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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know it is better to cut sticks during winter. But where i live, mid-summer offers so many harvesting opportunities. When the thunder storms blow thru, and the power lines go down, time to harvest some sticks. Here's a shot of some of the branches I've cut in the past week. From right to left: 2 white chinkapin oaks, 4 plain white oaks, 4 sycamore, 4 black oaks, and a bit of maple, I think. More maple sitting in my car trunk.

Now, just need 2 yrs. in the garage, and I can cut away.

StickHarvest.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree -- you have to strike when the iron is hot!

Have you treated the ends?
I've put a double coat of Elmer's white on both ends.

Another negative of harvesting from downed trees is that there may be cracks in the branches. I tossed several soon after cutting when I noticed fissures in them. I used a finer toothed saw on the ends to get a smooth surface for the glue, and found a crack that, if it continues to open, will probably make the stick worthless except as a trial piece.

Tthe white oaks were from an old grove, and were somewhat diseased w. fungus and boring bugs. The black oak I have is from a younger tree that was taken down when half the older tree fell on it.

But at the speed I work, even if a third of the sticks are unsuitable, I probably have half a years worth of supply.

And it was something of an adventure. Had to be carful moving around in the wreckage. Moved away from the chinkapin when a breeze made some of the wood groan. And while i was cutting some maple, I looked up into the remnant of the tree. Where the branch had split away, a raccoon had curled up in the hollow, evidently just awake from hearing my sawing.
 

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Happy Harvesting! Be careful -- broken and stacked trees can be unstable and dangerous!!
 

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Nice assortment of sticks. Now the waiting...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice assortment of sticks. Now the waiting...
And waiting. And waiting...

I've read different comments about when to strip the bark. It seems some barks come off most easily when wet, others dry. The bark on the chinkapin is almost spongy. I'm feeling flush about the additions to my stash, so I'm going to hazard stripping the bark from the shorter piece. If I loose it to longitudinal cracks, oh well. Less loss than adding hours to de-barking when I may find a comparable piece to replace it while on a hike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I spent maybe 1/2 hour w. my batoning knife, and cut away the bark and most of the sap wood. Another 15 min. w. a Mora carving knife, removing the same from the knotty areas at both ends of the stick. Much much quicker than cutting dried bark and sapwood.

The stick is wet to the touch. When I set it down while working on it, flies would briefly lite. Don't know if they were looking for water or micro-organisms.

Time will tell.

AndCleaned.jpg
 

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When opportunity arises, you must take advantage. Good luck!
 
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