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Log uses  RSS feed

 
Posts: 200
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I recently had some trees cut and I’m wondering what uses we can come up with to sequester that carbon instead of the usual cut for firewood.  I used some to line my paths. I could split some and make a hugel bed. The arborists cut most of the logs into rounds but some of them are massive and I’m having trouble moving them without splitting first. I contacted a guy who has a portable saw mill to cut up the main red oak trunk. That’ll go towards woodworking projects once dried. I’m thinking of making roofing shakes out of the red cedar. That leaves 50 or so American lime and red oak logs of various sizes. Any interesting ideas?
 
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Hugel-swales come to mind. Or you could make a hugel-herb spiral or other regular beds. Sky is the limit as far as designs for those. You could use some of it for a bug and/or other preferred creatures (like a favored predator) habit. Those can be organized or just piled. You can pile them in a line on a contour to make a terrace over time when they eventually break down. Ummm, besides that building other habitats like mason bee homes comes to mind. You can do that by drilling with various sizes into some pieces. Not sure if those are right type or size but natural hives for bees come to mind as well. Bird houses? Although I prefer they make their own or find their own for the most part. Mushroom culture? Not sure what else...
 
pollinator
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Neato. You didn't mention the diameter of the remaining logs. Those of us not in the Pacific Northwest might be wondering if they have a value added worth as lumber. Would you be able to show some images of your recent resource so we might better imagine what could be made from it? There is a small company here in New Mexico for example that makes end grain  flooring from small diameter trees.
 Old Wood Flooring
Brian
Old-Wood-flooring-Las-Vegas-NM.jpg
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pollinator
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Mushroom cultivation.
Typically, smaller logs (carriable) are used for the log cultivation technique as they're easier to handle & colonize faster. However, if you don't mind leaving your large pieces in place where they are now then you could just use a larger-than-normal quantity of spawn to inoculate. You might also have to wait longer for fruits, but the final results could be massive.
I'm pretty sure Peter McCoy of Radical Mycology is in your neck of the woods. He, or one of his peers, may be able to help out -identifying bioregionally appropriate species, culturing, inoculation, etc.- if you choose to go this route.
LOG_CULTURE-hand_drillin_holes-_FungiAcademy.com.jpg
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log inoculation techique: hand drilling holes for spawn, FungiAcademy.com.jpg
 
Chris Holcombe
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Wow! Excellent ideas everyone! I’ll post some pictures of what I’ve got going on
 
Chris Holcombe
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Here’s a view of the logs
image.jpg
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Loxley Clovis
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Chris Holcombe wrote:Here’s a view of the logs...


There are definitely several logs there that are the right size for mushroom culture. If you do decide to go the fungi route, the quicker you inoculate them the better before they are colonized inhabited by other fungal species.
 
s wesley
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WOW! I didn't have that much wood in mind just from reading your first post. In that case I definitely echo what I said and others have said. MUSHROOMS! It can't hurt with that much wood to spare. Even if it's just an experiment. You can even try the mushrooms first and if that doesn't work out or after that whole process anyway you can still use them for other things like garden beds or even critter or bug habitat.
Thanks for sharing the pictures! It really helps. Wood is great! You got lots of possibilities there!
 
Chris Holcombe
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I've tried mushrooms a few times in the past and I can never seem to get them to fruit for some reason. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.  Maybe the summer here is just too dry?  
 
Chris Holcombe
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Brian Rodgers wrote:Neato. You didn't mention the diameter of the remaining logs. Those of us not in the Pacific Northwest might be wondering if they have a value added worth as lumber. Would you be able to show some images of your recent resource so we might better imagine what could be made from it? There is a small company here in New Mexico for example that makes end grain  flooring from small diameter trees.
 Old Wood Flooring
Brian



That end grain flooring is certainly interesting looking!  I would've never thought of that.  :)  I'd say the diameter of some of the logs is 3ft or more.  
 
gardener
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Another thing would be to sell it as firewood and use the money to do something even more applicable to your property/projects/desires.  Then you'd be substituting your wood for the trees that would die to heat someone else's house.
 
master pollinator
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I see a hugelkultur waiting to happen. I also see a good excuse to buy a chainsaw mill to make lumber & wood chips.

Could hollow out one of the big logs, add some soil, & start a garden inside the log. Could also make an herb spiral by vertically standing different heights of logs. Or a keyhole garden.
 
pollinator
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Chris Holcombe wrote:I  I’m wondering what uses we can come up with to sequester that carbon instead of the usual cut for firewood.  



If the goal is to sequester that carbon for a couple of thousand years, make biochar.  That much wood would make a LOT of biochar.  

It would also make a lot of mushrooms, but that doesn't sequester the carbon.  Every bit of it would eventually gas-off and return to the atmosphere.  But, you know, yummy yummy mushrooms.
 
Brian Rodgers
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Chris Holcombe wrote:

Brian Rodgers wrote:Neato. You didn't mention the diameter of the remaining logs. Those of us not in the Pacific Northwest might be wondering if they have a value added worth as lumber. Would you be able to show some images of your recent resource so we might better imagine what could be made from it? There is a small company here in New Mexico for example that makes end grain  flooring from small diameter trees.
 Old Wood Flooring
Brian



That end grain flooring is certainly interesting looking!  I would've never thought of that.  :)  I'd say the diameter of some of the logs is 3ft or more.  


