Dead Maple in back yard

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by magnum3672, May 9, 2011.

  1. So, my sister and brother in-law have had a dead maple (huge old tree) in their back yard and they just took it down.

    Would it be good for smoking?
  2. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    maple is good smoking wood

    just make sure ts dry
  3. It's been sitting in their back yard dead for a couple of years now.  It should be very dry.  Didn't know if it dying on its own would affect it badly in any way
  4. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If the wood is intact and solid it should be OK. You will probably need to season it after it is split, nonetheless.
  5. Season it?  Let it sit I'm guessing?

    Also, I have an electric smoker, any clues as to how to either make sawdust or chip it?  I might have access to a band saw I could cut it into small bits with, otherwise I have no idea what to do.
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  6. My sister says it was a "sunset maple".  I don't know anything about trees so hopefully one of you kind folks can help me out!

    Thanks for the assistance already given
  7. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Basically, a "Sunset" maple is a maple with very brilliant fall colour. As far as I remember it's a variety of Acer Rubrum. Basically, Red Maple, one of the most common maples in the eastern half of North America.

    Very good smoking wood.

    Even if it's been dead for a few years, it should be OK to use as long as it isn't rotten.
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  8. my sister said it didn't die from rot, its root system just choked itself because it was about 4 feet away from a cement patio that was meant to be a foundation or some-such.  Anyways, thanks for all your help!
  9. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No worries then. You're good to go. Chop it up, let it dry, and have fun!!!
  10. It died over 2 years ago so it shouldn't be too wet
  11. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    "Sunset" maple is an ornamental tree, either Shantung maple(acer truncatum) or Norway maple(acer platnaoides), not a variety of acer rubrum. Shantung maples grow to about 25' tall, the Norway can grow up to 80'. As far as I know no one has ever reported using ornamental maples as smoke wood, you could be the first. Good Luck!  
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Wood doesn't really do much drying until it is cut up.

    Then it is normally about 1" in thickness per year.

  13. So if you have an 8" dia. split 4 ways it would take about 2-3 years to season?
  14. Crud, thats a long time.  Any suggestions for chipping it?
  15. butch cassidy

    butch cassidy Fire Starter

    I do not know about the Maple, But as far as cutting up. I have a friend who is an Arborist (sp) who save all the pecan trees that they take out. I go and get all the pecan that I need (Free) I pick the log size diameter that I want , They cut them about 2 1/2 long. I have a large band saw to cut them the thickness of the wood box. and then I cut some of that into 1/4 thickness for my chips. Works great. What a deal and I like pecan also
  16. Free pecan? That's awesome. One of my favorite woods for smoking. I wish I had a friend like that. Magnum, I was asking about seasoning, not telling. I am waiting for Bear to answer to see if my math is right. I've heard of people baking wood in their grill to dry it quicker.
  17. butch cassidy

    butch cassidy Fire Starter

    He cuts the pecan and stacks it in his lot. I do not know how long it has been drying, because he adds to the stack . I get and put on my trailer that is in the sun, then I pick a log and cut it up as needed. Good blue smoke.
  18. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    6-9 months, properly stacked. Probably closer to 6 in NC. Maple seasons fairly quickly in my experience.
  19. Thanks Cliff. That seems more reasonable. I was in Old Town once a long time ago. They still making canoes there?
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you split an 8" diameter log into 4 pieces, you could measure them each from point to flat to be 4", but there are shorter distances to measure in that quarter circle.

    I would say you have it about right in your 2 to 3 years.

    However that would be dried to 19% moisture content, which I don't believe is needed for smoking meat, but in PA, I would say from green to ready for good smoking would probably be 2 years for that quarter of an 8" log.

    Last edited: May 10, 2011

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