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Thread: Wood question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    26

    Default Wood question

    Question for the masses here. After this springs ice storm we are over loaded with fallen California maple. How well would this burn? We are just a small operation making about 25 gals per year. I usually have some in our syrup wood pile but I donít want to fill it with this stuff and then find out it has next to no heat and my evaporator wonít boiled hard. My plan is to split it very small. That or pile it in the field and burn it all when he cleans a fence line. TIA
    2015 - 2 taps, 1 gal of syrup
    2016 - 63 taps, 18.75 gal of syrup
    2017 - 111 taps, 3 gal of syrup
    2018 - 117 taps, 25.35 gal of syrup

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wardensville, Wv
    Posts
    278

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    Not sure about the california maple but I have burned sugar maple and red maple, as well as sycamore, and ash, also pine. If they are dry, they burn well and hot, but also burn up way faster and I have to watch my fireing time. The sweet spot is dry oak sticks from the straight line saw at my local sawmill. We run a 2x6 with forced air. I keep the firebox full and fire every 5 min just a few pieces on the top. With a small firebox I've found if it goes too long between fireing it dramatically effects my evaporation rate so I set a timer on my phone.
    2023 - 38 Gallons - RO broke, Buckets didn't run, rebuilt vacuum pump mid-season, still made good syrup!
    2022 - 52 Gallons - DIY RO, 50% less fuel, no late nights in the shack!
    2021 - 48 Gallons - new pans, new arch, lots of new taps and tubing
    2020 - 32 Gallons
    2019 - 27 Gallons

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Walpole, NH
    Posts
    1,334

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    What is California Maple? If it’s a true maple then it should be a hardwood which will dry and burn.
    Sugaring for 45+ years
    New Sugarhouse 14'x32'
    New to Me Algier 2'x8' wood fired evaporator
    2022 added a used RB25 RO Bucket
    250 mostly Sugar Maples, 15% Soft Maples. Currently,(110on 3/16" and 125 on Shurflo 4008 vacuum, 15 gravity), (16,000 before being disabled)
    1947 Farmall H and Wagon with gathering tank
    2012 Kubota with forks to move wood around

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,065

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    California Maple must be a local term. My guess would be boxelder which is called ash leaf or Manitoba maple in some areas. Boxelder, red, and silver maples are soft wood but burn real hot if dry but will need more frequent loading.
    Smoky Lake 2x6 dropflu pans and hoods on homemade arch
    Smoky Lake 6 gallon water jacked bottler
    Concentric Exhaust
    250 Deer Run RO
    325 taps

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,468

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    Get a true name of the maple and we caqn then answer the question. If as guessed above, it's box elder, it will burn fine, but you will wish you had about 2x total volume total, or maybe I should say weight of wood.
    Once dry all wood gives you the same BTU's per pound. If it's in fact Box Elder it will weigh a lot less than most other woods of the same size.
    My guess is that it will be a lot lower density wood,, fast burning, very little coals (it will burn up fast.)
    That being said, a ton of it will yield the same amount of heat as a ton of oak, it will just fill up the wood storage rack faster, and require more racks full to get your 25 gal of syrup boiled down.
    Dave Klish, Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    formerly had:
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    Now have solar, 2x6 finish pan, 5 bank 7x7 filter press, large water jacketed bottler, and tankless water heater.
    Recently bought another Gingerich RO, this one was a 125, but a second membrane was added thus is a 250, like I had.
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,468

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    When I search "maple trees of California" I only find one, called a red sunset maple. I don't however think it's the red maple species. I wonder if it's a name for one of the Chinese maples. There are a few of them, each with a red leaf characteristic. Your California maple might be one of those. To judge burning characteristics, try some in a fire ring , once dried, See how it burns and how long it keeps throwing a good heat Then go from there to judge how much you will need . I believe it's going to be somewhat close to silver maple or maybe between silver and red maple, for burning as far as BTU's per cord.
    Dave Klish, Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    formerly had:
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    Now have solar, 2x6 finish pan, 5 bank 7x7 filter press, large water jacketed bottler, and tankless water heater.
    Recently bought another Gingerich RO, this one was a 125, but a second membrane was added thus is a 250, like I had.
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    North Grenville, Ontario
    Posts
    921

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    Do you have a blower on your arch ?
    Dry wood is dry wood in my opinion. And all dry wood will burn. My usuall theory for our syrup wood is we just split the hardwood a little smaller and the soft wood a little bigger. And it all gets mixed up and stacked in the wood house together. Never had a problem. Whatever trees I have to clean up from the winter storms all go in the syrup pile. Cedar, pine , poplar , any type of maple , hardwood / softwood don’t matter. Just as long as it’s dry and I don’t have to pay for it.
    I’m in Ontario as well and have never heard of a California maple. But it’s Probley one of the decorative red leafed ones. It will burn fine when dry. Don’t worry about it.
    600 taps on vacuum
    Lapierre mechanical Releaser
    CDL electric releaser
    2.5 x 10 CDL Venturi
    Home made auto draw off
    Homemade RO 2 x 4" membranes
    CDL 16 x 16 bottler
    Wesfab 7" filter press
    Delaval 73 vacuum pumps

    12 hives of bees

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,468

    Default

    Bricklayer, I have one exception to the statement "all dry wood burns". Years ago, I had a piece of Scotts Pine (or Scotch pine) that the splitter I had at the time (a basic TSC hydraulic splitter) would not split, so I sat it on top of my drying wood pile and said I'd let the arch split it. At the time I had a 3x8 arch with AUF/AOF, when the fire was roaring I threw that piece of pine it early in the boil. It was still left unburned as I finished the boil for the day, at least 5-6 hours later. I was fueling every 9 minutes. It surprised me for sure. I said to myself, it will burn up tomorrow! But the next day it again went thru another busy day boiling and was still on the grates at the end of day 2. I then pulled it out and threw out in the woods to rot. Had I not known better I'd have thought someone had thrown an asbestos piece in, but it was really that unsplit pine.
    I have a sawmill, and often if I saw pine, I cut the sawed slabs into firewood length pieces and they burn up, it was just that the bark was protecting that chunk is my thought.
    Dave Klish, Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    formerly had:
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    Now have solar, 2x6 finish pan, 5 bank 7x7 filter press, large water jacketed bottler, and tankless water heater.
    Recently bought another Gingerich RO, this one was a 125, but a second membrane was added thus is a 250, like I had.
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    North Grenville, Ontario
    Posts
    921

    Default

    Dave, I have seen the same thing happen. You end up burning more wood to try to burn that massive log that won’t catch fire. But I guess what I didn’t include in my response is to make sure it’s split at least. There is the odd one that just won’t split. I usually just chuck them in the bucket and dump them somewhere in the bush if they don’t split. But there usually isn’t a lot like that. Manitoba maple can be a real pain to split and hickory takes 2 seasons to dry properly. But all in all I think that you all know what I mean with wood.
    600 taps on vacuum
    Lapierre mechanical Releaser
    CDL electric releaser
    2.5 x 10 CDL Venturi
    Home made auto draw off
    Homemade RO 2 x 4" membranes
    CDL 16 x 16 bottler
    Wesfab 7" filter press
    Delaval 73 vacuum pumps

    12 hives of bees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Savoy, MA
    Posts
    477

    Default

    I found exactly one reference for "California Maple" on a Google search. Sounds like it's another term for box elder maple. If it's dry, it will burn fine and hot. You're just going to have to fire the evaporator more often as it will burn more like a softwood.
    16x24 Timber Frame Sugar House
    Mason 2x4 Evaporator
    90 trees on buckets

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