Here is an answer to a question I had recently about if there are any value to soft maple trees that were blown down in a storm…

Boy Swinging from Tree

Unfortunately soft maple trees are not worth much.  There are two major problems with these trees.

 

Trees that are from a yard, or a farmstead most loggers and sawmill will not be interested in because of the high possibility of having metal scrapes in them from such items as bird feeders, clothes lines, signs, swings, fences, etc. that are all fastened with nails or screws.  If you hit one these old nails or screws with your saw mill it could ruin a blade which could cost anywhere from $50 to $500 +.  The value of the wood out one of these yard trees does not come close to paying for the damaged saw blade.

 

The other problem with some storm damaged trees is the the same winds that blew them down or damaged them may have cause internal damage to the wood.  This damage is causes by intense twisting of the tree in the wind which can cause in what is called “shake”.  Shake is when the wood/ log is twisted or stressed by the storm which  can cause some of the growth rings to separate and when they are sawn into boards the board will carry the same growth ring separation making them useless for lumber.

 

There is the possibility you might find someone with a portable band saw saw mill that might saw up some of the logs for you, but be prepared to pay extra if they hit metal.

 

The best use may be fire wood.  Keep in mind most wood has about the same heat value pound for pound.  It is just that a pound of oak comes in a small (high density) package than a pound of soft maple.  One of the advantages of burning well dried soft maple is it burns easily and has a short duration, so if burned in a fire place or campfire  you do not have to worry about the coals burning all night.

 

One last thought, now is the time to think about replanting.  Soft maples grow fast, but are not very strong in wind storms and don’t make good yard trees for that reason.  Replant with some native species, such as oaks, basswood, hackberry etc. Just remember “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”