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What should I do with my hickory trees?

629 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  northwoodsman
I have a few Shagbark Hickory trees that are going to be cut down. They range from about 10 inches to 2 feet in diameter. I wonder if they are worth much more as a lumber product than as firewood. So my options are firewood, planks, tool handles or something else.
Looking for opinions and ideas.
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If you have a way to mill them go for it. Better than going in the chipper or fire place.
+1 depends on who is milling the lumber?

Need to check with your local sawyers. The portable folks usually have a minimum bdft to mill on your site, otherwise you have to haul the logs to the mill. Milling costs can range from $60-$150 per hour, and each sawyer has different bdft/hour capability. So the cost .vs value is different for each person, and each site harvested. Make sure to shop around for different sawyers. The folks that are idle are usually cheaper than folks swamped with work.
IME - Unless you own a sawmill, typical minimum diameter that is worth the labor cost to mill into planks is 13-14" OD. So the 10" OD tree(s) are best used as turning stock, tool handles, or firewood.

IME - Hickory is plentiful wood, and is not very expensive. If you have to hire someone to cut the trees, hire out hauling the logs to sawyer, and pay milling charges; the cost per bdft often becomes more than buying it at wholesale. But only YOU can compare the costs .vs. price locally, and decide if there is an added emotional value to harvesting your own trees.

There are several online calculators to approximate the board feet per tree. Here and Here are a couple.
Once you know the approximate bdft, it is easier to decide if costs are worth the lumber gained.

Best Luck.
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While I don't like working with hickory (splinter-ey and very hard) it is one of my favorite woods. The problem I've seen is that many of them are hollow in the center. But if the trees are solid, I'd certainly get them sawn into lumber., at least the larger ones.
This is another good argument as to why people should list the general area where they are located in their profile. No more than a city, state and zip code. Several other LJ's have mills and may be willing to help out.
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