The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

FARMA


Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Nyle Kiln Dry Systems

Chainsawr, The Worlds Largest Inventory of Chainsaw Parts





Author Topic: What is Ironwood?  (Read 24368 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline arojay

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 249
  • Location: Yukon Territory, Canada
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
What is Ironwood?
« on: May 10, 2009, 02:33:11 PM »
I have heard people talk about Ironwood but don't know if it is a species or if it even exists.  Seems to me that there is a Forum member by that handle, but I'm sure that he isn't what(who) these folks were talking about.  Can anyone shed a little light on Ironwood?
440B skidder, JD350 dozer, Husqvarnas from 335 to 394. All spruced up

Offline Ironwood

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 4552
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Near Pittsburgh,Pa
  • Gender: Male
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
    • http://www.branchandburl.com
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 03:46:25 PM »
In North America there are numerous trees called "Ironwood", here in the East it is usually the American Hornbeam, which is in the beech family (also goes by musclewood, and several other slang) heavy dense, understory tree (not nearly as dense and substantial as western Desert Ironwood).

         Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline nas

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 907
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Gods Country, Milton Ontario
  • Gender: Male
  • Measure twice and cut aw DanG
    • Share Post
    • Traditional forest products
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 03:53:55 PM »
Round here Ironwood is usually Hop-Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), but sometimes American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) more commonly called Blue Beech around here.
Better to sit in silence and have everyone think me a fool, than to open my mouth and remove all doubt - Napoleon.

Indecision is the key to flexibility.
2002 WM LT40HDG25
stihl 066
Husky 365
1 wife
6 Kids

Offline Ironwood

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 4552
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Near Pittsburgh,Pa
  • Gender: Male
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
    • http://www.branchandburl.com
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 04:04:32 PM »
I have never heard of Eastern Hop Hornbeam called Ironwood, at least not in these parts. It is SOOO different of a tree from the American Hornbeam. Could never be confused. Second pic, the bark is peeled.

          Ironwood (Musclewood, Blue Beech, American Hornbeam)

 



There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline Chuck White

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 12209
  • Age: 71
  • Location: Russell, NY (Way Upstate)
  • Gender: Male
  • Sawing Mobile since 2005
    • Share Post
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 04:04:51 PM »
In this area there is a tree that generally doesn't get very big in diameter.
The bark resembles ash and some refer to it as "iron wood" and some call it "hard hack"!
It has a leaf that resembles elm!
There is also the tree referred to earlier as "blue beach", which is also called "muscle wood"!
I'm thinking that the "iron wood" might be in the Ash family!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline Ironwood

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 4552
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Near Pittsburgh,Pa
  • Gender: Male
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
    • http://www.branchandburl.com
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 04:09:11 PM »
I believe American Hornbeam peters out (northern boundry) in mid state NY, here in Western PA, it gets 12" and not much bigger. I suppose there are pockets of American Hornbean further north, but never seen it in the Daks, so I am sure it must terminate as around the Lake Onterio area.

                   Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline Ron Scott

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 8187
  • Age: 84
  • Location: Cadillac, MI
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2009, 04:17:23 PM »
Yes ironwood is a recognized tree species as stated above.

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/volume_2/carpinus/caroliniana.htm
~Ron

Offline Ironwood

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 4552
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Near Pittsburgh,Pa
  • Gender: Male
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
    • http://www.branchandburl.com
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2009, 04:40:57 PM »
Ditto, Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline SwampDonkey

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 37015
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Centreville, NB
  • Gender: Male
  • Large Tooth
    • Share Post
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2009, 04:42:15 PM »
Round here Ironwood is usually Hop-Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), but sometimes American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) more commonly called Blue Beech around here.

I have never heard of Eastern Hop Hornbeam called Ironwood, at least not in these parts.


Yeah, I know the confusion. But in eastern Canadian forestry schools we call Ostrya virginiana ironwood or eastern hophornbeam. Local old timers and farmers call it hornbeam. Just to be different I suppose, as we also call box elder a Manitoba maple and striped maple is called moosewood. ;D

http://www.unb.ca/courses/for1000/Labs/FLab02.pdf

http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/subsite/mx-212/ironwood

What we call ironwood here is in the birch family and very young trees can be confused with yellow birch by their bark.
Move'n on.

Offline LeeB

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 8046
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Yellville Arkansas
  • Gender: Male
  • proud to be a TEXAN in Arkansas
    • Share Post
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2009, 08:25:34 PM »
I don't know what tree species it is, but I believe there is also an African tree called ironwood.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline arojay

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 249
  • Location: Yukon Territory, Canada
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2009, 09:54:57 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  Now as to the name, is it hard to work with or is there some other reason for the name?  The chair is a nice looking piece.
440B skidder, JD350 dozer, Husqvarnas from 335 to 394. All spruced up

Offline SwampDonkey

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 37015
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Centreville, NB
  • Gender: Male
  • Large Tooth
    • Share Post
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2009, 07:00:36 PM »
I think the name is related to the fact that either is a very dense hardwood for the region they are found. Like up here in Maritimes, O. virginiana is our densest hardwood. It makes great axe handles and sled runners. Mom's uncle make all his tool handles by hand from local ironwood/eastern hop-hornbeam.

