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i reside in southern Il......i got 44 acres of wooded land......looking to make a out building out of the dead trees on my land.....using trees as support post(do they have to be the trunk or will large branches do the same job) and may even bring in a protable sawmill to cut straight board..........my question is which trees are strongest???? which are most rot resistant???? thanks for the help
 

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lumber is dead, but it is cut from a living tree, dried and then used for construction.

A tree that is already dead, has started to deteriorate and will continue to do so at a faster rate than fresh harvested lumber.

To answer the OP, pine, cedar, are good for pest resistance. Oaks are good for strength.

pj
 

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lumber is dead, but it is cut from a living tree, dried and then used for construction.

A tree that is already dead, has started to deteriorate and will continue to do so at a faster rate than fresh harvested lumber.

To answer the OP, pine, cedar, are good for pest resistance. Oaks are good for strength.

pj
Thank you for saving me the trouble. Yes, all lumber is dead trees. But 'deadwood', a different term, refers to trees already down that have begun to breakdown, become infested with insects, retain excess water, etc. 'Deadwood' is good for firewood. It is not a good building material.

I agree with pj as to which species to select for building material.
 

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Thank you for saving me the trouble. Yes, all lumber is dead trees. But 'deadwood', a different term, refers to trees already down that have begun to breakdown, become infested with insects, retain excess water, etc. 'Deadwood' is good for firewood. It is not a good building material.
well then I retract my statement. rotting wood is not good for building.

Then again, you have to consider what your building. a 4 story home, or a shack.
 

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well then I retract my statement. rotting wood is not good for building.

Then again, you have to consider what your building. a 4 story home, or a shack.
I know it is tempting to use the deadwood and blowdowns, even for a shack or storage shed. But I'd stay clear if possible. On 44 acres, the OP should be able to selective cut a few nice trees for some good lumber without messing up his environment. I figure a good pine gives you about 8 16ft long 2X4s just in the butt end. If you use as much of the tree as you can, it shouldn't take too many.
 

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100% agree with Chin on dead wood!

(just my view)

Don't use branch wood for build either, it has tension in it that will bow. Use just the trunk (the log) that you have cut.
 

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I agree with Ohio here. Usually, you are only going to use the bottom 16' of the tree (the 'butt end'). If the log is still thick enough further up, you may still get a few boards out of it. But most of your good lumber is going to come from the butt end. The rest of the log can be used for firewood and the limbs can be used for mulch (rent a chipper-shredder).

If your only intent is to erect a rustic type out building, I suppose you could use the upper trunk to mill some support timbers, as long as it is still straight and wide enough. I've never tried, so I can't say.
 

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Something else to consider is timber frame construction. The lower Butt end of the tree for heavy vertical posts and the upper trunk for joists and purlins.

All of this can be done with almost any species of straight growing trees. You will need to size the timbers for strength. A pine timber will need to be larger in width and thickness than a timber made from Oak in order to have the same strength.

There are many good books at libraries on timber framing.

the spaces between the framing structure can be fill with straw bales, cord wood construction or plywood and insulation.

PJ
 

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I was wondering if you have much cedar on your property? I've always have liked cedar for it's toughness in outdoor weather...and I like the way it smells after it's cut
 

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Im a tree man , I have worked as a sawyer both harvesting that wood and milling.

If possible cut hardwood deciduous trees in the winter when the sap is down, this will save months of dry time.

As far as what to build with, if the wood will be in contact with the ground or buried in the ground use Cedar, Locust, or redwood. Paint the area below soil level and one foot above with the baddest paint you can find, Barn paint or something stronger. You can also go to a local asphalt plant and buy some driveway sealer, dont get the crap you buy at home depot, get the stuff that never comes off anything in gets on. Most plants will call the stuff Tack oil and it will be either RS Rapid set or SS slow set paint the area to be placed in the soil with it.

now as far as the above ground structure goes there is nothing wrong with , Ash (Right now its very avalible due to the Emerald ash bore), Oak, walnut, chestnut, hickory, locust, maple, Cherry, Osage orange(Hedge apple) or pretty much any hard wood deciduous tree.

Don't use Pine, Birch, spruce or other sappy evergreens.

If you mill the wood remember you will need to let the wood dry and will have to maintain the correct stacking procedure turning the wood once a year. You will loose a foot off of each end of the board due to cracking and splitting, so cut the wood long. The wood will need good airflow and protection from the rain so a tarp is the least ideal way though its better then exposed to the rain. A barn is best, its what we use.

