Tree ID tips for newbie's

Discussion in 'The Wood Pile' started by Brad M, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Brad M

    Brad M

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    It’s a pretty fast growing tree. Very good firewood if properly seasoned. I think I read somewhere they could grow 20’ in 10yrs.
     
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  2. Eric VW

    Eric VW Moderator

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  3. wolfpackwx

    wolfpackwx

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    Hey guys, just joined and am just getting into finding, splitting and seasoning firewood - mainly for my smoker. The information here is awesome! I have 2 questions about a Tree ID. Guy around the corner from me had 2 trees taken down. He said it was Oak, but you know how that goes, and said I could have as much as I want. I show up to get it and I am able to move and lift the BIG rounds in the image into my SUV (image attached). Me thinks its not Oak. Popular opinion from people I have asked is that it might be Cottonwood (Poplar)? Super light, splits like butter (half swing of the axe) and it does not have an oak smell. Also, attached another log from the "other tree". Again, strongly think its not Oak - but maybe Silver Maple or Silver Birch? Any idea what I have here? Thanks!
     

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  4. Josh1450

    Josh1450

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    Welcome to the Forum. Not sure about the first picture, but the bark looks like silver maple to me.

    I am more confident the 2nd picture is Poplar.
     
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  5. wolfpackwx

    wolfpackwx

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    Awesome, many thanks for the confirmation. Gonna split the poplar and mix it in with other wood during my smokes.

    The other tree...let me tell you, I tied to split that thing today and it kicked back hard. 10 full hacks and nothing! Gonna wait for my hydraulic press to arrive this weekend. I did go back today to get more of it and took 2 pics of the tree if that helps. I'm still thinking hard Maple or something in that family.
     

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  6. Marvin

    Marvin

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    Welcome to the club wolfpackwx :handshake:
    You came to the right place. I'm not great at id'ing with just bark but someone will be able to tell you what you have there soon enough.
     
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  7. buZZsaw BRAD

    buZZsaw BRAD

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    welcome to the forum @wolfpackwx:handshake: Lots of great folks and info on here as ive learned in two months! First pic looks like "swamp" maple...either silver or red. Second pic the bark looks like old growth ash, bot it could be poplar....problem is most ash has been killed by insect infestation in the last 15 years or so and the bark would be loose. Neither is oak though.
     
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  8. wolfpackwx

    wolfpackwx

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    Awesome - exactly what I was hoping to hear. Went back to get more of the "Swamp Maple" yesterday as that will be a good wood to smoke with. Probably just gonna throw the poplar in the fire pit! Also, great info about Ash - had no idea!
     
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  9. buZZsaw BRAD

    buZZsaw BRAD

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    Bark looks like silver maple which is VERY difficult to split with an axe or maul. It will bounce right off.
     
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  10. wolfpackwx

    wolfpackwx

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    Yup, I had no success after 10 swings. Hydraulic splitter comes today - hope it helps!
     
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  11. buZZsaw BRAD

    buZZsaw BRAD

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    the ash is being attacked by the "emerald ash borer" or EAB as its known as on the forum. Started in the midwest maybe 15 years ago and has rapidly spread. Ash here in Connecticut has been hit real hard as seeing a living tree is starting to get scarce. Could be going the way of the chestnut.
     
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  12. Trevor

    Trevor

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    New here so be nice I have a 6.5 acre tree farm a couple miles from my house. Trees are all about 30 yrs old. White Oak, Ash, Black Walnut, a few Sycamores(not sure why elderly gentlemen I bought the land from planted these) & one Chinese Chestnut! About 700 trees in all. Here in Southern Indiana the ash bores are taking their toll on the Ashes. Found 3 dead this year that I cut down for wood. I'd like to cut more of the Ashes down, but am having a difficult time telling difference between the Ashes and Black Walnuts. I can tell the difference once I cut it down, but have mistakenly cut down a Black Walnut.
    What is the easiest way to tell the difference? Can you tell difference without leaves? Even the leaves are similar.
     
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  13. Urban Woods

    Urban Woods

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    Well I can tell the difference easy In my parts, the Ash is always the dead one.
     
  14. Chaz

    Chaz

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    Welcome aboard Trevor.

    Bark is an easy tell between black walnut and ash.

    Pics shortly.
     
  15. Urban Woods

    Urban Woods

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    Ok in all seriousness the barks are very similar with that woven diamond pattern. It helps to see the leaves, but in winter without that reference I would say the bark on the walnut is more chunky and the pattern more crude. One thing you can do is cut a notch into the bark with a knife and observe the darker walnut bark interior as apposed to the lighter ash. Walnut also has a distinct smell to me which is hard to explain, but maybe you will also recognize that when you cut a bark sample
     
  16. Urban Woods

    Urban Woods

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  17. Chaz

    Chaz

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    Black walnut leaf clusters have many more leaflets, usually smaller in size.

    BW bark, deeply furrowed

    IMG_20190628_194116784.jpg

    BW leaf cluster

    IMG_20190628_194206746.jpg

    Green ash bark

    IMG_20190628_194249553.jpg

    GA leaf cluster

    IMG_20190628_194313992.jpg
     
  18. Chaz

    Chaz

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    Very true, I grew up with a BW in our backyard, and had my hands stained brown many times.

    I actually like the smell, others not so much.
    :)
     
  19. Chaz

    Chaz

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  20. Urban Woods

    Urban Woods

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    Thats a purrrdy specimen!:binoculars: