A friend is having a 4' diameter walnut tree taken down and hauled away.
($1,200!!) She asked if I wanted any of it. As it happens, I just got a
bandsaw and have been playing with cutting firewood into lumber. Trying it
on her tree should be fun. But how practical is it? I have split plenty of
firewood, but never anything this massive. Is it even possible to split a
4' diameter (by what, 3' or 4' long?) section with a maul and a couple
Or should I settle for some large branches, or will they be mostly sapwood?
Anything special to look for, as long as I have the whole tree to chose
from? I know crotches are desirable, but they are also just about
impossible to split.
She is not having the stump ground out because it is too expensive. I have
heard that is the most valuable part; is it worth trying to sell? I suppose
the tree service would do that if it were practical.
(I have more firewood than I can use, so I don't need any for that...)
Being a tuner, I'd love to have this opportunity. If you have a chainsaw
available, that would be the way to go to size the trunk to fit your
band saw - and also take care of any crotch sections. You could say that
a $350 chainsaw purchase is more than justified with obtaining the wood.
I'd likely avoid the branch sections smaller than 12"-14" in dia. - the
sapwood just becomes too much of the total to make it worthwhile for
To obtain the stump section, the tree service really needs to cut the
main trunk about 3' above the ground. Much of the demand for walnut
stumps is in the highly figured wood at ground level where the root
burls and junctions occur - especially sought after by gunstock makers.
If they cut it off near the ground, then the usability of the stump is
severely compromised. In order to harvest the stump one really needs a
backhoe or some such heavy equipment.
This wouldn't be in NW Oregon by any chance???
In this country a lot of the portable sawmill people will either charge you per
cubic metre of timber milled, or they will do the job for half the lumber.
Half the lumber out of that tree should easily pay for a large chunk of your
friend's 1200 Dollar bill. If we were on the same continent, I'd put my name
down for some of it right away :-)
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