 08:33:56 PM »
richiway,

   Thanks and the best part is I probably have less than $600 invested in it. All the wood came from my place (Locust uprights, most of my initial test lumber off my mill, etc) and I got used roofing off a barn being torn down a couple of counties away. I added shelves to all the interior walls and put a work bench with a RAS on the end next to my previously existing hay barn and also ran power from there. 
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Online Old Greenhorn

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 09:15:52 PM »
I don't build pretty stuff like the other guys, but mine is functional. This is the tool shed for my mill. The floor, floor joists, some siding, the fascia boards, and some framing are all Ash, the rest of the framing is white oak, and some of the siding is maple. The roof and door are pine from @nybhh I'll finish it in the spring but is is pretty full and quite dry.


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Online alan gage

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2019, 12:54:40 PM »
How are you guys fastening this ash and oak lumber? Does it nail easy enough when green or are you pre-drilling for nails or screws?

Alan
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2019, 01:13:18 PM »
It is my belief that most any of the white hardwoods, especially hickory, used in unheated buildings will get powder post beetles .  There sure where a lot of dairy barns built of whatever wood they had. Up in the hay loft it was windy and dry but down where the cows where plenty of moisture. I think the white wash saved the wood that was not really supposed to be used here. 

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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2019, 04:12:15 PM »
How are you guys fastening this ash and oak lumber? Does it nail easy enough when green or are you pre-drilling for nails or screws?

Alan
I overdid it a bit on that shed you see above. I used 5" nails (ok, Spikes) for the framing and had to pre-drill all the holes at least halfway down. I did this for two reason's A) I have had 200 pounds of 5" nails I have been moving around for 30 years and could finally use more than 10 of them up, and 2) I wanted the framing tight in case I ever want to skid this shed and move it. I tell you what boy, it was tight. I never needed any bracing to hold up walls as I was building.  :D ;D My son made that comment when he stopped by one day and I said, "go over and give that freestanding wall a shove". I can't say what he said here, but he did agree, I needed no bracing. Of course if you nailed out of square, you were scre stuck.
For the siding I used reasonable small nails (I only have 25 pounds of those left), 4 penny I think (1-1/2"). Still I would bend one once in a while. I used wood screws for he door hinges and had a couple breaking off just at the point of tightness. Had to pre-drill those also. (Those were new screws. Cheap hardware these days.)
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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2019, 06:02:47 PM »
If you don't have a use for your ash logs now cut them into cants and store them under a roof once the ash supplies are gone they will be worth a lot more. randy
I would be carefull about sawing cants of your ash logs. They will check big time. Once the checks start in a cant you have no lumber. I would saw into 2-3" live edge slabs as wide as possible and store them and even then you will have to watch for the PPB
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Re: Ash trees and ash bore
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2019, 07:00:59 PM »
Alan,

   With ash I'd suggest you always pre-drill. Not only is it really hard but is is also very straight-grained and splits easily. I always pre-drill and even then I mess up a lot of 16 penny nails trying to drive the 2X framing lumber when making stacking skids/pallets and such.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"


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