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I can get several loads of cedar logs at a very low price. Anywhere from 2" dia. to 8" X 8'. There is very little red in them and the farmers dont want them because they say they wont make good fence posts because of the lack of red. Is this really a concern? If it is a concern for a fence post would it be bad wood for log furniture other than aesthetics? Thanks, Tim.
 

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Tim,

The sapwood of ERC does not contain the resin that insects dislike, and they will attack the sapwood and leave the heartwood alone because it does contain the resin.

You are safe to use it for log furniture though as long as you peel all the bark, because bark beetles like to attack the tree, but will not hang around once you remove the bark.

there are other insects which will attack the ERC sapwood even after all that, but they are the same ones that will attack any other species that they like, so you'll just have to deal with them if and when that happens.

I have heard of ERC fence posts that are mostly heartwood last 20 years and some that need to be replaced in 2 years. One of my cattleman neighbors told me this recently. He does not understand why, since the soil types where he has seen these disparate longevities is the same.

For furntiure though IMO you are safe. unless you bury it in the ground. ;)
 

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Ditto what TexasTimbers said, and the reason the have so little red heartwood is because they are so small.
 

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You'll also see ERC trees that have grown out in pastures, in the open, with more sap than heartwood. Another Hoadley Fact as you know Daren. ;) And he even used ERC to make the point!

However, from my own plentiful experience with ERC Pasture Queens as I call them, after they reach a certain size and get old enough, the heratwood takes over and there is little sapwood in comparison. i think Hoadley needed to make that point but he gets the big bucks to write the textbooks what do I know.

After these Pasture Queens get real big, the heartwood also starts to rot in most of them. At least around this part of the country, I have found that between about 20" to 24"DBH they start to rothe center, but I have also found some really big ones that were still solid.

I used to avoid the "queens" but I have developed a sort of sixth sense to be able to tell which ones are rotten inside and which ones not.

My own theory is that especially on the big ERC out in the open fileds is that most of them get struck by lightning at some point and the inner dead wood loses it's resin and then gets attacked and invaded by black ants (that part is fact in my region). They never touch the outer ring of live heartwood around this dead inner heartwood.

The first picture is of a big one (titled 36DBH but it is actually a 38"er) 38" DBH that was just on the edge of the woods. I knew for a fact it was rotten inside but I have other plans for it or I would not have cut it down.

Medicinal mushroom Fungus Plant Tree Agaricomycetes

You can get a sense of how big it is by looking at the chainsaw. That's a Husqvarna 395XP.

Tree Bigtree Trunk Woody plant Plant

But then, here are two others that were within 20' of each other. The solid one is 24" DBH and the rotten one (still yielded a good deal of beautiful lumber) is 23" DBH.

Tree Natural environment Plant community Nature reserve Forest

Many times when I am out hunting for solid pasture queens I will drill a test hole in them. i use these huge cedars for table top clabs. I have dozens already air dried, and one day i will carve off a block of time, weeks, and make up a bunch of them with a flood coat.

Here's one with an extremely rare ERC burl on the side.

Tree shellbark hickory Trunk Woody plant Plant

I guess you can't tell I get enthusiastic about my ERC. :shifty:
 
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