Oh my goodness. Now I'm seriously envious of you guys' timber available. If we had that kind of timber here I think there would be a  Wood Mizer band saw instead of a Backhoe in every back yard. Cheers!
BTW the reason Old Wood Flooring guy does the end grain stuff is because this area was logged twice and trees just don't grow quickly here. so he came up with ways to use small diameter wood.
Brian  
 
Chris Holcombe
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Here’s the olive trees getting some wood chip mulch and log bed liners. I really appreciate all the ideas. I’m going to try and put a bunch into practice.
68538FE9-F0DB-48BA-88DE-0641572F8A2D.jpeg
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Loxley Clovis
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Marco Banks wrote:

Chris Holcombe wrote:I  I’m wondering what uses we can come up with to sequester that carbon instead of the usual cut for firewood.  



If the goal is to sequester that carbon for a couple of thousand years, make biochar.  That much wood would make a LOT of biochar.  

It would also make a lot of mushrooms, but that doesn't sequester the carbon.  Every bit of it would eventually gas-off and return to the atmosphere.  But, you know, yummy yummy mushrooms.


Yes, biochar is a wonderful carbon sink, as are fungal networks:

...fungi are central to the global carbon cycle. Of the 15 billion metric tons (Gt) of total fungal biomas estimated on Earth, about 5 Gt is made of carbon. Much of this tissue is found in soils, where it acts as a carbon reserve, or "sink," for the environment and as a food source for innumerable microbes. Indeed, soils store more carbon that plant vegetation. Much of this is released from wood, which only fungi are capable of decomposing.

- Peter McCoy, Radical Mycology, p.38

While it's true that fungi exhale CO2 (that the plants then inhale in this essential-to-life carbon cycle), mycelium is made up of carbon & is responsible for sequestering huge percentage of the carbon found in healthy soil ecosystems. 95% of a mushroom-producing fungi's life is spent at the mycelial stage:

There are waves of mycelium running through ecosystems that are beyond our sight. About 30% of healthy soil is composed of organisms, living and dead. The majority (70%) of those organisms by biomass are fungi.

-Paul Stamets, Biohabitats.com

MYCELIUM-Rhizomorphs-_aka-mycelial_cords-_TheAlphaWolf-_WikiMedia.org.JPG
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Myclelium rhizomorphs, aka - mycelial cords by TheAlphaWolf, WikiMedia.org
 
Loxley Clovis
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Chris Holcombe wrote:I've tried mushrooms a few times in the past and I can never seem to get them to fruit for some reason. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.  Maybe the summer here is just too dry?


A local mycologist would need to inspect the attempted grow spot you are referring to, but I suspect keeping the logs or woodchips in a shady area or throwing a shade cloth or tarp over the logs during the summer months would help. Also, moistening them down with water helps when the sun is really bearing during the summer months. Summertime is generally time for mycelial growth, not fruit body formation. Too much sun & dryness on exposed myceliated wood can kill the mycelium, gotta keep things moist. Trust me, Portland is not too dry for fungi. It's just a matter of observation & appropriate interaction.
 
pollinator
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I would totally inoculate that thing. I understand the hand tools approach but for a big log I would go for an air driven speed drill and a bag of shiitake spawn which should be $20 or so. I think the tarp is a good way of keeping it moist, but it needs to be suspended in the summer or mold will eat your spawn. It will take a couple years to inoculate fully and produce mushrooms I would expect, and needs to be kept pretty moist the entire time. Otherwise you will just get false turkey tail. At least here thats what seems to colonize red oak...
 
pollinator
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Hello Chris,

You certainly have an abundance of wood!  About a decade ago there was a terrible storm over my home with 100 mph winds that toppled dozens if not scores of mature red oak and hickory trees in my 3 acres of woods.  The sight was devastating and my heart sank when I saw the damage.  Admittedly I did burn a lot of the wood at first (there was so much wood that I had to do something just to get access to the rest of the fallen trees).

Later, after I had some room to maneuver, I cut the logs to roughly 10’ lengths and used numerous logs to create the edges of raised bed gardens.  If I had access to a wood chipper, I would have chipped up many of the smaller branches (damage was so wide spread that every local chipper was rented for months in advance).  Knowing what I know today, I would have composted them with wine cap mushrooms and made made nice mushroom compost for those raised beds.

So my thoughts for you (though really, this is just an idea, do what you think is right) are to make raised beds with the larger logs (but you do have some HUGE logs—maybe you could cut those into quarters?) and fill them with chips from smaller branches, get those decomposing with wine cap mushrooms.  Eventually they will all break down, but not burn up.  I have to admit though that I like the idea of Biochar.  Maybe you could do both?

Good luck to you.  You have a lot of wood there, but many people would love to have that much free wood!

Eric
 
Chris Holcombe
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Great ideas everyone! I had a mobile sawmill come visit to cut up the biggest sections of the main trunk. I’d upload pictures from my iphone but the attach button doesn’t seem to be working.
 
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