How to use 4 foot birch logs???

concretenprimroses(4B NH)June 5, 2010

OK You all were so helpful with the hose reuse ideas.

We cut down our nice birch clump because it had started to bend over in the snow and lay on top of the neighbors cars. Dh REALLY wants to saw up the beautiful 6 to 8 inch diameter logs to burn in our woodstove next winter. He says that if I use them in the garden they will just rot and that would be a waste of good hardwood. What do you think? They are not paper birch so peeling the bark off for crafts is not an option.

I kind of want to drill holes in the bottom and insert them over rebar pounded in the ground here and there in the garden. I'd need something on top to cap them off. Not sure I can convince dh. What do you all think?

And while we're at it, what about the bark of the spruce and fir trees that got cut off by the guy with the portable sawmill before he made our lumber for us? The are really cool looking too tho its hard to see from this pic.



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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I have a fantasy about either using them as fence posts around the veggie garden instead of the falling over metal ones OR using 4 to hold an arbor top made out of pig fence. But how would I attach the pig run to the top of the birch? I've seen arbors made out of pig runs and I like them very much, but they are too short for dh and I.
Then what about the rot issue. Can I preserve them somehow?
I'm making curtains for a friend, and she told me to think of something she could help me with. Maybe it will involve these logs. If dh doesn't get to them first!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:07AM
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A grouping of three, graduating in height, with bark roofs, surrounded by rocks/primroses/ferns/moss, little cement made toadstools....paths to the doors....

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 10:21AM
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DH & I have used the bark slab wood for birdhouse roofs...and they lasted quite a few yrs. As far as the birch logs, they do rot faster than lots of other trees...but I've seen those feeders made where you drill holes & add peanut butter or soft suet recipe for birds like Nuthatches & such in the winter. Wouldn't make good firewood anyway...burns too fast! LOL! Go for your plans! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 11:01AM
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HECK! Any wood that goes into the garden here in socal by the beach gets eaten by the friggin termites. I learned about termites quickly by living in a damp area. Ahhhh I hate them. When I was a kid watching those old cartoons about how bad moths and termites are...I now know what those 2 critters can do. Whew now that I got that angst out...yes the rotting. Maybe a sealer that keeps moisture and BUGS out? What came to my mind is with a few of them you could build a little troll/gnome/fairy hut. I think the length they are a perfect realistic height.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 2:21PM
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well, this isn't exactly garden junk but I've gotta tell you about a recent workshop I was at in my town.
we learned how to do "mushroom inoculation" and having a fresh cut log is something that not everyone has access to.

so, if you're interested in having fresh grown mushrooms to grow and eat, from your own yard, this would be very cost effective and put to a wonderful use of the logs.

youtube has information on how to set them up..
I'm lucky enough to have a mushroom farm local to me, to go pick up the supplies for it all but still, to have it sent to you is still a great way to grow your favorite kind of mushroom that cost a near fortune in the grocery store.

they're set up on supports, so the wood doesn't rot away and grow several bunches of mushrooms, per season.

it's an great way to repurpose logs in a yard....
and of course, you can add fun gnomes, fairies, totems and all other garden junk around them, to dress up the area...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 2:54PM
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I LOVE IT...I am a mushroom fanatic either to collect or! I did research CA mushroom farms if any had a I happen to land on this same info..that you use logs, thanks for sharing indeed! I wish I lived by a mushroom farm you are so lucky!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 3:01PM
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Marlene Kindred

I had to laugh at what your DH told you about using them in the garden would be a good waste of mean having them for several years in your garden before they rot is worse than burning them up for firewood and they're gone in an hour or so? Just sounds like such a "man" thing to say, doesn't it....absolutely no offense to your DH or the other guys on our forum!

I have seen birch logs used singly and as a grouping for a centerpiece. Take a drill and make large enough holes down the length of the log for votive candles to sit in. Then, lay them on a tray or other flat surface so they don't roll around. You could even glue them into place. Decorate the tray, etc. and there you have it...a nice "woodsy" centerpiece.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 3:13PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Ooooh, strawberrygoat, what a cool idea!