It is very shade tolerant and can take over the understory of a hardwood stand used for firewood or sugar bush if beech is not as prominent. American Beech (not blue beech referred to as another ironwood) will also regenerate thick on the same site and kill out maple and yellow birch regen. But, it has to be a prominent component that usually gets cut for firewood. The remaining maple can't regenerate as well in shade as beech, it usually gets a couple feet tall and stagnates if not released. A sugar maple stand is usually like a park underneath until you start doing some harvesting.
Move'n on.

Offline nas

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 907
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Gods Country, Milton Ontario
  • Gender: Male
  • Measure twice and cut aw DanG
    • Share Post
    • Traditional forest products
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2009, 10:00:33 PM »
I use Eastern Hop Hornbeam to make handle for my tools.  Only have to do it once after the store bought one breaks.  My Uncle makes chess boards and uses it for the white squares.
Better to sit in silence and have everyone think me a fool, than to open my mouth and remove all doubt - Napoleon.

Indecision is the key to flexibility.
2002 WM LT40HDG25
stihl 066
Husky 365
1 wife
6 Kids

Offline woodtroll

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 425
  • Location: Wyoming
    • Share Post
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2009, 12:17:53 AM »
Southern Illinois is the same as Swamp Donkey's definition. Hop hornbeam - ironwood, blue beech - muscle wood. Same problem with the hornbeam dominating an understory, just change the maple to oak. Prescribe fire can help some if they are young enough.

Offline Corley5

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 8263
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Wolverine, Michigan USA
  • Gender: Male
  • Wolverine, Michigan
    • Share Post
    • Whittaker Farms
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2009, 08:41:33 AM »
Eastern Hophornbeam=ironwood in N. Michigan.  Ruffed Grouse bud on them in the winter so they have some value for wildlife.  Hophornbeam firewood is near the top of the charts for BTU content.  Trees up to 16"DBH are around but usually any much over 8" are hollow.  We don't have blue beech/muscle wood up here.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline ID4ster

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 134
  • Age: 62
  • Gender: Male
  • Good thing that foresters are a different breed.
    • Share Post
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2009, 09:06:05 AM »
In the southern tier of NY both the American hornbeam (C. caroliniana) and the Eastern hop hornbeam (O. virginiana) are known as ironwood. The eastern hop hornbeam was sometimes referred to as the "wagon axle tree" since some of the stems were straight enough and hard enough to serve as a wagon axle. I know of one guy that was making wooden mauls for timber framing and such out of the eastern hop hornbeam. He would cut a suitable size tree into sections and then bore out an "eye" and put in an axe handle. As the hop hornbeam dried it would tighten up around the handle and make a good mallet. He was doing that to show that trees we consider a "weed" could be put to good use. He also mentioned one time that he sometimes would put a section on a lath and turn it to make a better mallet head. He did say that it had to be turned green though since it was too difficult to turn after it had cured. Why that is so I don't know.
Bob Hassoldt
Seven Ridges Forestry
Kendrick, Idaho
Want to improve your woodlot the fastest way? Start thinning, believe me it needs it.

Offline John Mc

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 5349
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Monkton, Vermont
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: What is Ironwood?
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2009, 12:47:00 PM »
Here in the Champlain Valley foothills of the Green Mountains in Vermont, "Hardhack" seems to be the common term for "Eastern Hophornbeam". It's also referred to as "Ironwood" or "American Hophornbeam. Bark is light brown and in long thin scaly strips or ridges. The bark looks a little "shaggy" (one friend thought it was a small shagbark hickory, until I showed him a real shagbark). Leaves are yellow-green when viewed from above, turn yellow in the fall. It makes excellent firewood. It's unusual to find them more than 6 or 7" DBH around here, though I've seen some up to 10". The "hop" part of it's name refers to the fact that it's fruit clusters resemble the hops used in making beer.

"American Hornbeam" (NOT "hophornbeam") is also referred to as "Blue Beech" or "Water Beech". The bark on this is blue-gray and smooth. Leaves are dull dark blue-green viewed from above. Turns orange/red in fall. It's really a member of the birch family. the name "Blue Beech" probably came about because it's bark resembles beech.

Both are hard, tough wood. Both tend to be smaller, understory trees in hardwood forests. Both are good wildlife food sources (deer, grouse, pheasants, etc.)
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
Ironwood ?

Started by shortlogger on Sawmills and Milling

22 Replies
3603 Views
Last post January 31, 2015, 07:54:33 PM
by Clark
xx
Big Ironwood

Started by mesquite buckeye on Sawmills and Milling

18 Replies
2772 Views
Last post December 15, 2015, 08:53:05 PM
by mesquite buckeye
xx
Ironwood

Started by Ron Wenrich on Sawmills and Milling

26 Replies
5290 Views
Last post March 25, 2003, 03:34:35 PM
by Sawyerfortyish
xx
for Ironwood

Started by tyb525 on Forestry and Logging

12 Replies
2451 Views
Last post May 09, 2011, 11:48:03 PM
by Ironwood
 


Powered by EzPortal