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Ahh the locust you gotta love

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by gzecc, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Fresh split and stacked from Sandy blow down 24%. (yes it was resplit for this test)

    Attached Files:

    tbuff, ScotO, corey21 and 1 other person like this.

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  2. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

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    Nice. I have been burning 2 year seasoned and it is awesome! Locust is ready in a year for me here though. My favorite wood for sure.
  3. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    Gotta love that locust:) It may take more time than you think to get the moisture content down below 20%
    Nice meter! What kind and how much did it set you back, if you don't mind me asking?
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I have a good stash for next winter glad to know it dries fast.
  5. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    http://www.meter-depot.com/woodmoisture.htm
    We'll see I will measure again next year.
  6. alex johnson

    alex johnson New Member

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    I have quite the fondness for freshly cut down Locust. its my favorite. have a pile thats seasoned, but i rather go get some green cranks the heat.
  7. alex johnson

    alex johnson New Member

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    I have found once the bark falls off its good to go, the bark is awesome for kindling.
  8. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Are you saying the green stuff cranks more heat?
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  9. Tuneighty

    Tuneighty Member

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  10. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Green wood puts out more heat?!?:eek:

    Oh, man.....we got some work to do with you Alex......:rolleyes:
  11. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    Educate him Scotty. PLEASE. Maybe just maybe he has found the secret to burning water. NAAAA !

    Just havin fun Welcome Alex.
    ScotO likes this.
  12. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Oh Lordy, these locust threads have me reeling.

    To the OP, can you take a pic of that locust from the grain end, because it really looks like the stuff I have been trying to burn that you think is elm. Want to see if the grain on that new stuff is as tight as the grain you showed on your other locust.

    To the rest of you that think locust seasons quick, if that is what I have in the rack (which 95% of people believe) and not elm like the OP believes, then it does not season quick. It has been split and stacked since September 2011 and it is burning like crap. So, I went out and bought a moisture meter and got a 37% reading, which shocked me. So, I split another piece and took another reading, 37%. I am about to start splitting it down some more and taking readings from every single split. We'll see if I get that motivated. Going to spend the weekend getting another cord or two of red oak, so the motivation for re-splitting and re-stacking locust might be lacking.
  13. Tuneighty

    Tuneighty Member

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    I just brought some dead standing locust home and split it up. Its reading under 17% on the MM. I find it doesn't do great on its own. It really likes to be mixed. My trouble may be with I have come accustom to burning kiln dried. But it definitely is harder to get going, now , once its going it goes forever. I am WELL behind on my stacking, but were on a stand that is open to others, lots of locust and trying to gather as much as we possibly can. Going at Sat and Sun this week to run the new saw.

    IMG_20130203_150330.jpg
    StihlHead, ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  14. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Fabsro, See the pics of the locust piled from tuneighty, that is unmistakingly locust. Take a picture of yours, with a lot of it either stacked or piled. I've been burning locust for only 6 yrs, but 37% mc makes no sense.
  15. alex johnson

    alex johnson New Member

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    It has a natural oil in it, that when still green it don't burn up as fast as seasoned. it takes alittle more for it to get started. I let a little more air into, then normal. It is the only wood that I will burn green, after the last four years of learning. I don't think that I will start another pile of wood, get it when I need it. Just my opinion. Alex
  16. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Uh Oooh. You hear that? That is Dennis. I can hear his foot steps coming up to the keyboard. He is breathing heavy with a frown on his face....

    Okay - I will start...
    Welcome to the forum Alex. Hang around, lots of knowledgeable people on this forum. Fair warning, you are gonna receive many lashes claiming wet (green) wood burns better than seasoned wood. I will start:

    IT DOESN'T. The physics proves it doesn't (actually can't because of the need to burn off water). Does it change the burn characteristics of the fuel - absolutely. For the better? Not in any EPA stove that I am aware of.
  17. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Being that Dennis has heated with wood for more than 50 years I will take his word on any experience I don't have personally. Many people complain about seasoned wood burning up too quickly, truth is if a person has an EPA stove and can control the air then in no way should it burn up too fast. Especially a decent hardwood, now many folks have never replaced gaskets and have loose doors/latches and can't control the air. They blame the wood being too dry because the simply don't know the real problem. Their experience has shown them that the dry wood burns up too fast. Kinda like practice makes perfect that seems like good advice, truly only good practice makes perfect.
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  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't worry swags - I can hear Dennis typing.
    ScotO, swagler85 and Backwoods Savage like this.
  19. wishlist

    wishlist Minister of Fire

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    Alex , your gonna get some more sound advice soon. Take it in stride and remember all these nice folks on Hearth want to do is help people with any related wood burning topic. So many old wives tales that are still around that are just not true.

    The person ( Backwoods Savage) that people are referring to has been burning wood before there was dirt! He's been around the block and will most certainly offer some friendly advice. Be a good listener and your wood will give you more heat than it ever has! Less wood ---more heat ----doesn't get any better than that! Lol.....
    Tuneighty, Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  20. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, typing a treatise.
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  21. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Sure it gets better than that, with advice on cutting, splitting, and stacking more wood in less time. Use less and get what little you need quicker. More time for other things and less gas/energy spent processing firewood.
    ScotO, wishlist and Backwoods Savage like this.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Alex

    I can understand your fondness for locust but certainly can not understand a fondness for burning green wood. Either you've heard too many old wives tales or listened to some extremely bad advice. But I can believe it because I've heard that same bunch of baloney many times myself.

    For a little background on myself, we've burned wood for a few years now and fortunately I also grew up in a wood burning home. In fact, we were one of a very few folks we knew who burned dry wood. Most folks back then cut the wood in the fall and even into the winter and burned it right away. They knew nothing about how wood should be handled and burned. Sadly, there are many yet today and your post shows that you are one! Please do not think I'm attempting to run you down or put you down at all because that is not my intent. Hopefully though, we can reason things out a bit.

    The first thing that happens when you put wood in the stove is that it has to get rid of the moisture. It has to evaporate and that goes up your chimney. When the chimney is a bit cool, that wet stuff creates lots of creosote. Of course this is a bit simplified but you know what we're talking about.

    Typically, folks will state that the wood is a bit harder to get going and you have to give it more air. You say it cranks out the heat. It can give you some heat but the trouble is, there is probably as much heat going up the chimney as there is staying in the house. This means you will burn up to twice as much wood for the same amount of heat. I really try to not be lazy but at the same time, I don't like to work harder than is required, so that is a good reason we let our wood dry before burning it.


    One winter we ended up in a bad way. I had been injured and, of course, could not cut any wood. So naturally we ran out of wood and ran out before I could get back to cutting. But I knew a fellow who cut a lot of wood and sold a lot. We've known each other for 60 years or more and I figured I could get some good wood from him. