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Author Topic: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood  (Read 11037 times)

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Offline Dale Hatfield

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Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« on: February 13, 2008, 06:34:46 PM »
Makes pretty good fire wood once seasoned. However not before it dry.  After doing battle with  it and spraying to kill it . I wondered what to do with the wood. Cut it up last year and its in the burner now. I think its better than a poplar far better than an aspen but not an oak. Id say about the lines of cherry firewood. At any rate its not bad and is far better than fuel oil bill.

Dale
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Offline zopi

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2008, 07:35:53 PM »
I had been wondering about that...I have dozens..they are worse than crabgrass and grow faster...and STINK!

Kinda fun to murder them with the chainsaw..every now and then I'll go back in the thicket and whack a few to let off steam..doesn't seem to matter..like killing roaches..stomp a half dozen, step back and >crunch<
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Offline Larry

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2008, 07:53:26 PM »
Charcoal...just figure out how to make it without annoying your neighbors and getting in trouble with the EPA.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

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Offline Dale Hatfield

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2008, 07:55:50 PM »
IF you are cutting to kill .Its best to cut early in spring or late winter. Then treat stump if ya have the means. But the stump must be sprayed right after the tree falls. Otherwise the stump seals up and the spray wont be absorbed.
Dale
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Offline zopi

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2008, 08:26:48 PM »
Charcoal...just figure out how to make it without annoying your neighbors and getting in trouble with the EPA.
55 gallon drum with a removable lid..punch just a few holes in the bottom, load with hardwood, build a nice big fire around the barrel (the holes in the bottom go down..lets the gases escape but air doesn't come in.. air=BAD! ;D..) after the whole thing cools pull the barrel out and unload it..just don't open the barrel until it is completely cool...or POOF!

there are much better/more complicated ways..but this one works...in a sense<G>

Nahh..i'll just season it and toss it in the stove.  8)

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Offline Dale Hatfield

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2008, 07:53:16 PM »
Report on the burn time of seasoned stinkwood. Truckload  has lasted a full week and should last rest of the week.
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Offline zopi

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2008, 08:16:17 PM »
are you burning constantly? we're going through a little less than a pickup load a week...burning maybe 18 hrs a day..

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Offline Dale Hatfield

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2008, 10:23:54 PM »
I burn nonstop  and have been most all winter. Their has been only a few times the fire burnt out before i got home. I unloaded  the stinkwood mondaynight last week .I say about half or less is still left.

Dale
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Offline zopi

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2008, 10:50:04 PM »
interesting..thanks!

i have a bunch standing that will come down this spring...ie when i get time...everything that falls here either gets milled or burned in one form or fashion...
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Offline Mike_Barcaskey

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2008, 09:25:13 AM »
your experience is much different than anything else I have heard. Burns like paper, no heat value and stinks like you peed on it, hence the name pisswood.
are you burning in a woodstove, fireplace or wood furance?
I'll have to give it a try
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Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2008, 09:45:41 AM »

 I started a thread about killing Ailanthus a couple of years ago here:

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,17120.0.html

One of the amazing things about Ailanthus is its ability to root sprout, if cut and not treated a 6" tree can send up hundreds of sprouts. If you have deer in your area they will take care of most of them inspite of the smell. If not you are going to have a much greater problem.

My neighbor has been using a basil treetment of Garlon 4. Mixes it wit Diesel fuel and paints the live tree. He did this last year and we are waiting to see if they recover this year.

I use Garlon 3A and hack and squirt as described in the above thread. It works very well with minimal sprouting.

