Author Topic: found a bunch of boxelder trees.  (Read 1587 times)

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Offline hayshaker

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found a bunch of boxelder trees.
« on: March 23, 2017, 06:29:14 PM »
next week i'm going to be harvesting a number of box elder tree
what i was wanting to know is this is the heartwood still useable
as knife scales? sadly there are no burls on these trees. so worse come to worse
they still cqan be used as firewood. there are about 9 trees i'd say.
so what say you good find still?

Online wsdstan

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Re: found a bunch of boxelder trees.
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2017, 07:25:59 PM »
Boxelder is a soft maple.  It is mediocre firewood (harder than pine but softer than hardwoods) and with no figure isn't all that good for knife scales. 

Flame Boxelder makes pretty neat bowls and stuff but as scales it would be good looking but a bit soft.  Just my opinion of course. 
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: found a bunch of boxelder trees.
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2017, 07:31:17 PM »
I have a plague of box elder here.  I have to prune them every year to keep them under control.
Very softy wood. I might compare it to basswood. Good for carving (utensils?), but like Stan says, mediocre firewood.

But I have been curious about one thing.  In the Spring, the box elder sap runs faster than cottonwood, or sugar maple!  I know people make syrup out of birch sap, but has anyone tried it with box elder?
I'm going to tap a few this year, and test the sugar content.

ED:  Guess I just had to look harder. Box elder has a water to sugar ratio of 60:1  where sugar maple has a 40:1 ratio.  Gonna try this!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 07:43:29 PM by Old Philosopher »
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Offline hunter63

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Re: found a bunch of boxelder trees.
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2017, 09:07:59 PM »
I am plagued with them as well...
I have cut some that had a red swirl streak thru the heart wood....????

Anyway...The first year after cutting won't burn unless you split real thin....and already have a hot fire.
Second year not too bad...lot of sizzle and pop...
Third year....burns like paper.

As far as carving anything...grain not straight and is real splintery and gnarly.
Good luck....

The one I had always thought would be interesting is sumac......NOT the poisonous kind.

Had a stand of sunac that is older and dying off....when cut it has a wide grain and is bright orang-ish green.
Problem is does not stay that way.
When dry,...kinda looses it color...but maybe could be brought back with a finish of some sort.....?
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Offline wolfy

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Re: found a bunch of boxelder trees.
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2017, 09:28:47 PM »
I have a plague of box elder here.  I have to prune them every year to keep them under control.
Very softy wood. I might compare it to basswood. Good for carving (utensils?), but like Stan says, mediocre firewood.

But I have been curious about one thing.  In the Spring, the box elder sap runs faster than cottonwood, or sugar maple!  I know people make syrup out of birch sap, but has anyone tried it with box elder?
I'm going to tap a few this year, and test the sugar content.

ED:  Guess I just had to look harder. Box elder has a water to sugar ratio of 60:1  where sugar maple has a 40:1 ratio.  Gonna try this!

Boxelders and maples are members of the same family and.....yes, people do make syrup from their sap, however it does take a lot more of it to get to the 'syrup' stage because the sugar content is much lower.  Never tried, just read it somewhere sometime. :shrug:
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Offline hayshaker

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Re: found a bunch of boxelder trees.
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 05:47:29 AM »
well it's the heartwood is what i'm after. i just hope this
is worth all the effort and cost i've put in so far..
i plan to cut a bunch of 2x2'in blocks of the most figured heartwood.
and mabey 10'in long.

Offline pete28

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Re: found a bunch of boxelder trees.
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2017, 05:09:12 PM »
Hunter I love carving with sumac it is a great wood with a great easy to follow grain. I use the winged sumac mainly because I have a ridiculous amount of it on my property :)
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Offline wolfy

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Re: found a bunch of boxelder trees.
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2017, 06:00:09 PM »
Hunter I love carving with sumac it is a great wood with a great easy to follow grain. I use the winged sumac mainly because I have a ridiculous amount of it on my property :)
I doubt that hayshaker is going to find any winged sumac in Minnesota.  I think he's too far north for it, but the southeastern quadrant of the country is full of it.   My guess is since he was asking about boxelder, he has a pile of it.....I know I do! :doh:
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Offline hunter63

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Re: found a bunch of boxelder trees.
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2017, 06:37:39 PM »
I don't know if it;'s winged or not....but grows pretty big in sw Wisconsin....Grows up, gets big and dies.

HS, what does the heartwood on your boxelder look like?

Sumac ...
Color faded a bit...and you can see the sap coming out....
Gonna guess would made poor scales




Ceder.....tree got traded to my fixit guy as part of a roof job....
Then he brought me a chainsaw object-de-art....from the stump section....LOL

This pic is from the web...mine was smaller, but has the colors...



« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 06:44:15 PM by hunter63 »
Geezer Squad, Evoking the 50 year old rule..First 50 years, worried about the small stuff, second 50 years....Not so much