We have a number of live oaks that have been hit by oak wilt. The Texas state forester advised we wait at least a year prior to taking trees down in that some will come back, as seen in the Texas Hill Country. We have a 36" circular saw mill and are contemplating the purchase of a band saw mill. Can we use the wood for 2x stock to build walls? Ideally, I would like to cut them for beams and lintels.
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor L:
I think you might have better luck with the circle mill. Live oak is extremely hard stuff and eats band blades. It can also be pretty tough to dry. Lots of checking and other degrade problems. After it is dried, it is even harder and will wreak havoc on your surfacing equipment, although I find it to be a very pretty wood. Whatever you use it for, it will have to be drilled for fasteners. No way to drive a nail in it. Maybe with an air nailer. I cut some and built a back porch out of it. I put it up green and as it dried, it moved a good bit, but that was okay, as I was looking for a crude, rustic look anyway. Keep your cutting tools sharp and keep your blade cool to avoid sap buildup.
I too am in Central Texas and have some red oaks dying of wilt. If I saw them, the sawdust will dry pretty fast. Is there a danger of attracting the beetle and them spreading it to uninfected trees? If I air dry the boards, how long would they be susceptible to attracting the beetles and spreading the fungus?