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Author Topic: Log identification  (Read 1686 times)

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Offline Swernicus

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Log identification
« on: March 01, 2021, 08:07:53 AM »
 
Tree cutter said these were some kind of elm...

Not sure about that, almost looks like a type of white oak (burr oak etc). Any thoughts? 

 

 


Offline kantuckid

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2021, 09:02:27 AM »
Chestnut Oak? 
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Offline DonW

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2021, 11:24:25 AM »
OH wow, those pictures are not showing much useful for identification. If that one long protrusion is "furry" it could back up the claim it's elm. An oak would surely be obvious from the rays if they were present. 
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Offline KEC

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2021, 11:36:24 AM »
Looks like White Oak to me.

Offline Swernicus

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2021, 12:57:02 PM »
I thought the same thing, but the bark has a slight elm look. Im milling it later this week so Ill post some photos of the slabs. The Ray fleck will give it away 

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2021, 02:27:12 PM »
Looks ring pourous like oak, but can't see the rays. You wouldn't have to saw oak to see rays on the end grain, they stand out like your thumb. ;D American white elm bark is different than that up here.
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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2021, 02:55:12 PM »
Our cucumber magnolia looks close to that when its growing on shale. They sometimes end up sorted into the stave logs sort by the loader op.

Offline Swernicus

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2021, 04:19:53 PM »
Looked at images of white oak to see the rays on end grain.. yeah there isnt any of that. Does that rule out oak?

Offline Sauna freak

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2021, 07:24:25 PM »
Can't be sure, but it looks somewhat like Red Elm with that fiber pull on the hinge and the color/appearance on the end grain.  How does it smell?  Red elm will have an almost sweet smell.  I've mostly seen it dead with bark off, so not too sure on that one.  If you can confirm that, you have a prize.  It's getting pretty rare.
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Re: Log identification
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2021, 08:01:51 PM »
If elm, the latewood pores will be arranged in distinct wavy bands. 
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2021, 08:02:56 AM »
Does it smell like acid wood? Elm sort of stinks to me. Some Elms are called "pith Elm" for that reason, so I learned from my Ozarks Grandpa, a real woodsman as he was. FWIW, I have an old picture of him and two brothers in the midst of their firewood operation and ~ 700 cords of hand split firewood, was before WWI.  
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2021, 07:31:16 PM »
Looks like someone crossed locust with black walnut. I have no idea what that wood is.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2021, 09:08:12 PM »
I wondered about Sassafras. 
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Re: Log identification
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2021, 09:26:13 PM »
Yes, sure does look like sassafras. 
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2021, 06:38:09 AM »
I think sassafras is a good candidate to if there are no big rays showing up. Definitely not ash, and the woods are similar, but the bark isn't. ;D
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Offline Nebraska

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2021, 08:11:19 AM »
Bark looks Elm to me. 

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2021, 08:25:29 AM »
I agree on the bark looking like Sassafras but lets go back to the smell? Should be obvious were that it. 
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Offline Swernicus

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2021, 08:59:32 AM »
I have never encountered sassafras but I do know it grows in this part of Michigan.  The log is at the sawmill yard and I haven't been able to get up there since right now I'm collecting maple sap (it's been a good few days!).

I will be milling it on Saturday hopefully so I'll post some pictures once it's opened up.

I agree that the bark struck me as elm, but I do not remember any acidic type smell to it.


Online firefighter ontheside

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2021, 01:14:59 PM »
Bark looks like sassafras to me too.  Of every wood I have milled or worked with, sassafras has had the strongest smell yet.  It actually smelled like lemons when I milled it.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2021, 08:38:02 AM »
This one is tricky. I cut sas from time to time and good diameter from N.J. [ours are always small]. The weight, smell and color would give it away. The bark can have those small plates and chip out like that. It's that end color the messes  me up.

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2021, 12:48:33 PM »
All the sassafras I have cut had an orange inner bark.

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2021, 03:25:28 PM »
One persons orange is another persons rusty reddish brown?  :D
The sassafras log bed I built I sanded the outer bark to remove the flaky stuff- Neat piece actually. Not so neat is all the trees down on my woods roads, many today were smaller sassafras. Yesterday was a maple ~ 20-22" and next trip is some young poplars around 12". Maybe sleepy Joe will send me an extra check for lost timber?  ;D
I do wish he'd peel this log and get this figured out. 
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Offline Swernicus

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2021, 04:02:17 PM »
Pics of the slabs

 

 

Offline Swernicus

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2021, 04:55:52 PM »
Based on smell Im thinking its an elm

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2021, 05:00:26 PM »
The simple to be sure is to look at then end grain to see if the latewood pores are arranged in wavy bands.  Here are some end grain pics with the wavy bands.

