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Ah, screwed up again...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by nola mike, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. nola mike

    nola mike Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
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    Loc:
    Richmond/Montross, Virginia
    Well, I've managed to procrastinate collecting wood again. Seemed like I had a lot of time back in January to get some ;)
    My problem is that I'm not sure how much I'll need. I did manage to c/s/s about 1 1/3 cord of mixed stuff last feb, so that should be (hopefully) good for this winter. Just got a 1/2 cord of wet oak that I'm working on now. Certainly won't be ideal for this winter, but may be burnable in a pinch. I think the current plan is to take what I can get over the next few months and try to separate the quicker seasoning stuff from the "not". So what would fall into those categories? Poplar, pine, what else would be decent by mid/late winter? Oak and what else should definitely be left to season until next year?

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  2. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    Not sure what would burn well if you are cutting now and hope to burn this winter. The tops of dead standing trees could be ready to go, downed trees might have some reasonable dry wood, but again, likely the smaller limbs. If I had to cut right now and had to plan on burning in mid-winter, I'd shoot for black cherry, white birch, and white ash - all split small and loosely stacked in as windy (and sunny, but go for wind) an area as possible. I suppose pine might work, but I've never fooled around much with pine. Not sure if it is financially possible for you or not, but my advice would be to order next years wood now! BTW - I'd not even consider burning the oak - save it for next year (or better yet a season or two after that!). Cheers!
  3. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I've got a little less than a cord of Cherry that's been split about three weeks, and more to split. I've got about half cord of Ash that's stacked seven weeks, another half for four weeks.
    I don't know how dry any of that stuff is going to be, so now I'm going to concentrate on dead standing or down wood that's ready to go now. The moisture meter will help for this.
    I've got one dry cord to start out on so I can give my drying wood more time this fall. It'll be interesting to see how long useful drying will continue. The weather is starting to cooperate...lower humidity and more breeze for the next several days. :)
    I'd like to see these woods ranked for speed of drying. I hope someone chimes in, or maybe I can find something online ranking the woods. I have dead Tulip Poplar available, but that's a little lower BTU stuff, and maybe a little smokier...
  4. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I'd also like to know if splitting the wood into rectangular blocks with shorter growth-ring segments will help...
  5. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    West Michigan
    The problem with a drying chart is it would be different @ next door neighbor's house. IE very dependent on conditions, wind, sun, humidity, etc. I have burnt cherry that was cut & processed in the early fall in January. Cherry tends to go dormant fairly early in the season here, so lower moisture content, but far from ideal. Ash is usually the "go to" wood because of it's very low MC even green, split small it will season & burn in a fairly short time, again, not ideal. Smaller limb wood from standing dead trees may be your best bet if that's available in quantity. Woody makes mention of the same above. Poplar seasons pretty fast I think also. I'd stay away from pine till it's well seasoned for the creosote potential. Dry pine makes nice heat, but I give all mine a full year. Clean the chimney often, burn as hot as you can, & hope for the best. Now is the time to be cutting 2012/13 & beyond, then you know it's dry & making the best btu's possible. A C
  6. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Even though ash is lower in moisture content, it still will require some seasoning. I've burned cherry that was stacked and split for about 5 months that burned, but not well. Your best bet to speed drying is to split your wood smaller and stack loosely. Don't expect large splits to dry quickly. Poplar for us seemed to dry quickly when I have cut it in the past. The oak, I wouldn't even try. If you have to burn the oak, mix it with some dry wood. Some will use pallet wood and mix it with less than seasoned wood to help keep temperatures up. Like said monitor the chimney and clean when needed. I have also found cottonwood, although not the greatest on the btu charts, seasons quickly.
  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    +1 . . . and see about getting some pallets and/or slab wood to help start the fires.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Mike, let that be a lesson! This winter get out there and cut!

    If you can get it, I'd recommend white ash. Other than that, cherry, dead elm and maybe some white birch. One more would be soft maple but it really needs 6 months. No matter what you get, split it right away and stack it in the sunniest and windiest spot you can find. Stack it really loose so that will limit you on height; probably no more than 4' high. Stack in single rows. Then measure the height of the wood pile and keep track. Measure it again around December 1 and see how much height you've lost. That will give you some clue as to how much moisture you lose.
  9. nola mike

    nola mike Feeling the Heat

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    Richmond/Montross, Virginia
    Ha! Last year was supposed to be the lesson. That's how I got the wood that I have now. But then spring came along...
    BTW BS, I'm in VA--By 12/1, I may not have lost anything :)

    Here's what I have going for me:
    My stove is tiny, and the splits are 16" and split small.
    Last year I burned almost exclusively fairly fresh cut poplar and fairly freshly split pine, and I did OK.
    Most of the wood that people will be buying for the winter probably still has leaves currently.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Hey Mike, you might want to cover the wood if that hurricane does throw heavy rain your way. You need all the help you can get. You also have a good point and by what you burned last year, you are really going to be amazed once you get to the point of being 2-3 years ahead on your wood. You'll really wonder then how you got buy and you'll also notice you won't burn as much wood to stay warm. Good luck.

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