The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: kelLOGg on August 03, 2022, 12:04:21 PM

Title: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: kelLOGg on August 03, 2022, 12:04:21 PM
I've sawn it before and don't recall such a bad odor. Wood looks nice, 2.5" live edge, 12 ft long and widths up to 25". Not sure what kind of elm; hope the pics will help ID it.

<br
>(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13036/IMG_0616.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1659542347)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13036/IMG_0583.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1658675449)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13036/IMG_0479~1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1659542414)
 
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: doc henderson on August 03, 2022, 12:20:29 PM
I cannot tell you the formal ID, but it is nick named "pith elm" around these parts.  it must be the sap.  smell is gone when dry.  if you see an injury on an elm, they always look wet and leak down the tree.  It is beautiful wood.  I heard it referred to as an "exotic domestic hardwood"
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: ladylake on August 03, 2022, 02:49:13 PM
 Around here it's called pith elm with good reason.  Steve
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: kantuckid on August 03, 2022, 04:03:27 PM
My Kansas spelling for that elm is "pith elm" not "pith elm"  Now we know "the rest of the story"...
I suppose it's not nice to suggest that Doc has a speech impediment.  :-X
Some years ago I came onto a dead tree that had fallen across a gap on our place. It had no bark but was very sound. I ran a chainsaw into it an inch or so and thought, this is a nice walnut, so I cam back with my ford tractor and pulled it out then bucked it to learnt that it was a red elm. Maybe not walnut but actually a neat wood that after over 30 yrs I've still not made anything from that trees lumber. 
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: JoshNZ on August 03, 2022, 04:12:53 PM
I sawed a bit of elm last year and it had a nasty smell as well. I thought it was red elm.

Smell does improve when dry but the dust floating about still has a hint of it.
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: kelLOGg on August 03, 2022, 04:20:01 PM
I guess lady lake has the same impediment. 😁
Itís good to know this elm is not alone in the odor department. It is actually my neighbors tree from which he plans to build a table. After smelling it I was planning to suggest to him that it be used for dinner guests that he doesnít want to hang around very long. 🤪
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: WDH on August 03, 2022, 04:44:03 PM
The elm in the pic, from the bark, is slippery elm, also known as red elm.  In SE Oklahoma and NE Texas there a species of elm, common name is cedar elm, Ulmus crassifola, that has an unpleasant odor.  The locals call it pith Allum :D. 

https://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=912 (https://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=912)
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: beenthere on August 03, 2022, 05:14:33 PM
Elm, like oak, can get a different smell caused by bacteria. Often associated with higher moisture content. 
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: Nebraska on August 03, 2022, 05:29:14 PM
Latin Elmus Urinus  ;)
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: doc henderson on August 03, 2022, 06:53:27 PM
remember, the forum system automatically changes some words to others.  type it a hundred times and it will come back pith.  you could try Asterix or type it two words combined to fool the computer but then you may get sent to the woodshed.   :D
pith pith pith.  see that is not what I typed! :)
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: doc henderson on August 03, 2022, 06:55:48 PM
What do the USS Enterprize and a roll of toilet paper have in common?  
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: Tristen on August 03, 2022, 07:40:20 PM
They both circle Uranus in search of cling-ons.
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: Walnut Beast on August 03, 2022, 07:51:38 PM
Thatís for sure on smell! The elm I have air drying inside has a nasty smell ( dead animal) that lingers for a long time. Also some black walnut with some shake in it has a nasty odor 
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: kelLOGg on August 07, 2022, 12:15:46 PM
The smell has largely gone away. A week ago I was grossed out by it 10 feet away from the stack but now I have to put my nose right on it to smell it. A giant step in the right direction. 8)
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: kantuckid on August 07, 2022, 04:13:23 PM
remember, the forum system automatically changes some words to others.  type it a hundred times and it will come back pith.  you could try Asterix or type it two words combined to fool the computer but then you may get sent to the woodshed.   :D
pith pith pith.  see that is not what I typed! :)
Yep, know we know what happens when ya talk (sort of) nasty. Glad to know doc can communicate with his patients! 
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: kantuckid on August 07, 2022, 04:26:33 PM
What do the USS Enterprize and a roll of toilet paper have in common?  
I don't know? tell us... ;D
Here's myT P story that's about wood and TP and has all the info, no playing twenty questions. 
 Maybe 30 years ago, a tech school principal I knew in Morgan Co, KY got all his supplies via a larger "parent", Ashland, KY tech school. As he'd been out of TP for a good bit and got tired of asking them for towels and TP he'd complained loudly!
 Along came a tractor trailer load of school paper products. As he was telling me this tale he said "come and see all this TP they sent"!
 It filled his entire stockroom space and was crowding out other stuff needed to operate the programs. He then described this TP they'd sent, brand name was "Mellow Tissue"-I forget if it had the "W" or not. The interesting aspect was that this Mello TP was not so Mello at all! Fact is, it had wood fibers that you could see, meaning small brown splinters of wood in the TP. The stuff actually was as nasty as it looked and scratched yer butt in a very obnoxious way. Yes, I tried some and threw it away. He given me a bunch as the best outcome was to get it gone fast as possible! I put some in the mailboxes of several people I know and never seemed to get a thank you.  ::) 

My guess is the Navy uses $100 roll TP, same as their hammers?
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: doc henderson on August 07, 2022, 06:15:27 PM
@Tristen (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=52938) got it!  a few posts back.
Title: Re: Why does this elm smell so bad
Post by: barbender on August 08, 2022, 12:58:40 AM
Nothing like a few wood splinters in the TP to keep a guy humble😂