American elm
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Offline KEC

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2021, 07:42:51 PM »
Anyone else see a resemblense to Catalpa ? Not saying it is.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2021, 07:49:28 PM »
Yes I do see a resemblance to Catalpa but I saw very little of it.  Actually I do not recall ever sawing it but once.
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2021, 06:42:45 AM »
A simple un-scientific pocketknife test will check for catalpa vs most any other look alike candidate. I've sawed twice as much catalpa as magicman :D 
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Offline Swernicus

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2021, 07:53:09 PM »
I was finally able to find a moment among all the milling, stacking, and maple syrup boiling to inspect the end grain and it looks to be elm based on the wavy patterns detailed in a link above. Also the weather warmed a bit and the smell of the wood definitely had that elm flair to it. Not sassafras. Was really hoping for some sas!

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2021, 05:41:50 AM »
Yesterday while clearing our woods roads of 100 year record ice, snow & rain tree falls, I cut into a log which had lost it bark and began to rot from the outside. It may have been 10" original size where I whacked it and the first thought after cutting through and seeing the hard core heartwood was sassafras- which one sniff proved to be true. i think I'll pull it with the poplar logs lying next to it and saw something thick out of it to compliment the 4/4 sassafras I cut couple years back. 
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Offline Danmcc

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2021, 12:37:52 AM »
What tree is this? The leaves on the ground were oak, but the 5 trees around it were gum. 



 

 

 

 

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2021, 08:23:47 AM »
Certainly sweetgum.  Note the dark heart.
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Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2021, 08:35:32 AM »
@Damncc is their any chance for you to go & get a picture of it sawn off much closer and in the root flare. All the sweet gum that Ive ever seen has an aallmmost starfish shape to it that close. 

Now, that being said, Im not arguing about WDHs assessment to it being sweetgum, because I dont know trees much at all! And Im not trying to step on ANYONEs toes. Just going with the TINY bit that Ive been exposed to.
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Re: Log identification
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2021, 08:41:48 AM »
The buds will be fairly large and decidedly imbricate (overlapping scales).  The twigs may or may not have wings. 

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2021, 08:48:27 AM »
Ive got a good hold on everything leaves and gumballs. My weak spot is the bark ID. Thats why Id not be able to select cut when the leaves arent there.
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Re: Log identification
« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2021, 06:48:44 PM »
Bark is the very first thing that I look at when IDing a tree.  Down here in the Deep South with so many species, I find the bark to be very distinctive on most species. 
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Re: Log identification
« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2021, 07:38:45 PM »
Ill get another pic when I go back to pick up more logs. I think it is star shaped, I can see some star shape in the pic. The ground was littered with oak leaves, thats why I was wondering. Im can do fairly well with leaves to identify, but bark only seems elusive 

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #37 on: March 14, 2021, 09:41:17 AM »
Bark is the very first thing that I look at when IDing a tree.  Down here in the Deep South with so many species, I find the bark to be very distinctive on most species.
Buying or sorting logs bark is pretty much all you have to make a call especially if you are in the loader cab. Look at enough and you learn the subtle differences; just like a farmer knows all his cows without looking at an ear tag number.   Cruising/marking timber goes a lot smoother when the leaves are off.

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #38 on: March 15, 2021, 09:41:44 AM »
Yes, when you cruise a lot of timber, you really learn the bark. 
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Offline low_48

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2021, 11:16:03 PM »
Catalpa is so lightweight, you would know right away. It weighs less than anything I've ever cut, even basswood. I only cut one sassafras, it had basically no sapwood. I'd still go with elm.

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2021, 06:19:33 AM »
Plus- I have never seen a catalpa in the forest competing for sunlight. 
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2021, 02:37:32 PM »
Bark is the very first thing that I look at when IDing a tree.  Down here in the Deep South with so many species, I find the bark to be very distinctive on most species.
Yes but you have to know age and how it affects the bark pattern, that is by looking at it. If you can peel some off, well that would be cheating.

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Re: Log identification
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2021, 08:34:49 AM »
After you see a species a thousand times in all seasons, you understand the subtle nuances and differences between the species and the variation within species. It is a lifelong activity, and I am old as some rocks.  
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Re: Log identification
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2021, 08:39:52 AM »
 It is a lifelong activity, and I am old as some rocks.  
and almost as purdy!   :) :) :)
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Re: Log identification
« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2021, 03:14:38 PM »
WDH, Having hauled mostly hardwood sawlogs for 5 years, having to sort by species and rough grade to load #2 and better sawlogs, I have an appreciation for someone who has looked at leafless trees and logs. Add to the equation logs that have been skidded and pushed around  and coated with mud and snow. Sometimes I had to push the grapple down through a foot or 2 of snow, then drop it in the bunks to knock the snow off enough to tell what species or grade it was. Lots of variables when looking at bark, for sure. And yes, I still scratch my head at times.


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