You will most likely find that after you mill the wood you could sell one 3rd of it and buy suitable commercial lumber. Its almost a waste to use nice hardwoods for framing unless you are going for large timber framing and desire the look that you get from nice hardwoods, in that case you probably dont wanna build a shack.

If you use the logs you should still allow some dry time, its best to strip the bark from the log as well. This will allow you to properly seal the log using something suitable for deck sealing. You will need a few special tools to do this so look in to them.

Don't use Nails, man if you go through the trouble use mortise and tenon joints. I like to see the darkest wood used for the dowel as it just sets out how amazing the construction is.

I have been part of a few construction projects just like this so if you need some help ill tell ya what I do know.
 

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Just a thought but you may want to check out if there is a small mill anywhere near. You can buy logs cheap and save your land. Depending on how much you need this can be the way to go as the logs are usually debarked and ready for stacking and drying when you get them. If you can get a port-a-mill then you would be set up to get some good usable lumber cheap.
 

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Im a tree man , I have worked as a sawyer both harvesting that wood and milling.

If possible cut hardwood deciduous trees in the winter when the sap is down, this will save months of dry time.

As far as what to build with, if the wood will be in contact with the ground or buried in the ground use Cedar, Locust, or redwood. Paint the area below soil level and one foot above with the baddest paint you can find, Barn paint or something stronger. You can also go to a local asphalt plant and buy some driveway sealer, dont get the crap you buy at home depot, get the stuff that never comes off anything in gets on. Most plants will call the stuff Tack oil and it will be either RS Rapid set or SS slow set paint the area to be placed in the soil with it.

now as far as the above ground structure goes there is nothing wrong with , Ash (Right now its very avalible due to the Emerald ash bore), Oak, walnut, chestnut, hickory, locust, maple, Cherry, Osage orange(Hedge apple) or pretty much any hard wood deciduous tree.

Don't use Pine, Birch, spruce or other sappy evergreens.

If you mill the wood remember you will need to let the wood dry and will have to maintain the correct stacking procedure turning the wood once a year. You will loose a foot off of each end of the board due to cracking and splitting, so cut the wood long. The wood will need good airflow and protection from the rain so a tarp is the least ideal way though its better then exposed to the rain. A barn is best, its what we use.

You will most likely find that after you mill the wood you could sell one 3rd of it and buy suitable commercial lumber. Its almost a waste to use nice hardwoods for framing unless you are going for large timber framing and desire the look that you get from nice hardwoods, in that case you probably dont wanna build a shack.

If you use the logs you should still allow some dry time, its best to strip the bark from the log as well. This will allow you to properly seal the log using something suitable for deck sealing. You will need a few special tools to do this so look in to them.

Don't use Nails, man if you go through the trouble use mortise and tenon joints. I like to see the darkest wood used for the dowel as it just sets out how amazing the construction is.

I have been part of a few construction projects just like this so if you need some help ill tell ya what I do know.

I have always liked the Osage orange (Hedge apple tree) for the best firewood I can get. I love the color when it's first cut...wow!

I can never find big ones, they are usually pretty twisted up around here at least...maybe a small log at best. IIRC, it's one of the highest rated buring wood out there. I've used then for fence post too...excellent
 

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The term you guys are looking for is "standing dead".

Depending on how long and what species standing dead trees CAN be salvaged for framing lumber and other uses like furniture.

To answer the OP'er. Black locust is an extremely rot resistant tree that should exist in you neck of the woods. It's a top choice for fence posts.

If it were me I would use pressure treated posts instead. The small extra expense would be worth it but for sure go with black locust if not.


McLOVIN
 

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Son Of Liberty
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I have always liked the Osage orange (Hedge apple tree) for the best firewood I can get. I love the color when it's first cut...wow!

I can never find big ones, they are usually pretty twisted up around here at least...maybe a small log at best. IIRC, it's one of the highest rated buring wood out there. I've used then for fence post too...excellent
ya but again if you do find large enough mill able pieces of Osage, you should mill it in wide slabs and sell it to luthiers for guitar tops. Some of the most amazing handmade guitars are from Osage.

Interesting fact, Osage is the hardest wood in KY and many other states,the stuff is tuff.
 

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Hoss, My advice is find an old farmer who lives in Area. Gain his trust cause most of wise people of age are laughin inside at dumb city people. Tell him your plans and listen carefully when he talks. He lives in Area and knows where the bodies are buried. A neighbor close at hand is better than all the advice you will get on this net. Most of these people are dumber that dirt. Shuswap I love to stir the stew
 
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