Hackberry sawing and drying

      How to saw and dry hackberry to avoid chemical staining. March 7, 2000

Recent responses to my question about milling Hackberry lumber, said that this wood had the tendency to get "grey stain" if not properly handled. What is grey stain and what can be done to prevent it? Is grey stain similar to blue stain in pine? I live in N. Florida and plan on air drying the lumber. Will humidity be a factor in grey stain development in the spring and summer months? Any help will be appreciated.

Have your kiln in "drive" when the saw is running... literally. Dry it as soon as it's sawn!

It will definitely stain if air dried.

People who dry this stuff are pretty hush-hush on techniques for keeping it really white.

If you want to some nice Hackberry, simply dry it soon and fast using WOODWEB schedule archives.. Undoubtedly there's something there for this specie.

Maybe the Doc will help with the exact schedule to use and technique???

Start the kiln with at least a 10 degree F depression for 4/4 and 5/4. The stain is oxidation of starches and sugars (much like an apple turns brown if you take a bite and then set it on the table). It is commonly called enzymatic oxidation stain, or just "gray stain" in the sapwood of southern hardwoods.

The blue stain you know is a fungal stain -- the fungus is blue in color. This stain is controlled with a fungicide.

The first step to eliminating the chemical stain is to use a fresh log. Then get it into the kiln within hours after sawing and get the correct kiln conditions within hours.
Gene Wengert, forum moderator

I have air dried some hackberry and being unaware of the existence of "grey stain" and unfamiliar with hackberry, I thought this was the normal color.

Depending on what you intend to do with the wood, I don't see that it is necessarily a problem; tthe grey stain is consistent and, in my opinion, gives the wood quite an attractive appearance.

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: Primary Processing: Kiln Operation

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling

  • KnowledgeBase: Wood Engineering: Wood Properties

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

    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 © 1996-2020 - 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