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A use for poplar trees

Eric Brandt


Joined: Jan 07, 2012
Posts: 2
Wondering if anyone has a good idea and/or market for the use of poplar trees.
Our family has around 40 acres of poplar trees in western Idaho. The usual market
for them dried up several years ago and we'd like to move them on and get some other
crops going on that land.

One idea/question I have is: would they be good for cordwood masonry built houses?
I don't know how much of that type of building is going on, but maybe they'd be good.

Any good ideas will be appreciated.
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 907
    
  18
I would definitely not use poplar for building a cordwood house. Poplar rots very easily. It is a very open, light, airy wood. Poplar is used for trim and cabinets - again I would not use it for such as it will ding up easily. But, we do sell poplar logs. They don't fetch good money like hard maple and such but they do sell.

The best use I have for poplar is in the pastures for hedge rows to block the wind and to provide shade for livestock as well as forage for them. The animals like being under the poplar clumps and grass grows under the trees as the leaves aren't too dense. See:

http://sugarmtnfarm.com/2011/10/03/rootless-in-vermont/
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
great forage trees, also good for mushrooms. They make pretty interior wood. Can be burned for firewood but not the best..must be used within the first year and not allowed to remain on wet ground.good hugelkulture logs.


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Victor Johanson


Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 241
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
    
  10
Walter Jeffries wrote:I would definitely not use poplar for building a cordwood house. Poplar rots very easily. It is a very open, light, airy wood.


I have Cordwood Building: The State of the Art by Rob Roy, wherein poplar is highly recommended as one of the best possible species for building cordwood structures, precisely because it is a "very open, light, airy wood." Proper building technique to avoid decay is essential, however (as it should be with any wood construction).


Vic Johanson

"I must Create a System, or be enslaved by another Man's"--William Blake
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 907
    
  18
Victor Johanson wrote:
Walter Jeffries wrote:I would definitely not use poplar for building a cordwood house. Poplar rots very easily. It is a very open, light, airy wood.


I have Cordwood Building: The State of the Art by Rob Roy, wherein poplar is highly recommended as one of the best possible species for building cordwood structures, precisely because it is a "very open, light, airy wood." Proper building technique to avoid decay is essential, however (as it should be with any wood construction).


Aye, I have the book too. There are a lot of things in that book that I find very questionable or outright wrong. Based on my observations of how rapidly poplar rots I would not want to use it. Contact with concrete will speed up the rotting vs simply sitting in a wood pile. Before anyone builds with poplar I would strongly suggest they do a multiyear test to make sure it is going to perform well. A good strategy in general.
S Bengi


Joined: Nov 29, 2012
Posts: 1019
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
    
    5
Biochar/charcoal for soil amendment
Victor Johanson


Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 241
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
    
  10
Walter Jeffries wrote:
Victor Johanson wrote:
Walter Jeffries wrote:I would definitely not use poplar for building a cordwood house. Poplar rots very easily. It is a very open, light, airy wood.


I have Cordwood Building: The State of the Art by Rob Roy, wherein poplar is highly recommended as one of the best possible species for building cordwood structures, precisely because it is a "very open, light, airy wood." Proper building technique to avoid decay is essential, however (as it should be with any wood construction).


Aye, I have the book too. There are a lot of things in that book that I find very questionable or outright wrong. Based on my observations of how rapidly poplar rots I would not want to use it. Contact with concrete will speed up the rotting vs simply sitting in a wood pile. Before anyone builds with poplar I would strongly suggest they do a multiyear test to make sure it is going to perform well. A good strategy in general.


Since he's here his week, I posted a query on the Green Building forum so he can address it himself.
Mark Vander Meer


Joined: Dec 12, 2009
Posts: 74
I mill lots of cottonwood. Great for barn floors, trailer decks, trucks decks etc. Takes abuse well.
Nick Dire


Joined: Nov 20, 2012
Posts: 8
Eric - how close are you to CdA? If you are in the area +/- 25 miles, I'd be interested in as much as would fit into my truck (chevy colorado) for a h-mound starter.

Thanks

Nick
Raaen McLean


Joined: Mar 04, 2013
Posts: 3
In Michigans UP it would be a cash crop if the trees are of any size. Commonly used for veneer and particle board. Try buying a board of this stuff from home depot without going broke. You might contact a professional Forrest Jobber to look at the stand and give you a quote.
Eric Brandt


Joined: Jan 07, 2012
Posts: 2
Yo Nick, Sorry for the delay - been in the hills offline. I don't know where you mean with CdA? Canada or?
The property is in SW ID by Weiser ID. Just got word today that we may have found someone to come in
and remove them all, but no details yet.

First time I'm replying/responding to you all - not sure if I'm doing it right and didn't see how I could direct
it to the person in particular. Probably in the help section when I get to it.

Raaen - the poplars use to have a good market her for particle board and veneer - but it's gone for now.
All the poplar farmers are looking for a place to send them here.

Thanks for all your replies. I'll let you know if we get them passed on and how.
Cheers
Brice Moss


Joined: Jul 28, 2010
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
    
    2
it's possible to make syrup from alder sap, not sure if you could find a market for the syrup though.
Nick Dire


Joined: Nov 20, 2012
Posts: 8
CdA - Couer D'Alene. You're 6 or 7 hours south of me..... not too feasable. Good luck!

Thanks

Nick
 
 
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