Tension in a Leaning Cedar

      Advice on how to saw a cedar that is leaning over. April 18, 2009

I have a client with a leaning incense cedar. It leans about 10-15 degrees to one side. My question is; does the tree have too much tension in the wood to be usable for lumber (will it split, crack and warp making it useless for lumber)? I plan on using an Alaskan mill to mill out 1" boards to line my closet with. I will screw and glue the 1x to OSB.

Forum Responses
(Forestry Forum)
From contributor I:
If the tree has only recently leaned over (storm or root damage) then it will be ok. If it's grown on a lean then it will contain reaction wood to some degree. It's probably worth cutting anyway as the low shrinkage of cedar makes it less likely to warp or check. If you air dry it with some weight on the stack it should be ok for what you want to do.

From contributor K:
I am with contributor I on this one, and would just like to note that you will know when you are into the reaction wood, because it will fuzz like crazy. If I were sawing for myself, I would just cut out that part and throw it away so that it is not pulling against the good wood around it.

From contributor C:
Incense cedar is rarely sold on the open market green, always kiln dried, as opposed to western red, which is sold green in the decking grades to a large extent. The reason - incense is more prone to warp when air drying than western red. Western red does tend to end check more than incense.

Many competitive items have their drawbacks, such as spruce framing lumber warps, but hem-fir stays straight, but splits are a bigger problem with hem-fir.

From contributor Y:
Don't fret the lean. It would be better for you to take the log to a local sawyer after you fell it - you'll get a lot more yield out of it. Also, I have to disagree - ERC is rarely kiln dried. It air dries quickly and reaches EMC quicker than almost any wood on the planet.

From contributor C:
I totally agree with you on ERC. However I stated incense cedar is usually kiln dried, not ERC.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article