ArboristSite.com Sponsors
Traverse Creek Inc
Gold Clip Capital


Splitting pine..never again

czyhorse

czyhorse

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Nov 5, 2020
Messages
112
Location
Colorado
These are in my front yard. They had branches from the ground up. The bottom ones were 3 to 4 inches in diameter and the shorter tree was about 50 feet tall and 24 inches in diameter. The other one is much bigger. They are knotty and slowly died but I can imagine they are pretty old. The smaller stuff near the top is pretty straight and the knots are small and it splits fine. I hate to waste wood but splitting in 85 degrees and lots of humidity to get a small pile after an hour in a half sucks.

If I cut it into rounds and let it dry before I split it does that help? I'm thinking not but idk.
In my experience letting pine sit in rounds for a bit does help with splitting. if you cut it green a good sitting will allow the sap to dry up considerably. I cut dead lodge pole pines in the national forest. when I cut them down (already dead mind you) they laugh at a splitting axe or maul. Take them down the mountain and let them set til the next weekend and they split with the same axe or maul, just fine.
 
Mustang71

Mustang71

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 30, 2016
Messages
2,283
Location
Somerset NY
I limbed most of what's in my lawn tonight and have about 30 feet of that 20 plus inch tree hanging out. I'm thinking I'll cut it into rounds and let it sit seems to be the general idea. I already split the smaller one but im guessing this one will be way worse to split. It was sad to see those old trees die I don't have any other spruce trees that old around here. All the other trees I cut are around 60 years old. Honestly I've never cut a spruce or pine or any sort of soft wood tree before. It was deffinatly different to fell compared to ash or Maple or other hard woods. I pounded a wedge in and it kind of sunk into the wood kind of like my splitter. Good thing I cut it the way it was slightly leaning.
 
sean donato

sean donato

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
2,393
Location
Eastern, PA
Its a bit different for sure to fell. Only ever done a few pine species that wernt standing dead for a long time. Normally climb them and get a rope up high.
 
Mustang71

Mustang71

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 30, 2016
Messages
2,283
Location
Somerset NY
Its a bit different for sure to fell. Only ever done a few pine species that wernt standing dead for a long time. Normally climb them and get a rope up high.
It was alive last year and still green in the tree but all the limbs died. I figured by the wood pecker holes it would have terrible ants but not so much. The only thing I noticed is that I cut a ton of tree and it didn't move. If it were an ash tree it would have been on the ground way before I finished cutting this one. I still put it right where I wanted it but when I drove a wedge in it was like driving a screw into a wet 2x4. I cut 90 percent of it and was wondering y it hadn't moved. I can watch an ash tree or most hard wood trees move while I back cut. They are pretty cool to limb though. No leaves and simple cutting limb after limb.
 
Mustang71

Mustang71

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 30, 2016
Messages
2,283
Location
Somerset NY
The seceret to burning pine is cut, leave in rounds and stack somewhere out of your way. When you see the bark start falling off, then you can split it and it will burn clean.
I have about 100 ash trees stacked and waiting, so the waiting part will be easy lol. I split about half a cord and the bigger tree split easier. I hand split the last bit I brought back and the couple pieces I noodled and split from the smaller tree split like crap. The stuff from the bigger tree split pretty well with the x27 and an occasional sledge and wedge. I have almost a full cord of rounds sitting stacked out of the way. They are all 20 inches or more. I'll let them sit until I get bored and they look ready.
 
panolo

panolo

Seldom right...Always opinionated!
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
1,119
Location
Central MN
I got a bunch of free pine last fall and the tree company guy told me to leave it until spring as it will spit easier. Was still a slight pain in the butt however I'll burn anything. Couple different flavors of spruce. I just call it all christmas trees unless it is tamarack. LOL! Can't complain about a couple free cords dropped off in the driveway though.
 
Mustang71

Mustang71

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 30, 2016
Messages
2,283
Location
Somerset NY
I got a bunch of free pine last fall and the tree company guy told me to leave it until spring as it will spit easier. Was still a slight pain in the butt however I'll burn anything. Couple different flavors of spruce. I just call it all christmas trees unless it is tamarack. LOL! Can't complain about a couple free cords dropped off in the driveway though.
It hurts me to scrap it. I may have an abundance of wood at the moment but a couple years ago I was cutting for the next year no matter what kind of tree as long as it was dead. I'd see free wood on the side of the road and pick it up. This pine is extra wood I have to burn thats not in the wood shed and I like that because I can't predict the winter. I fill the wood shed every year with "enough" wood for the winter. This year I stacked a bit more in there. Wood I can burn thats not in the shed is a bonus. The ash also seems to coal a lot in the stove so some pine helps out with that.
 
sean donato

sean donato

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
2,393
Location
Eastern, PA
It hurts me to scrap it. I may have an abundance of wood at the moment but a couple years ago I was cutting for the next year no matter what kind of tree as long as it was dead. I'd see free wood on the side of the road and pick it up. This pine is extra wood I have to burn thats not in the wood shed and I like that because I can't predict the winter. I fill the wood shed every year with "enough" wood for the winter. This year I stacked a bit more in there. Wood I can burn thats not in the shed is a bonus. The ash also seems to coal a lot in the stove so some pine helps out with that.
Hopefully you get to all your ash before it rots, it doesn't seem to last long once it hits the ground. I had 3 I picked up from my snap on man's place. Cut into 20 foot sections and hauled home. Left one of them sit till the next season, it was half rotten. Never seen anything like that. I was quite surprised how punky it got, I often let logs sit for a year before cutting and splitting them. Just odd.
 
