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Author Topic: Ash ID in South Carolina  (Read 2701 times)

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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Ash ID in South Carolina
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2013, 10:09:30 PM »
Blackgum is also diffuse porous, like basswood.  It has very little "grain" in the lumber.

Yes. And it is one of the smoothest lumber I've ever milled. Hardly have to sand it.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Ash ID in South Carolina
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2013, 10:32:09 PM »
Also spiral grain like sweetgum  :).
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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Ash ID in South Carolina
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2013, 09:50:52 AM »
Also spiral grain like sweetgum  :).

But it seems to behave a lot better than sweetgum, and lie down pretty flat. I haven't had any trouble with the black gum boards I have been air-drying since last spring.
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

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Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Ash ID in South Carolina
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2013, 11:15:25 AM »
Dodgy,

Explain the differences that you see in the bark.

Ok, I will, but hesitantly. I will note that my observations are limited to ashes in the Piedmont region of Georgia and South Carolina, and may not hold true elsewhere. In areas like South Georgia, where white ash does not exist, I don't pay as much attention to the bark, since I can tell at a glance that I'm looking at a green ash.

White ash tends to have very thick, blocky bark. On older specimens, you hardly ever see the interlacing diamond pattern that is so often associated with ashes. Green ash bark tends to be not-so-thick, and it maintains the interlacing diamond pattern, even on older specimens. As the trees age, they tend to get horizontal breaks in the ridges, but the bark never becomes blocky, like white ash. Green and white ash also tend to occupy different habitats. If you find an ash in a bottomland, you've almost certainly found a green ash. On a dry, south-facing hillside, you are far more likely to find white ash. On the in-between sites, that are not bottomland, but remain moist most of the time, you can find either. The bark differences are most stark in specimens that were growing either in a bottom or on a dry hillside. On the in-between sites, the bark characteristics start to intergrade, and it is necessary to look for more concrete characteristics to separate the two. Honestly, the site differences are as reliable for separating white ash from green ash as the bark characteristics, so if you know where the tree came from, the bark won't likely tell you much more. However, if you have a log and you have no idea where it came from, then being able to pick out the differences in the bark can be very helpful.

Clear as mud? ;)
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Offline WDH

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Re: Ash ID in South Carolina
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2013, 08:31:03 PM »
So, the upland ash where the bark goes from ridged, then to blocky, then back to ridged, then back to blocky is usually white ash?  Almost knobby, like a big upland balckgum?
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Ash ID in South Carolina
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2013, 12:36:44 AM »
And all this time I was hoping that white ash had white bark, and green ash had green bark.  :-\
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Ash ID in South Carolina
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2013, 07:36:47 AM »
It cut fairly easily with the chainsaw (not like hickory), and smelled a bit like burned wood (like hickory does, but definitely softer). Another possibility could be basswood,
Ash in the green live state is relatively easy to cut .If it' s dead like all of ours although they retain moisture they are hard as a rock .I've been debating that subject with my learned  bud Swampish for some time .Now of course both of us being rather firm minded won't give an inch . :D

Basswood is soft and I doubt would ever get hard unless you brine soaked the lumber or something .Fact it's so soft in the green state a well sharpened chainsaw chain will pull big long fluffy chips that look like planer chips .

I've got pics of both ash and basswood and if you want I'll post them but I figured most people know the difference already .

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Ash ID in South Carolina
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2013, 08:06:32 AM »
Well, I haven't dealt much with either one in a long time, but at least I can tell the difference when the leaves are on.  :-\
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

Reduced to Uber Driver and a broken MS290 Stihl

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Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Ash ID in South Carolina
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2013, 03:08:07 PM »
So, the upland ash where the bark goes from ridged, then to blocky, then back to ridged, then back to blocky is usually white ash?  Almost knobby, like a big upland balckgum?

Yes, the knobby ash bark is almost always white ash. It can be almost identical to upland blackgum until you cut into it. The ash bark will be soft and a light khaki color when cut, while blackgum will be crumbly and have light brown and dark brown splotches when cut. Blackgum is a chameleon. It likes to look like sweetgum, too. But sweetgum bark is the color of dried blood when you cut into it.
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Ash ID in South Carolina
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2013, 08:11:14 PM »
I have not paid much attention to bark differences in the two up here, Our white ash has a brown tinge to the bark and diamond shape when young. It almost always has white spots (not lichen or fungus) on the younger bark like young maple and young large tooth aspen. When the tree is quite old it looses this diamond pattern and tends to become flat ridged and scaly in narrow strips maybe 6" long.

Around here, if you have to wade water to get to an ash, it's black ash. The white ash is an upland tree, but rich deep soils with lots of moisture, black humic soil, but well drained and always with sugar maple (or aspen), sometimes butternut and basswood. Red maple may be present, but not a good indicator because it grows on a wide range of sites. If there is black ash with it, the black ash will be around wet water soaked sites. Never see white ash in glacial sand type soil. ;D
Move'n on.


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