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The cleanup of the recent early season storm has given my the opportunity to compare the challenge posed by different types of wood. I don't have any trees or shrubs with thorns, poisons or the like. That would present an extra challenge.

Over the past few weeks I have dealt with red oak, swamp oak, swamp maple, white pine, hemlock, poplar, red maple, cherry and shag bark hickory. By far the toughest wood for me to deal with is the hickory. Wiry, twisted branches going every which way, relatively hard to saw, it doesn't split cleanly, and the stumps never seem to die, sending up shoots for years. What wood gives you the biggest fits?
 

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Well... at least Hickory has some redeeming value. Makes good handles and a decent firewood.

My most hated wood is Balsam Fir. It has resin blisters under the bark which tend to spray you when ruptured. The sticky resin is almost impossible to wash off. It is terrible for firewood. It snaps, crackles, and pops like firecrackers, shooting sparks clear across the room.
 

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I dont have to worry with it anymore but my favorites to hate were two.

1. Hawthorn
2. Mullberry

I used to have Hawthorns pierce the bottom of my work boots and shred my gloves. Not fun when you have one just into the skin through your boot and have to take your boot off. Mulberry just are nasty to work with. You just dont expect to have smaller new growth poke your hands and then get stained with berry juice.

Now all I have to worry with is lots and lots of oak leaves. That and the recent snow has decided to clear out the tops of three of the oaks I have now. (I HATE trees that arent pines!!):1336::1336::1336:
 

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With me, It's by FAR the locust trees. Small er branches have big thorns, and their a twisted snarling mess with branches that in every direction. It's a headache from start to finish to clean them up. They need to be reduced to a namagable size that will stack into the truck, and cutting and dragging them will claw you to pieces and take an eye out if you're not careful. Loadinmg is a disaster all it's self, because they won't stack, so every few branches, you need to get into the bed to stomp them down, resulting in more injury, then there's the joy of pulling the tangled mess out afterwards. I HATE thost things! Next would be the black walnuts, and their awesome tennis ball sized nuts everywhere.
 

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With me, It's by FAR the locust trees. Small er branches have big thorns, and their a twisted snarling mess with branches that in every direction. It's a headache from start to finish to clean them up. They need to be reduced to a namagable size that will stack into the truck, and cutting and dragging them will claw you to pieces and take an eye out if you're not careful. Loadinmg is a disaster all it's self, because they won't stack, so every few branches, you need to get into the bed to stomp them down, resulting in more injury, then there's the joy of pulling the tangled mess out afterwards. I HATE thost things! Next would be the black walnuts, and their awesome tennis ball sized nuts everywhere.
x2 on that. I hate working with Hedge/Locust or anything with horns. Some trees (not sure of the type) have HUGE thorns on the branches (I've seen almost up to 4 inches, 1/4" thick), and clusters of the thorns on their trunk.
 

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Sweet Gum, I have ONE left on my property. And its days are numbered.

I've removed a few already .. IMO its not worth the effort to split it and use for firewood .. even with a good splitter, its a chore to split it .. its a very odd grain.

Sumac Trees, They just keep coming back .. even with the stumps ground down below ground level. I've dug some out and I still have them popping up here and there. The wood from the trees gets trashed .. even burning in a fire pit .. it stinks
 

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Sweet Gum, I have ONE left on my property. And its days are numbered.

I've removed a few already .. IMO its not worth the effort to split it and use for firewood .. even with a good splitter, its a chore to split it .. its a very odd grain.

Sumac Trees, They just keep coming back .. even with the stumps ground down below ground level. I've dug some out and I still have them popping up here and there. The wood from the trees gets trashed .. even burning in a fire pit .. it stinks
Their just like my **** locust trees.:banghead3 Problem with getting rid of them is that they chain link their root system, and even cutting one right to the ground will not kill it, because it draws from the other trees and sprouts back up!!!I have managed to kill of more than half of the locut trees on my property, but a few of the stumps are connected to trees not on my property. I have 3 of them that were cut below ground 8 years ago, and about every 2 weeks, I see them sprouting up again when I mow. As long as I continue mowing, they stay at bay, but one summer I let the back property go for a couple of months, and the stumps had grown tree sprouts about 3' tall again. Their like the plague!
 

