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big bad bodock

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by pacman, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. pacman

    pacman ArboristSite Operative

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    be careful when you use this stuff osage orangOsage-orange firewood -


    Osage-orange (locally called hedge), which is an incredibly dense and hot-burning wood. The dry weight of Osage-orange averages 4728 lbs per cord versus 4200 lbs/cord for white oak. It is rated as potentially producing 32.9 million btu’s per cord - compared to 29.1 for white oak, 27.5 for shagbark hickory, and 24.2 for green ash, for example. A stove must be well made because Osage-orange can produce so much heat, especially when lots of coals accumulate - which can get to about the same temp as coal. Many old stoves that used Osage-orange were ruined from overheating. Airtight stoves are less susceptible to heat damage because one can better control the temperature of the fire.
     
  2. bluequill56

    bluequill56 ArboristSite Operative

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    Got plenty on my place. A lot of folks don't like it, but I love the stuff as it burns hot and long. Burns OK partially seasoned, too. But to keep from melting my stove, I mix it with other wood. I had a 100% load (in an airtight stove) and it almost overheated even with the damper shut down. Scared the #&!! out of me. Don't load more than 50% now. Works great. Another caution is that it will throw lots of small sparks at you when you open the door, so load it and leave it alone.

    It's not as bad to split as some say. I find it a bit easier to do when it's green. It's pretty tough on saws and chains, though. Leave your rakers a bit high and don't lean on the saw; let the rpm's do the cutting and it does fine. I've got some 30"+ stuff that I'm looking forward to cutting; let the 660 finally stretch it's legs now that it's got its first few tanks through.

    As a side note, nice strait pieces are sought after for making hunting bows.
     
  3. papossefan

    papossefan ArboristSite Member

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    Anyone have a picture of one of these trees or a log?
     
  4. pacman

    pacman ArboristSite Operative

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    mis spelled - bodark

    The fruit is some times a little bigger or smaller than a soft ball .Your saw better be sharp when you tackle this tree. .http://weather.nmsu.edu/AbqPlantList/large/OsageOrange.htm They grow every where around here .Last week I had some body call me wanting some to burn out side in a camp fire.
     
  5. Wood Scrounge

    Wood Scrounge AboristSite Guru

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    Hot

    I had some of this stuff a few years ago it burns real hot and holds a coal all night long. Seemed to take forever to season though.
     
  6. YCSTEVE

    YCSTEVE ArboristSite Member

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    Hedge/Osage Orange

    That's what we mainly burn in Southeast Kansas. I've read its a member of the mulberry family. It was planted around the field edge I believe to help control erosion. I read on a website somewhere that they used it at one time as a natural coral to keep pigs a livestock in. The problem with cutting out an old hedge row is I always seem to fined fencing wire grown into the tree. Usually when I have just put on a new chain.

    You want to be carefull burning it in an open fire place or when you open the door because it has a tendency to shoot out sparks.


    We also cut hedge for line post. It's hard to believe but a good hedge post will last 40-50 years. I've even seen people make long bow's out of the stuff. I pasted an address below that has some information about it.

    http://www.gpnc.org/osage.htm
     
  7. jags

    jags AboristSite Guru

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    I love the stuff, but keep it in fairly large size splits or rounds so that it does not go nuclear on me. Great overnight fuel. And its pretty tough on chains as well. I would take a semi load of it anytime. Has about the same weight as a similar sized piece of concrete.:dizzy:
     
  8. computeruser

    computeruser Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm gonna have to plant me some of those trees. How quickly do they reach a cutable/burnable size?
     
  9. YCSTEVE

    YCSTEVE ArboristSite Member

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    Hedge

    When we tear out old hedge post fence rows we save the old hedge post. These old post are as hard as iron and will make your chain about as sharp as a butter knife if you try and cut it into small pieces. We dig a pit and burn the post down to a hot bed of coals. Then kill and season up a hog and bury it for about 20 hours. When you dig it up the meat will fall off the bone and the pit will still be full of hot coals.
     
  10. SWI Don

    SWI Don AboristSite Guru

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    I haven't burnt much hedge yet. Just a few odd pieces from trees that were in the way getting to the dead oaks in the timber. This year I have a bunch of black locust to burn which I think is only about 1/2 step below hedge (we'll see).

    It will get mixed with some elm, walnut and maple to calm the fire down if need be.

    Around here I think most people will not burn a lot of straight hedge. Mixed is great but it is known to overheat stoves when burnt exclusively.

    Don
     
  11. country boy

    country boy ArboristSite Operative

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    We have several hedge trees around my neck of the woods most people around here prefer to use them as hedge posts as they last many many years . every year i'll cut a little of it and scatter it in the wood pile i have always been afraid that some one will try to be helpfull and fill up the wood stove for me and fill it with hedge . Have heard alot of horror stories glowing stoves and chimeny pipes . But i do like to keep alittle around for the really cold days to mix in.
     
  12. sloth9669

    sloth9669 AboristSite Guru

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    me me me

    i want to try some....never heard of it in new england area....
     
  13. YCSTEVE

    YCSTEVE ArboristSite Member

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    From what I've seen hedge is a slow growth tree. I don't know how long it would take before you could harvest it if you planted it from seed. It seems like the tree looks like a stickery bush for several years then it finally takes off. I have gone in on a piece of property and cut hedge post and was able to return 5-7 years later and cut the second growth off of the old stump. These second cuttings will be as round as a beer can to small coffee can size. If you don't spray the stump it will shoot out stickery growths all the way around the stump.

    The old timers would tell me stories of burning hedge in the pot belly cast iron stoves. They said the bedrooms in the old farm houses were cold so when they got up they would huddle around the stove. Hedge makes a nice bed of coals and I guess they would put these coals in a pan and use them to warm the covers up before they got into bed at night. Definitely harder times. Good thing they didn't know any better.

    My dad would keep a bucket of ash near the stove so if the fire got out of hand he could dump some ash on it to smother it. Also had some water on the stove top to put some moisture in the air and it could be used if needed.
     

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