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Paddyf

Sitka spruce vs lodgepole pine firewood

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On 25/11/2021 at 16:33, difflock said:

A  typical Lodgepole Pine of ours.

And a somewhat more pleasing mound of  Spagnum moss. 

IMG_20211122_112549840.jpg

IMG_20211122_104958525.jpg

Just what you want to see from the harvester

 

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On 25/11/2021 at 18:41, nepia said:

I'm told by my mate in Scotland that Lodgepole is planted with Spruce because of its fast early years growth that don't actually smother the Spruce but do protect it from wind and weather.  The Spruce catches up, overtakes and then smothers the Lodgepole:  does this make sense to you?

Yea 100%. This was similarly done with Japanese larch in the past too. Was in a 30 year old stand today. The Sitka spruce has completely outcompeted the larch and most of the larch were standing deadwood. If the stand were 15 years old, the larch would be standing a meter or so taller than the spruce. 

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just over done it again 2 pieces of pine, on smallish one moderately large,added to a stove with merely embers.  vents open for about 2 mins to get good flames but then shut as much as i can. I suspected the laarger lump was 'fat wood' full of resin as it was heavy.  Hmm, seems so. flue thermometer is now right round as far as it goes and ir/laser thermometer reads 465C if i shine that at the flue.  its good stuff this pine, if rather over potent.  I'm starting to think I'd swap the 15+m3 of oak still in the pile for pine if i got the chance.

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On 25/11/2021 at 18:41, nepia said:

I'm told by my mate in Scotland that Lodgepole is planted with Spruce because of its fast early years growth that don't actually smother the Spruce but do protect it from wind and weather.  The Spruce catches up, overtakes and then smothers the Lodgepole:  does this make sense to you?

It's called a nurse crop.  Lodgepole is particularly good as it helps, I believe, fix the nitrogen in the soil, particularly peaty, heathery areas which Sitka often struggles in.  Lodgepole will keep up with the spruce in the early years, I don't believe it has any benefit protecting spruce from the weather though - spruce are pretty hardy.  Sometimes it is planted in alternate rows (haven't seen this in a long time) or in intimate mixes 1*1, 2*1 or 2*2.  Lodgepole is currently out of favour due to red band needle blight (DNB).  It can be a nice tree if you get the right provenance, or it can be an absolutely horrible tree if you get the wrong provenance.  It is generally out-competed in the long run by Sitka, giving a self-thinning plantation which can be beneficial on steep ground with poor soils where doing an actual thinning can be costly and coutner productive by opening up the crop to windthrow.

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8 hours ago, Spruce Pirate said:

 Lodgepole is particularly good as it helps, I believe, fix the nitrogen in the soil, particularly peaty, heathery areas 

Exactly the context in which such use was described to me; Caithness, 3 miles from the sea.  Though even the heather struggled!  Very wet and uneven ground

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