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I have poison ivy vines about 1" thick climbing up all the hardwood trees in my front yard!..I chop them off at ground level and they die,then grow back every year....luckily I dont seem to get a rash from it much,only when I sharpen mower blades that cut it is when I notice any allergic reactions..but I am hesitant to burn any of the trees it is growing on if one should come down,and I am not likely to try pulling the vines off the trees either,as they are firmly entrenched into the bark,it litteraly grows into the tree practically..

Another thing I hate is thorn bushes,I dont know what they are,I dont see any roses but they look like them--maybe rasberry bushes or something similar??--anyway,those always grow next to the lawn and hang over it,so every time I ride by on my mower I get slashed by the thorns,and have gotten flat tires from the *** things too--I hack them down every year right to the roots,but they grow back bigger and stronger every year...

My yard has a ton of old cherry trees,the type with real shaggy bark and inedible fruit,and most of them are dying off,they drop big branches and threaten to crush my vehicles or bust the windows,and I'm slowly cutting down the worst ones after the tops come off them,most are 30-50 feet high and 6" or bigger around...they do throw nice heat for firewood,but cutting them kills saw chains and its tough as iron to split,very stringy--and more often than not the centers of thelogs have a billion carpenter ants in them,so any I burn I must split right before burning them,and have the dustpan and broom handy to sweep up the billion ants ,and hope I got them all,so they wont eat my back wall of the garage AGAIN like they did 10 years ago!..:mad:...it stinks having these widow makers hanging over the house and garage,driveway,cant park anywhere without fearing your vehicle will get hit by a branch or the whole darn tree now that 30 years has passed since we built the house..

We had a bad windstorm the day the rest of MA got blasted with snow,and the healthiest looking sugar maple tree in my yard had a huge branch shear off right at the main trunk about 8" thick and 30+ feet long,it took my fence down and landed halfway in my neighbors yard...why that tree busted like that and none of the rotten cherry ones did not baffles me...now I'm worried the rest of the maple will snap off where the branch did,a good 20 feet up,if it does chances are good it'll come towards the house,the way it is leaning..there is another dead tree I dont know what kind,that is 60 feet high and a good foot in diameter right on the property line thats leaning over and isn't going to stay standing much longer too,at least that one will fall towards the street and not the house or garage --hopefully!..

I've been trying to clean up all the dead or downed trees ,but its a losing battle doing it alone..I also may not BE here for long,so I hate to kill myself doing all that work,then find out the place is going to be sold off too...so I'm just cutting the ones down I can handle that wont hit the house or just waiting for them to come down by themselves and picking up the peices!...
 

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I think I have most of those, especially the Locust and Sumac. I had 5 Locust in a row that I was hoping to use as hedges. I cut them to less that 6" from the ground the last two Springs. Each Fall they were over 15' tall. I just never trimmed them all Summer like I should have. A few days ago, I cut them off below ground and will just mow over them next year. And Yes, they send out underground runners and come up everywhere.

I also had some tree with a weird green/yellow bark and wood. Branches went wild in every direction with long, sharp thorns. Hard to cut even with a chainsaw. That just went into the brush pile to be burned. Wasn't worth messing with.

I've got a whole mess of other trees and shrubs with thorns too. Some of them I leave because they flower in the Spring and do some color changes in the Fall, but I have no idea what they are.

Worst for me though is the Blackberry vines. They get so thick, they tangle among themselves and the thorns are like fish hooks in that they hook each other (and everything else) making it hard to even walk past them, let alone through them. That was my most difficult fight last year with the brush mower - trying to cut through 6 years of Blackberry growth. It wasn't too bad this year, but still difficult.
 

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This is the critter I was talking about.



 

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This is the critter I was talking about.
That thing looks nasty. ^^^ I think my eye is bleeding just looking at it.:duh::ROF

I guess the worst thing I get to deal with is the Buckthorn around here. Invasive little bugger and has the kind of thorns on it that just barely warrant the use of gloves when handling it. I get reminded to put my gloves on after I dig a thorn out of my palm every time...
:fing20:

The buckthorn has the tendrils that get sent out, and it seems like as soon as you clear one out, 3 more take its place. I got so fed up with hand cutting/ pulling them that I took a skid steer to the woods and turned it all up, then picked out all the roots I could find after the multi- day brush fire.

Guess what, it was clear for a year, then some of them came back.... :banghead3

The berry was used it as a laxative, so the very best part is when the birds all come along and feast on the berries then hang out over the vehicles and make a purple slurry poop mess all over the place. Stuff is rather like glue, and has to be scraped off the windshield of a car....

