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BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum
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Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Conversations

Conversations Pass the time with friends and neighbors. Bring your own coffee.
Please, no Political and/or Current Events posts not directly related to homesteading.

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  #1  
Old 12-28-2006, 06:12 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Location: Kentucky
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Default what is poplar good for?

We have a lot of poplar growing on our place. some big but most is 10 year old growth that tool over old pastures. we want to clear some pasture area but what can the poplars be used for, they look so nice and straight. I am wondering if they would be okay for pickets, if they were split in half? anybody have experience?
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2006, 06:33 PM
Mark_and_Nicole
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

They make fast growing, tall hedges. They also don't take up much ground space, as, like you said, they grow straight up. Mostly they are planted around here as a quick way to gain privacy between neighbors, without actually building a fence. They are used a lot around here in the fast growing suburban type "communities". In the West U.S., if you have the rainfall, they make good windbreakers, too, since we found the wind constantly blows west to east, and can really get on your nerves after a while.

Nicole
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2006, 12:06 AM
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bee_pipes Male bee_pipes is offline
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

ya - they are fast, but are either short-lived or susceptible to some sort of blight. You don't see too many old poplars - they grow fast, die young and you don't want one where it can damage something falling. Shame - they are picturesque trees.

Regards,
Pat
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2006, 09:07 AM
Mark_and_Nicole
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

supplemental,
i learned while employed in a lumber yard that upholstered furniture frames are often made of poplar.
being stronger and heavier than pine but lighter than hardwoods.

Mark
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2006, 12:38 PM
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bee_pipes Male bee_pipes is offline
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

There are a number of varieties. The one being described in this thread is the Lombardy Poplar. It is a columnar shaped tree that grows fast but is short lived. It is also a member of the Willow family.

Around here we have a lot of hardwoods, and I think the wood you're talking about is the Yellow Poplar (also called Tulip Poplar in Virginia). It is long-lived, grows quite tall and straight, but branches out more like a normal tree. It is a member of the Magnolia family. The trunk is quite stout (we have a giant in front of the house) and much sought after for furniture.

We mill our own lumber from trees here on the property, so I've had to study on this a bit - didn't know most of this stuff a year ago, and still learning more every day.

Regards,
Pat
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2006, 04:26 PM
Smoky
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

Most of the old-time log cabins in Tennessee are built of Tulip Poplar logs, saddle notched. It's a good wood, just keep it off the ground and dry.
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2006, 09:09 AM
NHboy NHboy is offline
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

Lots of poplar here in the northeast, the old timers call it popple here.
It grows fast, tall, straight, and big here. The old timers used it a lot for hand hewn timbers, it being very straight grained and easy to work with, also stronger than soft wood.
It's used here for flooring, shingles, and furniture.

NHboy
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2006, 01:51 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

thank you all. appreciate you taking the time to try to help me. well, I take it none of you have done anything with young poplars either. so maybe I just go ahead and if I am successful I will brag on it here, and if it is a flop I just keep my mouth shut
Here in Ky cabins are made of poplar, too, also flooring and furniture. But what to do with trees that are maybe 6"in diameter. Our place has been lying fallow for 15 to 20 years and we could not keep it all open, so poplars and cedars took over some areas. We need extra fencing to keep the geese where they are supposed to be and I figured a low picket fence should do that and look pretty too. Without costing an arm and a leg. . so, if Smokey is correct, if I keep the pickets off the ground they should be okay.
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2006, 04:03 PM
Smoky
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

I don't want to rain on your parade, but from my experience with tulip poplar, it probably would not make very good picket fences. Like I said it is good wood if kept dry, but even grass and weeds will keep enough moisture in the wood to accelerate rot. By "off the ground", I meant 18 inches or so. Sorry. I know what a problem it is to have too many logs in the wrong size. Wish I had some better suggestions for you. Pallet mfrs. sometimes use poplar, I don't know how wide they want it tho. What about having the tops chipped and use/sell it for mulch?
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2006, 04:07 PM
Smoky
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

I have one other idea. Poplar doesn't make good wood for a stove or fireplace because it all burns up at once and burns to ashes, not coals. BUT these are the qualities you want in a wood-burning pottery kiln. Got clay?
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2006, 06:36 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

clay? Kentucky is full of clay. you see more brick houses here than anywhere else. However, the amounts of wood needed to fire a wood burning kiln over extend our supply. Are you a potter?
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  #12  
Old 01-01-2007, 12:51 PM
Smoky
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

Yup, you? I was talking about using only the waste, the tops. If you make only Terra-cotta, it doesn't take near the wood as stoneware or porcelain.
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2007, 10:23 AM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

actually, the size of those trees are just right for what at home we would cut for the paper mill. no such thing in the vicinity.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2007, 07:33 AM
Smoky
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Default Re: what is poplar good for?

Maybe you could ask at the closest sawmill. They wouldn't want to saw them that small but might know of a use.
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