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Need advice about lumber!

 
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So, last fall (almost 1 full year ago) we cut 26 red pines down, bucked them and piled them. There they sat until about a month ago when we started milling them. I know this is far too long to wait to be ideal, but here we are now.

Naturally, theres blue staining and I like that. But thats just the start of it. Theres green mold growing, bugs getting under the bark, and even some white mycelium growing on some of the logs. I was hoping this was all surface issues but some of the cut and stacked lumber is growing mold as well. Not sure if its from surface moisture leaving the wood or if its inside the lumber itself now.

I’m stressing! Is the structural integrity of the wood lost now? Will air drying be enough to stop this process? Will kiln drying even be enough? I dont know what to do, but I cant let 26 trees rot in my yard. If that means getting them kiln dried or treated, at least it’s usable. Also considering getting most of it turned into tongue and groove for paneling. Thinner boards will dry faster, they dont need to be structurally strong for paneling, and the spalting would be beautiful. Probably could sell enough to the right market to make money back as well, because I’m not sure how many people will buy this for framing now.

Location is Michigan’s upper peninsula and we are relatively humid throughout the summer, if that helps with anyone’s advice.
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I doubt the mycelium spread all through the sapwood in one summer. I would guess it is surface mold on the pieces you show, especially as you say summers are humid there.

My father (with my help as a small child) planted maybe 10-15 acres of red pine 60ish years ago, and when it was mature, loggers had no interest in it except for pulp. It is not regarded as a good building wood around here. It might be fine as a finish material if people like the look.
 
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If the boards appear to be solid, I don’t think you have a problem. That said, while I have worked a great deal with oak, the only pine I have worked with has been from the lumber yard.
 
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Those trees appear to be mostly sapwood. They seem to have very little heart wood in them.

I kind of think this is a bust. When you pull the pieces of wood off of the mill are they covered in the black mold? Or does this happen afterwards?

Have you been drying them? Properly stacking them with stickers?

When i see them being dried here they are usually in a windy area with 1" stickers in between the boards. Mostly they are covered from the sun. In this case it might be worth it to put them in some sun to help dry them out. turn them over every few days to stop them from warping.

I am building right now and some of my floor joists have a tiny bit of the black mold on them. It is a tiny bit and they are currently in direct sunlight to help them dry out.


At my mill we have douglas fir logs which have been down for 2-3 years. Pine does not last very long stored in its log form. Balsam will become buggy, cedar can be stored for a long time. Douglas fir it is usually the sap wood to go to the bugs. Not as big a problem on large logs.


I imagine the black mold has shown up from it being stored improperly. How have you been storing the lumber after it comes off of the mill?
 
Glenn Herbert
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Note the clusters of multiple knots at regular intervals - those are all weak points in the lumber, typical of red pine's growth habit, and may be related to its undesirability for lumber.

My father regularly pruned all the branches he could reach, so I have a lot of decently clear lower logs in those trees, if I cut some for barn planking.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Glenn Herbert wrote:I doubt the mycelium spread all through the sapwood in one summer. I would guess it is surface mold on the pieces you show, especially as you say summers are humid there.

My father (with my help as a small child) planted maybe 10-15 acres of red pine 60ish years ago, and when it was mature, loggers had no interest in it except for pulp. It is not regarded as a good building wood around here. It might be fine as a finish material if people like the look.



I wonder why it isn’t regarded as good building wood there. Pine is used for most lumber around here, although its treated not raw rough cut.
 
Brody Ekberg
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John F Dean wrote:If the boards appear to be solid, I don’t think you have a problem. That said, while I have worked a great deal with oak, the only pine I have worked with has been from the lumber yard.



I think the wood is probably structurally sound right now, but that that will chance very quickly depending on whether or not I can stop the fungal growth asap. Its amazing the damage that fungus can do to wood in 1 season.
 
Brody Ekberg
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jordan barton wrote:Those trees appear to be mostly sapwood. They seem to have very little heart wood in them.

I kind of think this is a bust. When you pull the pieces of wood off of the mill are they covered in the black mold? Or does this happen afterwards?

Have you been drying them? Properly stacking them with stickers?

When i see them being dried here they are usually in a windy area with 1" stickers in between the boards. Mostly they are covered from the sun. In this case it might be worth it to put them in some sun to help dry them out. turn them over every few days to stop them from warping.

I am building right now and some of my floor joists have a tiny bit of the black mold on them. It is a tiny bit and they are currently in direct sunlight to help them dry out.


At my mill we have douglas fir logs which have been down for 2-3 years. Pine does not last very long stored in its log form. Balsam will become buggy, cedar can be stored for a long time. Douglas fir it is usually the sap wood to go to the bugs. Not as big a problem on large logs.


I imagine the black mold has shown up from it being stored improperly. How have you been storing the lumber after it comes off of the mill?



They are mostly sapwood. They’re only 65 years old or so and log home builders weren’t interested in them for that fact. So far, about 2 feet of each end of logs have the blue staining, but it will get worse by the day (we still have a lot of logs to mill this week). The green mold and white mycelium are showing up after they’re cut and stickered though.

As for the piles, I laid down plastic sheeting, the. 4”x4” runners and made piles on top with 1” stickers and roughly 1” spacing between boards. We’re cutting stickers as we go though, so they are as wet as the wood. I also think the boards could benefit from more than 1” spacing, and the piles could be spread apart more. Once its all cut, I may repile everything. Or maybe it will all be heading to a kiln...
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