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What Dan Found Inside the Old Oak Tree

A goodly portion of our firewood this year is coming from an old oak tree which used to grace our backyard. About a year ago it stopped producing leaves, so Dan took it down. We knew at least part of it was rotted, but hoped we could get quite a bit of good firewood out of it. That's been Dan's priority project this month.

48 inches in diameter and over 100 rings.

It has not been your straightforward firewood job. The base of the tree is four feet across, and he has a 20-inch chainsaw. After pricing larger chainsaws and one- or two-man crosscut saws, he decided to buy a 24-inch bar and chain for his saw. By cutting from all directions he's been able to cut it into sections.

The surprise came when he hit something inside the tree, something that sent sparks flying. At first he thought it might be a piece of metal, perhaps an old nail? It was all the more puzzling when he hit it again farther down the trunk.

Several ruined chains later, he managed to chip away enough of the trunk to discover this

Not easy to tell in the photos, but what you're looking at is either concrete or a rock about 70 years or so into the tree. Was someone trying to fill the hole, or did the hole form as a result? We'll never know.

Trying to drill it out. No joy.

It's an odd shape and it's impossible to tell how far it extends toward the base of the tree. Very curious.

Higher up, this section measures 33" by 38". It has two ring
circles indicating a double trunk which eventually grew together.

These sections are quite heavy.

Once they are cut into wedges they're ready for the log splitter.

Then it's stacked.

The old carport is making a nice firewood storage area.

Considering that our temps are supposed to drop quite a bit this weekend, I'm very glad to be well on our way to a good winter's supply.

Yesterday Dan finally managed to free the mystery rock from the tree.

He wanted to get it out whole, but ended up having to cut it into pieces. Here's a close-up.

Any ideas?