Black Locust Questions & Potential Score.

Discussion in 'The Wood Pile' started by buZZsaw BRAD, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. buZZsaw BRAD

    buZZsaw BRAD

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    Ive been really jonesing to score more black locust after reading recent threads on it and seeing potential scores of it as i travel my area. Ive done some research on it (other than what ive learned on here) and have some questions. Keep in mind this year is the first time ive ever cut any.
    First: every site i searched showed much higher BTU's than listed in the FHC reference chart (23.2 MBTU/cord). Even higher than shagbark hickory (25.3 MBTU/cord) and white oak (24.2 MBTU/cord). What is your experience/opinion of this? Is it/should it be higher than listed?

    Second: FHC chart shows 24 months for drying time. Ive seen it stated it could be burned right away (green cut) or even six months seasoned? (not on here of course) Will one year CSS suffice?

    Third: it is very rot resisitant. Will logs sitting for a few years on the ground still have all the meat on them? There is no sapwood based on what ive seen. The bark should come off easily i presume. I had one small score in November (small storm blow over 18 months down) and the bark came off easily.
    Any input greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    I drive by this area almost daily. Storm blown over trees in a mass tangle of vines. Saw the wood but never paid much attention to species just that it was on a hill and well overgrown. Stopped and discovered it to be locust!
    Have to work it to get it (tangle and hill) but manageable enough. Next to a fenced in pumping station surrounded by more fallen locust not pictured. Probably can get a truck full just from the wood pictured and maybe another not pictured. IMG_1722.JPG IMG_1721.JPG IMG_1720.JPG IMG_1719.JPG
    Well overgrown in the warm weather. A little machete work and i should be good to go. I think it may be state property and was considering calling and asking, but usually get a "NO" or red tape. I may stop and quick cut some over a few days rather than a normal "buZZsaw" load. Five minutes from home too. Ten minutes to my friends where it would be stored.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  2. creek chub

    creek chub

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    Good find!
    I’m not sure on the technical btu info but for me, it burns hotter than oak and seems on par with hickory. That’s the feel test only so take that with a grain of salt.

    Not sure how quick it dries out from a green standing tree. We have a few left on the farm but I don’t plan on cutting them down in hopes of some of their seeds germinating for the next generation

    Rot resistant it is. I’d say most of not all the heartwood is good to even if it’s been on the ground a few years. We have hundreds of locust posts in the ground for fencing that have been there since 1940 or so and most are still solid at ground level. The ones used as vertical support poles in the barn are still tough as steel, especially the one that fell and busted my noggin a few months ago.
     
  3. Woodwhore

    Woodwhore

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    I took it every chance i had with asplundh, always seem to be in the cities, iv never seen one in the woods. I had a pile of wood up by my shed for about 3 years uncovered and in the shade. They were all overs and shorts that i neglected and alot of it went to less than perfect wood. Im not proud of it and i dont like to talk about it but anyway, there was 1/2 dozen black locust pieces that were not even phased by being neglected and left to rot. If i remember correctly its gonna be tougher to split than most stuff but will be worth it. I recently burned them on a cold night all together mixed with a couple pine blocks. Put it this way, i wish i had more, beautiful burn and nice and hot. I would fight a bigger mess of vines than that to get more of it. Get it Brad youll love it, my only suggestion is i would never sell it i “wood” treat like gold. Lol
     
  4. Midwinter

    Midwinter

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    I've hoarded a lot but haven't burned a lot yet. I'm a little nervous about it, so I've mixed it in the stove with other wood. It sparks a lot.
    I can talk about splitting, though. Nice and straight down the grain, easier when green than when older. Older will still split down a check easy enough. It can get gnarly at the bottom of a trunk, and need noodling.
    It doesn't rot, but ants and locust borers will eat it. Black ants will get into the base and chew it up. Locust borers seem to like the limbs, and leave big tunnels! Almost half the wood will be gone. If rounds are left on the ground, little white maggoty worms will start eating the inside of the bark. These mature into grubs about half an inch long. They just seem to eat the inner bark and not the wood.
    I like to debark black locust. When it's green, it takes a chisel and hammer to pry it off, but on rounds left uncovered for a year, the bark is mostly rotten enough to take off with your hands. It smells bad!
    I saved a couple bushels of twigs, and they made great kindling!
     
    Rich L, Aje1967, metalcuttr and 5 others like this.
  5. MikeInMa

    MikeInMa

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    I'm off to cut wood this morning. I'm hoping it's BL.

    5min drive.

    Reacquainted with someone we worked with 35yrs ago. Not a big plot of land, but a small wooded area near their house.

    There is a live BL, as well as some kind of barkless tree that has fallen, but off the ground. The fallen tree and maybe a limb off the standing are my targets. We'll see.

    Pics will follow.
     
  6. Eric VW

    Eric VW Moderator

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    My experience- 9 times out of 10, blown over/dead, up off the ground has been better than dead standing.
    Green, felled can easily take 2 years.
    Best is down dead barkless. The longer it’s been barkless, the better.
     
  7. jo191145

    jo191145

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    Heavy traffic?
    Heavy police presence?
    Eye in the sky?
    When does the security guard take coffee break?
    Traffic routes for the armored truck?
    Oops, wrong score, wrong forum, my bad.

    looks like a good situation for a little GTG if your interested. Bring my trailer down. Winch them babies right out of the brambles and load em onboard. Never have to touch a pricker. (That’s an embellishment, life never is that easy)
    Dump all the sticks at your buddies house.
    Sounds like fun to me. If your interested let me know.

