Skip to comments.A parable in a woodpile
Posted on 10/08/2012 6:31:18 PM PDT by lightman
Last September the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped over 6 inches of rain in the lower Susquehanna valley of Pennsylvania in a little than 12 hours.
Streams and creeks swelled to levels that had not been seen since the September 1975 deluge by Tropical Storm Eloise.
The rising waters were the final blow for several trees that were along my eroding stream bank. The undercutting of the flood waters toppled a couple which I knew would some day be brought down.
Among the fallen was a good sized black walnut. Because it had grown in a grove with stiff competition for sunlight it had reached an impressive height...most significantly, it had no branches for the first two dozen feet of its trunk.
My initial reaction was delight to have a marketable clear black walnut log without the dangers inherent in felling a substantial tree.
But my delight was quickly doused when I contacted three sawmills, all of which must have been reading from the same script: "There is no market for black walnut now. A couple of years ago we would have been very interested but since the housing market bottomed out no one is buying."
A year later, situation unchanged.
So today I took the chainsaw to that clear log and sectioned it up for firewood.
It yielded at most 1/10 of a cord; at the going rate I maybe gained $17.00 worth of wood that I would not need to buy.
Thank you, Obama.
Tore me up to tear into that log.
Pity indeed. We live in interesting times and it is good to be old.
Normally if one can get 12-14 running feet of black walnut, it is desired by saw mills. Problem out here is the pestilence (bag worms) that infects many.
But building is slow right now, and has been for some time. Many afraid to commit due to weak economy and fear of the unknown. Banking crisis has caused many problems as well...
You should of gotten a lot more than 1/10 cord out of it. 2 cord at least.
Excellent post. I remember TS Lee, all-too-well.
Don’t know what your property situation is like but I would have been inclined to limb it and store it out back of my shed. A couple years of aging doesn’t hurt a thing (if you have the space).
Largest diameter was about 16 inches...most split into four pieces, a couple into five.
It could have been beautiful veneer...
I am looking at a Stihl 880 and a grangurg 54” mill. Too bad youy are that far away. Some nice slabs could have been cut from that log.
What happened to the crotch and root wood?
Perhaps the bowl turning crowd would like some of it - gotta be worth more than firewood to them.
If you want on/off the PA Ping List, please freepmail me. Thanks!