Just thought I'd throw in here.
Jon
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Offline Dale Hatfield

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2008, 04:31:36 PM »
Im burning it in a woodburner sold from TSC it  has been burning stinkwood for a week and now a half with enough to last through day and half.
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Offline doctorb

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2014, 05:51:29 PM »
I took down 30-40 ailanthus trees in 2012.  8 foot logs sat in the woods until the fall of 2013.  Then cut to 24" lengths and logs larger than 8" were split and stacked outside.  So the trees were cut 2.5 years ago, and the logs split and stacked 15 months ago.  I am burning it my OWB now and it seems to burn pretty well.  Does not "coal up" as well as oak, and the amount of ash seems a little greater than the usual hardwoods.  But I am not noticing that I have to feed more of it to the stove than my usual species (maple, locust and oak).  There is no hissing or boiling of water from the ends of the logs.

It is often referred to as "stinkwood" on this and other forums.  When the OWB door is open and the fire is going, I can notice no discernible odor other than that of a fire.  I have not burned it in a fire pit or a fireplace, but it seems to be pretty good fuel to me.  Not much info on it regarding BTU content.

Of interest, regarding seasoning of the wood, is that I split an 8" log today and measured its moisture content.  22%  I would have expected a little lower given the time since this wood has been cut.  Another example that logs dry poorly.  I think I should have split everything over 6" diameter.  My untrained guess is that this is a pretty hard wood.  It's quite heavy when green and takes a toll on your chainsaw.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2014, 07:30:39 PM »
The "stink" tag usually refers to the tree as it is growing, not for the wood.
And the density of this tree is up there with other good burning hardwoods so your results fit pretty well for good burning characteristics.
Good report on the ailanthus tree.
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Offline r.man

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2014, 08:51:58 PM »
That sounds like it would be a candidate for a renewable firewood source if it grows fast enough. I have a few trees/weeds around that I know you can't kill by cutting and I was thinking that they would be an interesting crop.
I wonder how it would take to being harvested by one of these.
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Offline hchodnoff

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2019, 04:12:57 PM »
I have acreage in Ohio and participate in a state forestry program to eliminate invasive species. Alianthus is one of them and one of the most difficult to kill. I've noticed on this forum that many are cutting them down. The problem with that is that they go into a panic mode and send off shoots. The best way is the slash and squirt technique. You need to take an ax or small hatchet and slash into the tree in at about a 15 degree angle at several locations around the trunk and expose the white part of the inner bark. It can be waist high. You then use a spray bottle to spray a slightly diluted dose of roundup. In about two or three weeks you should see the leaves turning yellow. If some of the leaves still seem green, than repeat below the portion of the tree where the healthy leaves appear. Caveat, Once they die they loos their strength quickly and are subject to falling in heavy winds. Does save you from felling though. 

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2019, 08:25:12 PM »
I cut them down at ground or just below ground with my hyd driven tree saw on my skid loader then all the stumps are treated with Tordon then you have no problem with them coming back. Locust and hedge are the same way if you forget to Tordon the stumps you will have a mess on your hands in a couple years. 

Offline Don P

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2019, 08:45:21 PM »
Adam Downing with VDOF has been doing charcoal demonstrations with ailanthus for some years, it makes a good hardwood charcoal. They also gave some to woodworkers around Blacksburg who made some furniture and cabinets with it, sort of similar to ash looking, it got positive reviews. It has about the same density and mechanical properties as red oak. I cleared a hotspot of it on one jobsite, sawed it and gave it to the homeowner who used it for paneling, it looks good. It had quite a bit of tension, one log the core jumped out of the tree while in cut, sort of exciting! I clearcut just about everything in that basically monoculture grove then brought in an excavator to pop the stumps, smoothed the site with a dozer and then seeded it and had him keep it mowed until it died out. There was a small patch just getting going on our place when we bought it and that's how I took care of it, basically worried it to death.
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Offline doctorb

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Re: Ailanthus altissima / Tree of Heaven..........Fire Wood
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2019, 09:40:50 PM »
This topic was started in 2013, and I posted in 2014, on my experience with the Tree of Heaven as firewood.  I have burned several cords of the stuff since then, and, when dried, makes fine fuel for the OWB.  That's a good use for a nasty invasive species, IMO.
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