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Green Redwood is Heeeaaaaaaavvvvyyyy!!!!

rbtree

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Any of you who rig or crane out redwood, read this surprising data.

Years ago, I removed some young sequoia, another time a young redwood. I noticed how heavy the wood was....once ot twice I cut an appx cubic foot piece and weighed it. I did it again yesterday. I'd just cut down a 21 yr old redwood (a beautiful tree, thin and airy, perfect form, but in the wrong place) I didn't bother to cut a cube, but a cylinder. I just now estimated the volume, and realized that what I'd cut was only about 0.88 of a cubic foot...This section included the bark, which is lighter than the wood. It weighed 30.5kg, or 67 pounds!!! Which equates to 76 pounds per cubic foot, bark included!!!!! That's what live oak weighs!!! I think my calc's are accurate, but....I recall that the other times I weighed redwood, I came up with 66 lb per cubic foot--or so....

Hooooollllllyyyyyy mackerallllll!!!

I've been too busy to put up the pics and vid of another tree service that was removing the largest redwood in Seattle recently. They were butt hitching a piece which, based on the above parameters, weighed not the appx 1800-2400 pounds that I estimated, but 3200 or more!!! It broke the sling, bounced and landed 18 inches from Scott Baker's ex-wifes home!!! (Scott is a seldom poster here, and a premier consulting arbo )...But, going by a wood weight chart, the weight would have been only 1400 pounds.

Woodweb's chart shows old growth redwood being 10-15% heavier than second growth.....and both their numbers are way way low!!

Moral of the story..know your wood weights, and what your gear can handle!
 

Al Smith

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I've never even seen a redwood tree other than pictures .It would make sense though that a more mature tree would have less moisture in the heart wood than a young sapling. Considering a redwood lives for thousands of years a 21 year old tree would be a sapling .
 

gf beranek

Old Schooler
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The weights of redwood vary quite a bit. Particularly in the butt. Often heavier than water.

The scales on the log trucks govern how much they can haul. Some loads of redwood can be over the stakes and other loads can be below.
 

rbtree

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I cut a cubic foot from those large lombardy poplars, from a chunk that was 50 feet up. It weighed 57 pounds, now down to 46 2weeks later...the chart says 35 pounds....hah, very wrong!

The butt round of a western red cedar that we felled today felt really heavy, and was quite full of water.
 

Al Smith

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Some of our eastern trees are much the same .Maple is pretty hefty when green .Cottonwood weighs a ton before it dries out as well as tulip poplar .

Certain ones like ash or oak never really loose much weight as compared to others . Beech and osage orange loose a little but turns so hard you can't hardly cut it after it dries ,about like cutting concrete .
 

darkstar

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Wow we got tons of white and red oak down here but sometimes i think a cubic foot of bradford pair is heavier than the Oak.
 

Che

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I'd be interested to know how it compares to Osage Orange...it's the only wood I've ever come in contact with that just lifting a small stick makes it obvious there's some very dense fiber involved. (My back can attest to that!)

Al, concrete is a good description...a piece of hedge about the size of a cinderblock feels about almost the same weight.

I've noticed a big difference in the wood from different 'eras' though.....not just green or dried....and that's just on a firewood level, I'm sure it would make a huge difference on a big piece.
 
D

Drella

Guest
I'd be interested to know how it compares to Osage Orange

I agree, that and a mature Mulberry tree is quite dense and shockingly heavy.

And though I've only removed one Live Oak, I will say that it is incredibly heavy,, especially at the end of a long day... :dead:
 

rbtree

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Obviously, there's tons of variables that determine the weight of a piece of wood...how high in the tree, what time of year, how young, how dense the growth rings.....

Live oak is the heavist listed wood at 76 lb/cu foot. Hedge is heavier, more than likely.

I'm cutting a young euc soon, will weigh a piece..have always heard it is very dense and heavy.

We did a 3 stemmed black locust today, massively ivy covered. I hired a fella with a bucket truck, which really saved the day!!! Paid him $1100 for 5.5 hours work, but we made $1600, plus I got a 056 Magnum Super from him for $200, which, with a little fixing up, would prolly bring $500.

green Madrone weighs 5200 pounds a cord, and 4300 dry....it loses less than any wood I've seen...locust is similar, I'm sure, though it prolly weighs 3900 pounds dry.
 

