milling lumber

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Forum topic by ryno posted 03-05-2009 05:41 AM 1011 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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106 posts in 3633 days

03-05-2009 05:41 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut milling

I just have a question about potential trees to be milled. I don’t have any experience in this so some of my questions and terms may seem a little elementary, but you have start somewhere tight? I have a guy that says he has some huge walnut trees that are down on his property. (By the way walnut is probably one of my favorites) How long is too long for a tree to be down before it is no good. I think he said these have been down for 2 years or so. Thanks for the advice.

-- It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

6 replies so far

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3428 days

#1 posted 03-05-2009 05:53 AM

I think it depends mostly on the environment the tree is in… I have heard of trees on the ground for longer than 2 years still yielding excellent lumber. I would say make a few cuts and see.

-- San Diego, CA

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3960 days

#2 posted 03-05-2009 10:59 AM

They’re finding trees that have been underwater for a hundred years too! Go whack the potential logs with an axe…see if it’s rotten or hollow. There still could be good wood inside. “Huge trees” usually means “old growth” stuff and a finer caliber of wood!

You could also get your potential saw-miller to come see it, and get his advice as well.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3875 days

#3 posted 03-05-2009 03:10 PM

What interpim said, one way to find out make a few cuts and see. I can tell you from personal experience since I run a sawmill 2 years down is not going to rot the heartwood if the tree was sound to start with. But who knows why they came down, they might have been standing dead/rotten already. In 2 years that does give the bugs a chance to find them and go to work though. Having said all that I have milled plenty of walnut that have been down 2 years or longer that yielded absolutely gorgeous lumber…I vote a strong “go for it”

View Minuteman's profile


58 posts in 3345 days

#4 posted 03-05-2009 04:37 PM

Hello ryno,

The best wood is in the base or stump area and the most expensive wood is there. dont cut it off like regular trees. The pretty burl for gun stocks or cabinets is in that are and the limbs should not be cut even with the tree more pretty gun stock or pistol stock material or cabinet grade wood with pretty burl. I usually dig down next to the tree using backhoe and washing off the stump base with high pressure hose. Find someone that know and has the equipment or knowledge not to waste a walnut.

Was the trees grown near a home or in woods. A lot of saw mills wont touch trees from around a house due to steel , nails , fence wire etc driven into them. If they were you might need to find a bandsaw mill.

A lot of Walnut bring top money at a shaving mill where they make veneer out of the log.

Length of logs is determined on what the mill carriage can handle usually 20 ft but some are 12 ft to 14 but most are cut at 8 ft.

Good luck


-- Major Walt Timoschuk,III

View ryno's profile


106 posts in 3633 days

#5 posted 03-06-2009 12:58 AM

Thanks for the replies. hopefully it turns out good. As far as I know they are in some woods and not near a house.

-- It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 3402 days

#6 posted 03-06-2009 01:02 AM

Do whatever you can for that wood. Darren gave me great advice on my soft maple trees and I’ll have wood for a long time.

I’m thankful for his advice.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

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