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TyHark's picture
Drying Trembling Aspen

Does anyone have any experience drying Trembling (Quaking) Aspen? Any success? This wood is very prone to twisting and cupping. I live in Canada's Boreal forest and it is a very abundant timber but often overlooked for the above reason. Ty - Sunset House Alberta

r.garrison1's picture

I think there was a bit of discussion on this thread.

I don't have any experience drying it; I have worked with it some time ago, making weather radio boxes, of all things; I loved it, but needed to seal it before staining, as I remember. Otherwise, the stain wouldn't be consistent.

eddiemac's picture

Aspen sure doesn't grow where I live, but I've visited forests of it in Colorado. "Sawmill & Woodlot's" lumber species pull-out series says: "Aspen is one of the easiest woods to dry, unless it is bacterially infected." They say "drying rates can be as rapid as possible" and warn that "slow drying can quickly lead to blue stain." Bacterial infection (usually in the heartwood) results in wet pockets that can be very hard to dry, necessitating long drying times.

ToryBlaker's picture

Aspen is one of the easiest woods to dry, unless it is bacterially infected. Drying rates can be as rapid as possible. Slow drying initially can quickly lead to blue stain

Bacterially infected wood is higher in initial green MC, has an objectionable odor, does not release the moisture easily in drying so that wet pockets develop in lumber, will show excessive shrinkage or collapse, and may have a slight, darker discoloration. Bacterial infections are almost always found in the heartwood. Wet pockets are small regions within a piece of 6/4 and thicker lumber (a typical size is 1/2" deep x 1" wide x 6" long) that have much higher moisture content than the surrounding wood. Long drying time is the only cure for wet pockets.

Shrinkage in drying is around 6 percent, green to 7 percent MC. Because the wood is so weak, fuzzing is likely unless the wood is under 7 percent MC. Oftentimes, final MCs will be between 5 to 6 percent MC, a bit drier than for other hardwoods.


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