SkwerI

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central Florida
That settles it, I'm raising my rates. Your bucket truck guy is getting over 2.5 times what I charge. And I suspect I'm probably better equipped than most full tree crews.
:(
 

Al Smith

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I had no idea that black locust grew that far westward .Next to osage or shagbark hickory most likely the highest btu's per volume firewood there is .

This stuff is a slight more,shall we say user friendly than the afore mentioned hardwoods with regards to wearing out both the chainsaw chain plus the operator in the process of chunking down .
 
D

Drella

Guest
Yikes! That's right Al,, Shagbark is peeeerty weighty.. How's about that White Oak?

Oh crap! It's all heavy when you don't lift it but once every other week.
 

woodworkingboy

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I've noticed that about Black locust, it doesn't seem to have a very high water content, even when fresh cut. Dries out fast for firewood. In these parts, tress cut during the high water intake months (late spring through summer rainy season), are generally worth less in terms of what the mills will pay for the timber. Warp and more splitting is expected when the trees are cut during the wet months. Late fall through winter felling is much preferred. Maybe on the west coast it doesn't matter?
 

TC3

Headache !
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Black Walnut burns so hot in the wood stove that it's scary. Gotta watch how much you mix in.
The surprising thing to me about wood weight is density versus water weight. Like RB was saying, some blocks are heavier than water. Trippy !
Sometimes, I'll be cutting wood & be like, "Wow, this is heavier than I would've imagined." Russian Olive for one.
 

Al Smith

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Not to get on a black locust kick but it makes a dandy fence post .Not quite as good as osage but real close and usually a little straighter also .Plus you can drive a fence staple in it when it's dry .You can on osage too but you'd better use a sledge hammer to do it .
 

rbtree

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Not to get on a black locust kick but it makes a dandy fence post .Not quite as good as osage but real close and usually a little straighter also .Plus you can drive a fence staple in it when it's dry .You can on osage too but you'd better use a sledge hammer to do it .
Yup, locust is extremely rot resistant wood!
 

darkstar

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Can you look up a cubic foot of Bradford pair ?
I know its not all that heavy but geese for a soft wood it sure seems heavy.
 

woodworkingboy

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That's an interesting chart...only less than 700 lbs. weight difference between a cord of green black locust, and one dried down to twenty percent moisture content, that isn't very much. Black locust as mentioned, has good rot resistance, but it doesn't seem to be an oily wood at all, and it splits easily for its hardness, also generally very quick growing. You wouldn't think it to be so rot resistant. It's a good bending wood. Some boat builders out on the west coast use it for the ribs on their boats. I steam bend it for chair backs.

I'm wondering if the heavy weight of some of the softwoods isn't attributable to pitch content?
 

stig

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The english speakers way of dividing wood into Hard and softwood is a bit strange, since (as far as I know!) hardwood is from trees with leaves and softwood from trees with needles.
So softwood is not necessarily soft. Think of Yew or Huron pine, or for that matter Bristlecone pine, those are all softwoods, but they are hard as all rock.
 

woodworkingboy

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That's true about a tree with needles not necessarily being a "softwood", Yew is specified as heavier and with a greater specific gravity than Walnut, but aside from the few exceptions, evergreen trees are softer and lighter. It is understandable how hardness classification is tied to deciduous or evergreen, but your point is well taken. There are also some deciduous trees that have very soft and light wood.
 

darkstar

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I found one referance for pair placing it at 43 pounds a cubic foot DRY
Thats pretty heavy for an old crap pair tree
 

rbtree

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I had no idea that black locust grew that far westward .Next to osage or shagbark hickory most likely the highest btu's per volume firewood there is .

This stuff is a slight more,shall we say user friendly than the afore mentioned hardwoods with regards to wearing out both the chainsaw chain plus the operator in the process of chunking down .
Here ya go:

http://chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm

Not listed is live oak...or arbutus (madrone), which weighs 4200 pounds per cord, ranking it about even with shagbark hickory.

And another link that covers the hardness scale, and includes exotic woods. The hardest ones are simply amazing how dense they are...which would equate to some incredible burning wood....if they'd even ignite or burn...

http://www.woodfloorsonline.com/techtalk/hardns.html
 
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