Eric Hanson wrote:Hello,
1). Fast growing (for obvious reasons)
2). Have great heating value
3). Useful as lumber
4). Rot resistant
5). Copice easily (or pollard easily)
6). Disease resistant, grows on most any soil
7). Anything else?
I'm lucky that I didn't have to start from scratch, my land came that way. The ones you mentioned, Black Locust and Osage Orange being primarily useful for nearly all things on your list. Osage Orange however has not grown back fast enough to be really useful for firewood on a rotational basis. Although it doesn't take a big Osage branch to make pretty good fire wood. I Reckon if a feller had one of those fancy rocket mass heaters a few twigs of Osage would be all he needed.
Got to be careful burning Osage, it gets really really hot, really really fast. It can make a cast iron stove glow in the dark. When I burn it I put a single chunk on top of a fire that had burned down to just coals and without any other pieces with it. It goes ahead and burns a lot like coal. I have a stock of Osage that was cut twenty years ago and stored most of the time, not even covered, it is as solid as it ever was, I only burn it when it is really cold and I'm short on other wood. Most of my Osage was not and is not straight enough for posts, at least not the ones small enough for me to cut. I know when I'm beat and when it comes to a two foot thick Osage Orange tree it's before I even start. Plus I think they are beautiful trees and wanted to leave some of the really big ones around the edges of what became the yard.
I love Easter Red Cedar and use it for wind breaks, beauty, wild life habitat and the like but find it doesn't really hold up long term for posts and isn't much good for firewood. It will burn of course but really fast and gucks up a chimney pretty quick. Again it might be great for a RMH, assuming they really do completely burn the gasses.
Black Locust is by far the winner on the fire wood, fence posts, building posts, grows back fast, bean poles and other categories. Probably the most useful and used tree on my place. I don't mind the thorns too much but do recommend gloves when working with it.
I have no experience in growing trees for lumber. Seems to me about any that might be good for that take way too long to get big enough for it. Unless maybe you planted them for you grand kids to harvest. At my place Oak and Pecan grow the fastest, I have lots of both, some are 20 plus years old and quite nice young shade trees but I guess need another 75 or so years to be lumber of any quality. Some Oak that I rescued from the weeds, honeysuckle and wild grape back then are considerably bigger but anyone who eyeballs them with a chain saw in hand will be shot on sight. All of my Pecan trees were planted by seed and a few are just now starting to make a few pecans, not even big enough for fire wood really and I'd have to be pretty damn cold to even consider it. Walnut and Hickory both grow slower but I have Walnut, planted at the same time of some of my Pecan that have producing nuts for several years where the Pecan and just recently started, nothing so far from the Hickory.