Wood types by bark

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Fooldancing
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Wood types by bark

Postby Fooldancing » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:26 pm

I'm not sure if this is the right spot for this. I don't know much about wood and I'm hoping someone here can help me out. I have 3 types of wood here at the house. Could anyone identify these for me?Image

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Rambo
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Re: Wood types by bark

Postby Rambo » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:46 pm

Where are you located? Can you get pictures of the leaves please?
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Re: Wood types by bark

Postby Fooldancing » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:24 pm

Rambo, no leaves all I have is the cord wood. I live in Central Pennsylvania.

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Re: Wood types by bark

Postby GRailsback » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:42 pm

The wood on the right looks like it might be a hard wood. Perhaps even some sort of oak. But the stuff on the left looks like a sweetgum type tree that we have here. And it is not suitable for cooking if that is in fact what it is. But I recommend that for cooking purposes you source what you know to be good cooking wood.
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Re: Wood types by bark

Postby Sailor Kenshin » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:41 am

That wood on the right with the rough bark does indeed look like oak...just on a glance at my own trees outside.

There are sites that help ID trees by bark.

http://treebarkid.com/index.php/general-bark-id-key

If you ever saw the leaves, that might help. A smoothish bark might be sassafrass (ick!).
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Re: Wood types by bark

Postby Txdragon » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:50 am

Far right is oak. White oak. I have tons of those in my area. The middle and left I'm not sure. Middle looks like a young pine **shrug** left looks kinda like magnolia. Dunno if you have those in your area though. Lol
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Re: Wood types by bark

Postby Fooldancing » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:05 am

Thank you for the help guys.

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Boots
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Re: Wood types by bark

Postby Boots » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:02 pm

Generally slick bark trees like that on the left are some kind of fruit tree, or fruitless trees of a softer hardwood variety (madrones, magnolias, Bradford pears, etc. come to mind for the latter). I've seen cherry or young peach trees that had a slickish kind of bark too. If you don't know definitively it is an edible fruit or nut bearing tree (peach, cherry, apple, apricot, pecan), I would shy away from it. Generally speaking, if you could eat what it produces, it makes a pretty good cook wood (I am guessing chestnut might work but I hear they're so scarce now you'd probably never see one, and maple certainly works - B&B even sells maple logs and chunks now along with cherry and applewood). Yer very resinous, non-edible fruitless or nutless (no laughing) trees don't work for smoking. The exceptions are oak of course, and in rare instances mesquite, which needs to be really hard cured for a long period of time to dry out the resin, and works primarily as a great grill wood but a poor smoker wood. Taking another example, you'd never use pine or cedar (and steer clear of conifers generally, stick to deciduous), which are very resinous and produce an acrid smoke. Pinon is great for a fire pit, but you couldn't even roast an edible hot dog over it unless it was dry cured out in the desert for about 10 years.

Another test is burn a little sample separate from your cooker and gauge the smell and the burn. Your nose will tell you what the taste will be like, and your eyes and hands will tell you if it burns steady and with heat, or if it pops constantly and burns inefficiently or cool.

Funny thing is, after a while you will be able to recognize many types of cook wood just from the smell of the smoke without ever seeing the wood itself. I can now, after many years, pretty much tell the difference between pecan, oak, hickory, and mesquite most of the time, for example. Pecan is mellow and lightly sweet like great bourbon, which is why it works so well for brisket, and burns slightly cool. Oak has a heavier, stronger more pungent and decidedly smoke scent, even after burning down to blue or clear smoke, which makes it pretty good for brisket or beef ribs, and burns moderately hot. Hickory burns with a bright, decidedly sweet and sharp smell which makes it awesome for pork and good for birds, and burns moderately hot. Mesquite is sharp and pungent, and burns hotter than a two dollar pistol, making it the kind for steaks and grilling (after it burns into coals). But never burn it as green wood, you'll be feeding your food to your dog, and aftet that the dog won't come the next time you call.

Just my two cents worth.
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Re: Wood types by bark

Postby allenayres » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:57 pm

Great info Boots, thank you :) :salut:
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Re: Wood types by bark

Postby OldUsedParts » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:43 pm

I second Sir Allen's above comment :tup: :texas:

in the certain BBQ Circles that $0.02 is worth Mega Bucks :salut:
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Re: Wood types by bark

Postby Fooldancing » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:59 pm

Thank you for the $.02. very good advice. Being a novice, it's a little frustrating not knowing what I have and if I can using it in the smoker.

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