The bonus ( for the plant) is that the birds poop the seeds everywhere, and little new trees , otherwise know as the bane of my existence, pop up where I would least expect a tree to grow.

Further ranting about this tree is that even though it is considered invasive and should be eradicated, least one gets a letter from the city to remove said species of tree, is that the adjoining properties are full of these water sucking purple berry dropping bark wasters, and the adjoining properties do nothing to deal with theirs.

As a benefit to me, some of the small cut wood has been rather good to burn in the woodstove. Rather dense and clean burning. Some of the neighbors trees were 25' tall, 8 to 10" diameter. Nothing gave me more pleasure than returning it to its carbon roots to heat my bones.

 

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As Ken said, Sumac because it's unkillable, and a bud on a stump in the spring can be 6 feet tall by fall. And my other "Favorite" is multiflora rose. Also unkillable and cutting it is like attacking a roll of razor wire.
 

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As Ken said, Sumac because it's unkillable, and a bud on a stump in the spring can be 6 feet tall by fall. And my other "Favorite" is multiflora rose. Also unkillable and cutting it is like attacking a roll of razor wire.
I had to cut out old fence rows of multiflora roses, and it was a pain in the A$$. It was 300 yards of fence row, and it took 4 weekends with my dad.
 

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Well my BIG problem does not realy fit into tree/bush... Its poison ivy!!! My woods are LOADED with it!!!Ive worked away at it... but with it still in naboring woods, I cant see ever getting it... and it just comes right back given the chance.

other then that, I have a lot of thin whispy trees... no idea what they are but growing at the edge of the woods and inbetween my huge oaks, they are real tall... but only a few inches in dia... You cut them out... but the wood is pretty much useless, its so small. Granted it burns well... but when most logs are the inbetween a road flaire, and a paper towel roll in size, its hardly worth the effort in cutting.
 

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MrGiggles - YOW!! That is one scary looking tree!

Okay fellas, let me offer this bit of advice. If you haven't tried it with your problem trees, vines and shrubs, do this...

Mix up a 50/50 batch of salt and water. After grinding down the stumps or cutting the shrub or vine down below ground level, pour the mix directly onto the open stump. If you make a puddle of the mix over the stump, so much the better.

The mix is transvascular and will be absorbed by the plant and should kill off pretty much anything left. It travels through the root system, killing everything connected.

That mix has worked on everything I've applied it to so far, including greenbriar, small oak tree stumps, shrubs, ivy, etc.

Good luck!
 

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Wow MrGiggles. That tree kinda looks like a man made tree I seen in Dominican Republic. I would not touch eather one.
 

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WOW--looks like something the 3 Stooges wired up!..:eek:

I'm glad we dont have thorn trees like that here!--I have a bad enough time dealing with blackberry bushes,rose bushes and some other kind of thorny plant with half inch spikes all over it--and those darn cockleburrs!!..and poison ivy,its taken over all the trees along the driveway,I have chopped the stalks off at the trunks,but it keeps growing back--some are 1-1/2" in diameter!...I'm not so sure I'd even use the trees its growing on for firewood,for fear of inhaling some of the poison ivy fumes ,never mind handling it while cutting it up...even if you stripped all of it off!..

We have cherry trees galore in my yard--carpenter ants are killing them all,and birds eat the cherries and poop them all over your vehicles too--its like battery acid,if you dont get it off real quick...:mad:..the other day I split open a 10" cherry log I cut last summer,to burn,and I had about 11 million carpenter ants all over my garage!..they were hibernating I guess,I scooped them up with the dustpan ASAP and put them in the stove,before they ended up in my endwalls--they already chowed the entire real wall of my garage once a few years back--had to saw all the damaged boards out and replace them!...
 

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This is the critter I was talking about.



I'm pretty sure that is Honey Locust. HL sold for yard trees is a thornless version of this.

Besides everything listed here, Barberry is a pain. I have them as hedges in the front. They have terrible thorns that always seem to get infected, when I'm poked.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well my BIG problem does not realy fit into tree/bush... Its poison ivy!!! My woods are LOADED with it!!!Ive worked away at it... but with it still in naboring woods, I cant see ever getting it... and it just comes right back given the chance.
I have pretty much eradicated my poison ivy with Roundup. Everytime I see any starting to grow I soak the leaves in Roundup. Kills everything down to the roots.
 
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