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Tree Identification

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Post Thu May 05, 2005 6:52 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Here's a place to help our fellow BBQ'ers identify that tree standing in your back yard. Is it suitable to smoke? Find out here...
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Post Thu May 05, 2005 3:46 pm
crmos8 well done
well done

Posts: 351
Location: Erie, PA
As long as we're discussing "exotic" woods, I was recently asked about using sassafras wood for smoking/grilling. I'm guessing that it's use would be rather limited due to the inherent sweet flavor. Has anyone ever tried it?? I know it's not the most common wood nationwide. I've only ever used the roots for tea back in my Boy Scout days!!
If you're not the lead dog, the view's always the same.

Post Sun May 08, 2005 11:12 pm
KBHALE medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 295
Location: Evansville, IN
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The first 3 are Boxelder / Ashleaf Maple. The other 4 are I believe Sugar Maple. The last pix shows the Boxelder to the right.

The Boxelder going to be cut down next weakend. I get what wood I want from it . I read American Indians made sugar from Boxelder sap.
KBHALE

Post Mon May 09, 2005 3:43 am
Ghost_of_winter medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 240
Location: NW Indiana
the second tree is indeed a maple. I recognize the whirlygigs. (used to HATE having to claen those things out of the blasted pool every spring.....)
The only thing I would be worried about is the vines I see climbing the tree. Would hate to see you get poison ivy or even worse inhale the smoke from it. know of someone that did and ended up in ICU from it....not good.....
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Post Mon May 09, 2005 2:25 pm
Combustis Maximus well done
well done

Posts: 722
Location: Lititz, PA
No worries; the vine is Boston Ivy or a related ornamental, not poison ivy. I still wouldn't smoke with it though :)
The maple looks a lot like sugar maple to me, the leaves taper to slender "fingers". Do they turn bright red in the fall?
The bark looks correct too.

Post Thu May 19, 2005 9:27 pm
ajhunter well done
well done

Posts: 1345
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Great!!! Thanks Grand and Bob!

I got a nice size log of hackberry, is that good to use for smoking?


Tony
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2 WSMs, CG
KCBS CBJ

Post Thu May 19, 2005 10:02 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I get conflicting results, several sources quote the first statement, I only found the second statement once:


Internet sources report that wood from the following trees is suitable for smoking: AVOCADO, BAY, CARROTWOOD, KIAWE, MADRONE, MANZANITA, GUAVA, OLIVE, BEECH, BUTTERNUT, FIG, GUM, CHESTNUT, HACKBERRY, PIMIENTO, PERSIMMON, and WILLOW. The ornamental varieties of fruit trees (i.e. pear, cherry, apple, etc.) are also suitable for smoking. :D


No one can deny the smell of bad wood. Beware of soft wood, cedar, pine, hackberry, elm, and the like. Always test-burn unknown wood on a campfire, and then determine if that would be a taste you would want on your food. Some wood is quite toxic. Never burn treated lumber of any kind. Good smoke comes from hardwoods that bear a nut or a fruit. Oak, hickory, mesquite, pecan and various fruit trees have established themselves in the BBQ fuel inventory. Beware of unknown woods! :(
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Post Thu May 19, 2005 10:27 pm
ajhunter well done
well done

Posts: 1345
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Hmmm... See, thats why I love this site! :D I have seen the first statement and have a print out of the document, but I thought I would check with you guys first to see what you think. I think I will do a test burn of this wood to see what the smoke is like. Thanks Bob.

Tony
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2 WSMs, CG
KCBS CBJ

Post Fri May 20, 2005 8:06 am
ime15 rare
rare

Posts: 29
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
I just picked up a load of mixed wood from a fire wood supplier. He told me it was sugar maple, oak, wild cherry, hickory and beech.

Has anyone ever used beech? I understand it is suitable for smoking however I'm curious if anyone has actually used it. Not aware of anyone that has. I guess I will just test it out.

I'm not sure how to tell the difference between the woods. I doubt it matters that much except for maybe the hickory. Are there any distinct ways of identifying cherry just by the wood or bark. I would assume it would have a reddish tinge in the wood?

Chris

Post Fri May 20, 2005 1:02 pm
Ghost_of_winter medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 240
Location: NW Indiana
don't QUOTE me on this chris but from what I recall about cherry it will have a smooth red bark on the wood.
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Post Fri May 20, 2005 4:49 pm
Combustis Maximus well done
well done

Posts: 722
Location: Lititz, PA
Wild Cherry has a flaky bark; we used to call it Corn Flake bark. Orchard cherries have a smooth, almost shiny bark.

Post Fri May 20, 2005 6:40 pm
Ghost_of_winter medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 240
Location: NW Indiana
Combustis Maximus wrote:
Wild Cherry has a flaky bark; we used to call it Corn Flake bark. Orchard cherries have a smooth, almost shiny bark.


I am remembering the bark of the trees I used to see in the orchards, so I didn't want to say for sure what it looked like. thanks for the addied info :)
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Post Sat May 21, 2005 7:43 am
ime15 rare
rare

Posts: 29
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Thanks! I think I am able to pick out the cherry now.

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