    I’d bet the state workers would even appreciate it. They probably haven’t cleaned that mess because it is such a mess.
    That’s the workers of course. The people on the phone at a desk,,,,yeah no sense asking them anything. No and Goodbye are their only language.
     
  8. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy

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    In my limited experience with black locust I've found it takes every bit of 3 years to get to less than 20% moisture content. It burns very hot with a blue flame that looks like a natural gas flame, but I have no way of measuring the btu's. I save what little I have for the coldest nights of the winter.
     
  9. Midwinter

    Midwinter

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    Bring some orange cones, and wear your hardhats and yellow vests, and no one will bother you.
     
  10. NH mountain man

    NH mountain man

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    I get a fair amount of BL, as been said it last for yrs in the ground as posts. Around here it grows in groves, very easily identified in early June by the whole grove flowering white. Look for that while driving around, even at highway speeds you will recognize the flowering trees at that time of year. I don't envy you tackling that jungle of vines buZZsaw BRAD , all I can say is, go get that wood.
     
  11. SpeedShop64

    SpeedShop64

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    Locust burns awesome! Just whatever you do....don't sell it! I've made this mistake :headbang:
     
  12. woody5506

    woody5506

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    Yeah I don't get the people who say it can be burned green. That certainly wasn't the case for me, although I can kinda tell it has a lower MC than say oak when freshly cut. The last bunch I burned was 2 summer seasoned and that seemed okay for me. I have since gotten on a 3-3.5 year plan so the black locust I have lined up to get this winter will definitely sit for 3 years, plus it's already a storm blown tree that's been down for over a year now. Just been waiting for the dang ground to get a good freeze on it so I don't destroy the lady's back yard getting my truck back there...

    I would think there is plenty of good wood in the pics you posted.
     
  13. NH mountain man

    NH mountain man

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    I did that after a big storm that took limbs and trees down all over town. I closed the lane with orange cones, had the hi visibility vest on, that had a tree across it and as I was cutting it up a couple of locals in my town rolled their windows down and yelled " hey when are you gonna get to my road?" I said what road are you on, I'll go there next. I got 8 truck loads from that storm. My middle son who went along to get "A" load of wood with me, was not a happy camper that day.
     
  14. Woodsman

    Woodsman

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    That is a lot of locust, Brad. Awesome find! I can definitely attest to locust's anti-rotting ability. Had a few sizable rounds of it from a small score at an apartment complex that got buried (stupidly) and sat directly on the ground for three years or so. Was just fine when I finally split it last fall. The post and rail fence I put up in our backyard a couple years ago is all locust wood as well. Makes excellent fence posts due to its ability to resist rot.
     
  15. jo191145

    jo191145

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    I wonder if the type of stove it’s burned in makes a difference?

    I burned an armload this winter. Granted it was some of the conceivably dryer stuff that I cooked behind the stove for a couple weeks. Not the best test.
    In my PH I did t notice any appreciable uptick in heat. Did notice the nice blue flames.
    On the other hand my BIL who lives out of state burns a lot. He’s in the fencing biz and keeps all the BL posts, rails. Cedar too.
    He has a standard cast iron camp stove type thing. BL seems to put out a lot of heat with just a few little sticks coaling in it. It’ll be awhile before I can try some again.

    Does it burn with less smoke? May be why a cat stove isn’t particularly interested. Don’t know.
    Besides moisture maybe aging has other benefits. Some woods seem to become very hard with age. My fresh cut and split BL doesn’t seem very hard. I’ve seen some aged pieces that are like iron.
     
  16. Biddleman

    Biddleman

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    Most of the BL that I have cut has zero bark on it. Some of it doesn't even have any bark lying around to tell if its BL. I have no idea how long it's been down. Years and years and years. Very rare do I have a piece I cant use because of rot.

    I'm burning some that I CSS last winter (jan/feb). The MC is around 13%. These are smaller splits that were stacked (pretty tight) facing South where there's decent wind. I couldn't inagine trying to burn BL green. I think 2 years for green at a minimum and maybe 1 - 1.5 years even for barkless blow downs/standing dead. That's just my opinion of course.

    Be sure to bring a sharpened chain. In my experience BL can eat chains like nothing else! I usually touch up the chain when I refill with gas. When cutting BL, depending on the size of the trees, I'll touch up the chain half a tank.
     
  17. T.Jeff Veal

    T.Jeff Veal

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    Nice find, brother. Just be careful. Get jo191145 to bring his trailer
     
  18. The Wood Wolverine

    The Wood Wolverine

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    I’ve been burning shagbark all season and I’ve burned it prior to this stash. In my experience I’d say locust burns hotter but not by a large margin.
     
  19. Canadian border VT

    Canadian border VT

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    buZZsaw BRAD Somebody somewhere will always tell you you can burn something that’s not ready. I’ve burnt XYZ tree for years green and it always burns for me. Well no duh, wood burns, The question is how well does it burn, how much heat does it produce, and how much Pollution is created in doing so!
    great score buddy!
     
  20. lukem

    lukem

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    1 - Yes, higher.

    2 - 6 months is fine.

    3 - will lay like that for 20 years and still be rock solid

    Source: I've probably cut and burned 30-40 cord of the stuff over the past 10 years.