Has Anyone burned Bradford Pear as Firewood?

rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)December 17, 2007

I'm going to end up with quite a bit of this size-able enough for splitting as firewood. I know some pears are burned because of their aromatic fragrance and used for smoking meats, but have no clue with this one. Thought about mixing it with my pecan and red oak in the fireplace next winter.

randy

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Maryl zone 7a

We burned our one Bradford Pear experiment years ago. All I remember was that it burned quickly. Don't remember any fragrance other then normal wood smoke.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 6:45PM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

I wanted to cut these down when we moved here but the better half liked the idea of them shading the house. I'm somewhat surprised how well they held up to the ice. They don't look any worse than my oaks or pecans. Still think they are a big time trash tree though.

Probably end up with almost a cord of wood from them alone when I'm done.

randy

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 7:32AM
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Maryl zone 7a

We didn't have to wait for an ice storm for ours to die. But to give it credit, it wasn't from splitting, it was from root Girdling. Couldn't tell it by the above ground portion but when it finally fell over after about 7 years in the ground it was readily apparent what was wrong. All our soil is clay but there is a streak of it that is apparently impenetrable as 2 other trees (of different species)also suffered a similar fate in this area. I like Bradford Pears, but I also like other things that look good but aren't good for me.....Do you know what kind of Oaks you have? Most of the Oaks I've seen have had relatively little damage.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 6:12PM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

We have Shumards here. I don't think variety played much of a role, just their size and the amount of ice we got. Most were 40 year old trees. Big trees don't handle that much ice very well. Everything was pretty well disfigured badly.

randy

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 9:14PM
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Maryl zone 7a

I really hadn't thought about the age of the trees as a contributing factor. It's rather odd how the severe damage hit only some trees in our neighborhood and not others. Almost like those flukey tornado hits. My badly mauled Sweetgum is mostly stripped of limbs on its West side but my neighbors(who live across the street)have 3 Sweetgums and suffered only minor damage (our trees are all about the same age-15 to 20 yrs). So perhaps it was the direction of the rain/ice that partially contributed to the problem. My Crab Apple, though bowed to the ground, had not so much as a twig disturbed. Ash Trees, Cottonwoods (not known for their hard wood) across the street also had little to no damage.......Do you see any pattern out your way?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 2:04AM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

One strange pattern I noticed here. About 20 willows in the creek laid over facing upstream in the creek. Had one oddball that laid over downstream.

Another beaver has showed up and dammed up the creek again with all the debris readily available from the storm. I was hoping to be able to avoid another confrontation with them. Had enough damage already.

randy

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 8:32AM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

Took this photo this morning at daybreak before I busted the newly repaired dam.

When The lighting's better, I'll take a few photos and stitch them together so you can see how badly the area has been damaged by the storm.

randy

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 11:16AM
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Maryl zone 7a

Apparently Randy you live out in the country. On top of the mess of the trees the last thing I need to put on my "to do" list is unplug a Beaver Dam. On the news tonight an arborist said that if you have 75% damage to a tree, it is best to remove it. My SweetGum is iffy, but heck I can't get an arborist out here to ask right now. In the meantime DH is cutting down all the branches he can reach without a cherry picker...Interesting about your Willows. I don't remember much wind associated with the rain/ice........

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 8:14PM
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Maryl zone 7a

The ice damage done to my trees and those of my neighbors got me to thinking about what trees you would want to plant to avoid the situation in the future. I ran across this article on the subject and found the information very interesting. The densisty of the wood apparently may not always have a relationship to how well various species of trees handle an Ice Load.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ice Damage and trees

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 8:43PM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

It just looks like country. I'm about 3 minutes away from all the new stores going into the strip of land next to the Norman Airport between Robinson St. and Tecumseh. Each year more and more lights are invading our little oasis of semi rural paradise.

If I understood the end result of the research, it basically backs my common sense belief that age and trunk diameter probably plays a bigger role in degree of severe damage than the species of tree. The more mass under a severe load, the more likely it is the mass can't support the weight.

I have many trees with 10 in. diameter trunks or less that show no damage at all. The willows in the creek probably laid down because of the root mass being submerged under a heavy current at the same time they were under a very heavy load of ice. What doesn't make sense to me is why they laid down into the current and not with it.

Possible answer is that the current is almost lined up with our prevailing south west growing season winds so they have a tendency to naturally lean into the wind somewhat.

randy

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 12:08PM
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Maryl zone 7a

Age certainly does play a part in addition to known factors such as weak crotches, diseased wood, branch laterals etc. However, it was interesting to note that Sweetgums were on the list of very ice resistant trees. But then if you consider just the number of Sweetgums in our neighborhood (numerous), the severe damage is limited to mine alone. This would statistically make it almost negligable and Sweetgums would remain on the list of Ice resistant trees. Doesn't do me any good, but "facts is facts lady", as they say........... I think you are right about why your Willows laid down in the stream, but as to the direction they fell perhaps that may always remain a bit of a mystery (like why my tree is damaged and not theirs). Mother nature does her thing on a whim some times.....

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 1:59PM
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