Mustang71

Mustang71

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 30, 2016
Messages
2,283
Location
Somerset NY
Hopefully you get to all your ash before it rots, it doesn't seem to last long once it hits the ground. I had 3 I picked up from my snap on man's place. Cut into 20 foot sections and hauled home. Left one of them sit till the next season, it was half rotten. Never seen anything like that. I was quite surprised how punky it got, I often let logs sit for a year before cutting and splitting them. Just odd.
I haven't had any issues with rotting ash as long as it's up off the ground. I hope it keeps because I have at least 5 years worth hanging around in log form.
 
Mad Professor

Mad Professor

Tree Freak
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
10,140
Location
North East USA
Pine? I've so much hardwoods I can't keep up with cutting for cordwood............

So the pine, a good butt piece might get milled, knotty junk I try to give away if people will take for free/pick it up, the rest goes into the burn piles.

Invite some friends over, free beer to help adding fuel, and a roast and baked potatoes when you get down to just coals and it's getting dark. I've had piles burn for days, but only with snow cover and it's safe to leave overnight.

bonfire 3.JPG
 
ElevatorGuy

ElevatorGuy

What are you doing with the wood?
Joined
Sep 2, 2020
Messages
844
Location
Maryland
I have 2 50’ leylands that need to some down, I think I’ll have my buddy bring his chipper. Doesn’t sound like it’s worth my time, especially for fire pit wood.
 
LondonNeil

LondonNeil

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Mar 21, 2016
Messages
2,037
Location
London
Leland cypress is not so bad to split. It's got knots yes, but having split loads I don't mind it, it is definite not the worst wood to split. It's also at the denser end of the scale for softwood, burns bright and hot and dries on one summer. If you've plentiful stacks of hardwood then I can see why you aren't keen to harvest it, bit maybe try some of the staight sections.
 
ElevatorGuy

ElevatorGuy

What are you doing with the wood?
Joined
Sep 2, 2020
Messages
844
Location
Maryland
Leland cypress is not so bad to split. It's got knots yes, but having split loads I don't mind it, it is definite not the worst wood to split. It's also at the denser end of the scale for softwood, burns bright and hot and dries on one summer. If you've plentiful stacks of hardwood then I can see why you aren't keen to harvest it, bit maybe try some of the staight sections.
I have enough oak for the next 2-3 years. I just gave away a 60’ and 90’ gum tree too. I won’t fool with it.
 
sean donato

sean donato

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
2,393
Location
Eastern, PA
I have enough oak for the next 2-3 years. I just gave away a 60’ and 90’ gum tree too. I won’t fool with it.
I would have kept it for shoulder season, it's a bugger of a time for heating for me on hardwoods. Gets too hot and the fire lasts too long. Then we open windows to cool the place down, fire burns out and need to close the windows again. Short hot fire gets the house up to temp burns out and no windows need opened. Just seems to work out decent for me not having another heat source in the house.
 
LondonNeil

LondonNeil

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Mar 21, 2016
Messages
2,037
Location
London
Yeah if you're that far ahead I can understand passing. Don't write it off in the future though if circumstances are different.
 
ElevatorGuy

ElevatorGuy

What are you doing with the wood?
Joined
Sep 2, 2020
Messages
844
Location
Maryland
I would have kept it for shoulder season, it's a bugger of a time for heating for me on hardwoods. Gets too hot and the fire lasts too long. Then we open windows to cool the place down, fire burns out and need to close the windows again. Short hot fire gets the house up to temp burns out and no windows need opened. Just seems to work out decent for me not having another heat source in the house.
You’re talking about keeping the gum? I don’t have anywhere left to put it and I don’t like burning it. My stove is top load and the fluffy ash goes airborne. I won’t use my stove in the shoulder season, Heat pump is easier.
 
ElevatorGuy

ElevatorGuy

What are you doing with the wood?
Joined
Sep 2, 2020
Messages
844
Location
Maryland
Yeah if you're that far ahead I can understand passing. Don't write it off in the future though if circumstances are different.
I have enough hardwood to choose from I can be a wood snob lol. I’m not putting any time into softwood, even if it’s mine. I’ll let the chipper eat the leylands.
 
Top