Clearing some land soon and want to store for future use


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We are clearing some trees soon. My wife and I want to use the wood from our land and not just burn as we go. My thought was to build a lean-to structure to store the logs; maybe mill some before storing but might be too expensive at this time. We do not have any projects in mind at this time; I am just starting to get into wood working and we both agree to keep it a hobby for us; something for me to get up from a desk and be more active.

 

Has anyone done something like this? Is there anything I am missing? Should I mill the logs before storing or can I store chunks of the trunk with no issue?

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I am not an expert but if I remember correctly you should mill and sticker it to dry.  If you store it as logs, as the log drys it releases tension in the wood creating linear cracks through the log making any lumber milled from it in the future pretty useless.

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You might be able to get some lumber from a log that has sat for more than a year or two but you can't count on it.  The wood shrinks as it dries and in log form it starts to tear itself apart.  Seal the ends right away.  If you want bowl blanks for turning then you can just cut the sections of log in half through the center.

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If you seal the ends with Anchorseal or similar you should be able to store the logs for a while. This depends on climate and location but Matt Cremona did answer this question with a video.

If you have access to a mill I'd have them sawn sooner rather than later. Stacked and stickered outside you are looking at at least a 6-9 month drying period for 4/4 and double that for 8/4. I have air dried 8/4 lumber from tree to 15% MC in as little as 45 days but that is not advisable and could cause some nasty internal stress.

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How big are the trees, and how high are the lowest limbs?  How much land?  How many logs?  Do you have equipment for handling the logs, and keeping them out of the dirt?

If they are good logs, and you have something to handle them with, so you can stage them for a portable sawmill to come saw them, I'd saw them as soon as possible.  

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I would assume we would cut about an acre out of the three. I am not sure how many trees; I would on the low end say 50 and maybe only half worth keeping. Most limbs are at least 20 feet up. I have access to a mill, but also I was looking into getting my own but it might be too expensive(still need to figure that out.; I know a number of people who do tree work in the area and I was thinking for the future to saw up some whenever the opportunity comes up. To keep them out of the dirt I was going to build something before starting. We are clearing this to build a house and want to do some homesteading so I see myself using everything long term.

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Lot's of information on this sort of thing on the Forestryforum.com

With three acres, you're probably not going to justify buying a big enough tractor with loader.  You will probably need a log arch, to get the logs to the mill, whether your mill, or someone else's.   Lot's of people make them, but there are plenty of commercially available ones.

I like this company for other wood handling tools too:  https://logrite.com/Category/log-arches

A lot of people will build a log arch on a trailer they already have.

https://wilkerdos.com/2018/10/building-a-log-hauling-trailer/

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Species matter ....

some species such as butternut will fair well as log, the same way they do as standing dead tree

others, like pine, will develop stain.  Some wood lot, will keep spraying pine logs, to prevent them from drying

maple also is very difficult. If you want the whiteness of hard maple, you may get the spalted or the grayest variety as a result

Sealing the end of the log, will prevent them from splitting/cracking from drying too fast, but it will not keep the critters away.

Bugs like maple...butternut -> wormy butternut...

then you have to deal with getting rid of the bugs....heat treating it is the best way (over 130f for 30 minutes will do it, I do it for a few hours).

so...mill it as fast as possible., get it dries also as fast as possible.

 

 

 

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