Big leaf Maple trees cut for firewood. Tears?

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Forum topic by studie posted 01-14-2010 09:50 AM 3402 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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618 posts in 3173 days

01-14-2010 09:50 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

I hear of big leaf maple as one of Americas most prized wood, at least with the luthiers. Turners also have shown the amazing beauty of this wood. So how can it be some can get cut down for firewood? I’m sure it happens all the time but when I hear of the cost of it as a beloved source it makes me want to try & educate any who cut a tree. O K we can’t save them all & I burn firewood but do you have a pile of wood to good to burn. I know of many trees on the ground here in Washington that need to be made into lumber & breaks my heart to see them rot or go to firewood because they don’t have the money to mill it up. You tell someone they have to pay $800 to mill the wood then 2 years of drying & maybe then kiln drying, they just want it gone! For many it’s hard to understand how much effort it takes to bring a tree to the point of making furniture. I was told of some big leaf trees to be cut down but for now only the branches not the main trunk available. What could be made of the 8” or smaller stuff?

-- $tudie

3 replies so far

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18290 posts in 3702 days

#1 posted 01-14-2010 10:40 AM

I know it gets burned Studie, 25 years ago, I burned many cords of it. The main trunks were 4’ +. Tough stuff to split. Takes a 12# mall and lots of wedges. I asked a friend who made muzzle loading rifles about our maples. He told me they were too soft and didn’t make good stocks, so I burned it without saving any. Now, I find Ted was sort of wrong. I makes good lumber, just not stocks. I feel your pain!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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553 posts in 3167 days

#2 posted 01-14-2010 03:07 PM

I, too feel your pain. Here in Colorado, it’s somewhat rare to be able to find anything other than Rocky Mountain Red or Utah Juniper, Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, Aspen, or Cottonwood. So, when I see an ad on Craigslist or our local website, Pinecam, for free firewood in the Denver metro area, I always check it out. Sometimes it’s Elm, sometimes Black Walnut, sometimes Silver Maple, and sometimes Green Ash. But most of the time it’s for Cottonwood, and much of the time the wood has already been cut up into firewood lengths of 16 to 18 inches. So, being able to get there in time to snag some of it, or being able to find anything of usable length is problematic. Most homeowners we’ve dealt with just want the trees gone. So, tree services put their ads out there for free firewood, and when I contact them about the possibility of leaving longer lengths for me to pick up, they ask me how much I’m willing to pay for it. Go figure!

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

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4154 posts in 3602 days

#3 posted 01-14-2010 06:08 PM

I see the same thing Studie and it breaks my heart.
I have had a source for shipping container Oak & Elm & Pine that has given me a lot of wood; and some of the grain patterns are incredible.
95% of my projects are made of this wood and I like to think I’m helping stop the waste.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

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