I would definitely treat these bir*ch logs as temporary, because they are. If you sunk rebar in the ground to support them, I'd plan alternative decorations to slip over the rebar after the bir*ch logs disintegrate, which they certainly will do.

The spruce sections with bark, on the other hand, look much more durable. They might make good boards for a rustic fen*ce.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 3:37PM
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If you do slip them over rebar, place a saucer on top for a bird bath. I'd say enjoy them in the garden while they last - at least some of them! They'll last a year or two or more.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 3:48PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Thank you everyone for the awesome ideas! I may be able to convince dh that a mushroom farm is a higher use than burning, particularly since he loves eating and the fresher the food is the better.
I'll tell him about the birch burning fast. I love mushrooms and used to hunt them in my youth. Nowadays I just go out for some chanterelles in the fall. I wonder if oyster mushrooms will grow on birch. That would be awesome.
And cutting up some smaller pieces for decorative use like for candles is a good idea too.
They really are pretty. I'm sorry to lose the tree which we paid $19.95 for 25 years ago.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 4:39PM
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A lot of people around here burn the slabwood. The reenactment regiment and the local Indian Band use the slabwood to make temporary fences around their encampments.

My idea make a tree house or tool shed, something along that line and use the slabwood as siding,then make shutters and doors with the birchwood cut into slabs. Would be very rustic looking and fit into a garden. Could have some of the birch cut into firewood sitting by the door.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 7:21PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I love that idea Betty. Not sure I have the ability right now to take on such a big project, I've started so many plus haven't gotten my garden together. I do wish the guy had cut the birch into slabs and boards too, not just the fir and spruce.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 7:40PM
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you know, around this northwest area, there are Indian tribes who still do a lot of plank cooking..
hard woods are a favorite, cuz of lasting longer and birch, a softer wood is used for cuts of pork and chicken.
since it's from your own yard, you know it hasn't been treated.

if you wanted to, you could have one or two of the logs cut into planks and that would give you several pieces for grilling.
you gotta be sure and soak the wood before cooking on it, to keep it from catching fire but it's sure a cool way to get flavor and an authentic Native American way of food cooked outside...or even in the oven, those can be used more than once..

good luck with however you use that wood...

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 1:02AM
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Slab wood is frequently used to make "coyote fences", where the wood slab is drilled and wired together or to either a chainlink fence or traditional posts and cross bars or sometimes just suspended between two posts. you might construct a short fence to hide a compost pile or pot collection area. Nice wood.......hate to burn it!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 1:23AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

The wood side of the slabs is quite pretty and cool looking. Some of the pieces remind me of people (narrower rounded head, shape of body below.) They are just sittin out in the rain, probably not good for preservation. We have the "good" lumber carefully piled and protected to cure, including a 20foot long 1 foot square beam!
I'm looking into mushrooms. And I think I'd like to stand a few of them hear and there.
Just hid my compost pile with old lattice when we replaced it on the back porch skirt.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 7:23AM
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Tell me how to drill a hole in these!
We have a barn full of them- it's been thirteen years, and they are still sitting there!

I can't quite picture how to do the drilling... at least without hurting someone. (ME??)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 10:49AM
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1. Don't let hubby near those birch logs
2. ship to Phoenix

aside from that, I don't know. Tho as Marlene mentioned,
they make wonderful votive centerpieces!

I can't wait to see how you use them. The birch is so pretty!
hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 10:48PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Well, I just ordered 300 oyster mushroom plugs. They weren't cheap, but i love oyster shrooms and I haven't found any in the wild for quite a few years.
I also have a huge pile of wood chips. We had so much sawdust that we brought about half of it to the dump. I guess I can grow mushrooms on them too.
Karen those are beautiful candle holders. I'll have to get dh to cut some up smaller for me. I don't use the chain saw. I have a magazine showing birch logs inside the house but I didn't like how they did it.
Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 11:15PM
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