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Ash wood is almost impossible to split

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Weber_Steaks, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. Weber_Steaks

    Weber_Steaks ArboristSite Lurker

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    Had a tree service cut down 5 trees recently, 2 were decent size ash, trunk was 15 inches diameter, limbs around 7 to 9.....trees died two.years ago due to EAB. I read somewhere that dead standing trees and trees left standing once infected become very hardened, like concrete, and these seem to fit the bill, my uncle's was the same way 3 years ago, he gave me all his ash because he couldn't split it....

    Can anyone tell me what's going on here ? I was told ash was easy to split, well, my maul bounced right off the rounds, my sledgehammer and 7 pound wedges don't work, I can't even get the wedge into this wood, even when I set the wedge right into existing check cracks etc,

    Bought a 10 ton log splitter, and after 3 attempts, I have up and this was with a smaller, 9 inches round...[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Weber_Steaks

    Weber_Steaks ArboristSite Lurker

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    I worked the handles to the point where the 80 frame started moving and I thought the handles were about to bend.....this ash just laughed at me, my birch and cherry rounds split with no effort, I got this on sale for $89, a 2 hour rental of a gas 20 to will cost me $75 and I'm 30 mins from the rental place.....I need some ideas please....
     
  3. Weber_Steaks

    Weber_Steaks ArboristSite Lurker

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    80 pound frame
     
  4. Canadian farm boy

    Canadian farm boy Stihl learning

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    I cut a lot of dead standing ash for fire wood. Your right, dead standing ash does seem to get rock hard. My 20ton gas splitter seems to work ok for splitting it. Just make sure your standing to the side when the splitter loads up because once you get enough force on the block it tends to "explode" into 2 pieces. If the piece of wood hits you it's really gonna hurt....ask me how I know. Sometimes after the tree has been cut into rounds and left for a winter to freeze its easier to split. I think the frost gets into the grain of the wood and helps to "loosen" things up a bit.
    Basically what I'm saying is either try splitting it again in the spring or get a bigger splitter. You may still need the bigger splitter in the spring though
     
  5. mn woodcutter

    mn woodcutter ArboristSite Guru

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    I'm not sure where you are located but here in MN I will leave those hard to split rounds for the middle of January when it's well below zero. Then it's a whole new ball game and I have something to do when it's bitter cold instead of being inside. I do that usually with elm.
     
  6. Weber_Steaks

    Weber_Steaks ArboristSite Lurker

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    I guess what I read is true, trees that are grown in front yards, with little to no competition between other trees....( like forest harvested ash ) , these trees grown.in the open develop very , very , very tight grain and close grain and are much harder to split that forest trees.....

    I have two choices, sell the wood, or rent a log splitter, gas powered but my rental place only has a 20 or 22 ton and at $75 for two hours, and being 30 mins away, I'm not sure if I could even split all this rock hard ash.....depends on the cycle time and if they have a vertical unit but if 10 tons barely scratched thru the bark. 20 tons may not even be enough ??
     
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  7. Ironworker

    Ironworker Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Have you tried noodling.
     
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  8. tla100

    tla100 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    wedge design is horrible. I have a little electric splitter that has similar design.

    It needs to be a lot less angle and actually make it sharp. That will help tremendously.
     
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  9. HuskStihl

    HuskStihl Chairin'em for the sound

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    I can almost guarantee that live oak is worse
     
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  10. Gugi47

    Gugi47 ArboristSite Hit Man

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    Yepp. I have a 22 tons Husky. splits the ash very easy but I can see sometimes in the oak have some jerking....
     
  11. tla100

    tla100 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you have access to a welder, cut a piece of metal 1/2" thick, 1" wide and a as tall as the wedge. Taper it with an angle grinder until it is sharp weld on to front of wedge.
     
  12. Canadian farm boy

    Canadian farm boy Stihl learning

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    Live oak can be a real B to split. I think the toughest wood I've had to split yet is elm. Real stringy and seems to grow with a twist to it. Never splits clean, have to F around with every piece. Oh and it stinks.
     
  13. Weber_Steaks

    Weber_Steaks ArboristSite Lurker

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    Yes, I just did a while ago and it helped out tremendously.....also, seems 1 round out of every 3 or 4 wants to give trouble with this ash, I was able to split up several larger rounds without a whole lot of trouble as compared to the first one I tried......

    One plus is that once the round is quartered , it's much easier to split it up into additional pieces since its laying flat on the beam, verses trying to balance the pieces on a splitting block and swung the maul precisely where I want it to split, and I don't have to pick every.piece off the ground each time so this thing has it's advantages and disadvantages, and I'm gonna keep it...........thanks for all.the replies and tips.
     
  14. Weber_Steaks

    Weber_Steaks ArboristSite Lurker

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    Yep, this design wedge is not sharp and it needs to be a good 3 inches taller imo, so you can split the larger rounds in one go, I split 15 pieces from that one round and the smaller the round gets, the faster it splits, and the less effort it takes
     
  15. Weber_Steaks

    Weber_Steaks ArboristSite Lurker

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    Or elm.....
     
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  16. Weber_Steaks

    Weber_Steaks ArboristSite Lurker

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  17. Need2Saw

    Need2Saw ArboristSite Operative

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    I have found that Ash from fence rows, woodline edges or open spaces are much harder to split than straight growth, middle of the woods Ash trees. Ash from the middle of the woods can be split easily with a maul but it takes forceful blows on the others and some pieces i just give up on.

    Sounds like you found a successful way to split your rounds. Good luck
     
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  18. Weber_Steaks

    Weber_Steaks ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks, and yes, these two ash trees were about 30.feet apart in the middle of my front yard, no competition, or I should say very little competition from other trees, so there is some truth to forest verses suburban trees, I saw the growth rings and grain pattern, it's super tight......I heard sweet gum is a bear to split as well
     
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  19. Babaganoosh

    Babaganoosh ArboristSite Operative

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    Sweet gum is terrible. I split about 2/3 a cord with my 27 ton dht.

    I won't take sweet gum again even if it's free and dropped off in my driveway already bucked to length.
     
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  20. Weber_Steaks

    Weber_Steaks ArboristSite Lurker

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    I have a large sweet gum , good thing it's alive and doing good, this wood is so flexible, even a small branch the size of a dime is impossible to break in half by hand, it just bends and it's a bear to saw off branches, I had a bow saw and tried to cut some lower limbs to make it easier to mow around, saw kept getting stuck, finally got.out the 18 inch chainsaw and finished the job
     
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