How does one harvest a single tree for woodworking?

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Forum topic by Zac Harlan posted 07-31-2009 01:42 AM 1400 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Zac Harlan

14 posts in 2653 days

07-31-2009 01:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’ve got a single ash tree in my front yard (about 30 years old) i’d like to harvest for woodworking but i’m not sure where to begin or if I should even bother. What all is involved in harvesting a tree?

Thank you in advance.

-- Zac, Iowa,

5 replies so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3547 days

#1 posted 07-31-2009 02:00 AM


-- 温故知新

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17575 posts in 3095 days

#2 posted 07-31-2009 02:18 AM

Do yiou have room to fall it?

-- 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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Zac Harlan

14 posts in 2653 days

#3 posted 07-31-2009 02:56 AM

yes, i can lay it down in the street.

-- Zac, Iowa,

View Mauritius's profile


96 posts in 2645 days

#4 posted 07-31-2009 03:12 AM

I only know the basics that I’ve read in a book, never done it myself. Step 1, cut the tree down (safely, there are specific processes to follow here to make sure it doesn’t mash something important). Step 2, mill the lumber, you can do this with a proper mill or with a chainsaw setup. Proper mill is preferred because it wastes less wood, best bet is to find someone who has a portable mill and knows how to use it, or maybe find a mill that will cut the logs for you if you haul it. There are also specific ways you can cut the log depending on what sort of lumber you want (quartersawn, flatsawn, riftsawn) and how thick you want it. Lastly you have to let the lumber dry, which can be done fairly quickly in a kiln, or left stickered and covered outside to air dry (I think the general rule is 1 year per 1” of thickness, but it varies).

Better yet, just google it. I did a quick search for “How to mill lumber” and the first post is a how-to for a guy that has a 35 year old ash tree in his front yard…

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Zac Harlan

14 posts in 2653 days

#5 posted 07-31-2009 02:42 PM

great link! That’s exactly what i want to do. Unfortunately, the trunk of the tree is only about 5 foot tall and the rest is really thick branches… so i don’t think i’d get much wood from it. Maybe i’ll just cut some nice chunks for turning.

At least now i know how I could do it!

-- Zac, Iowa,

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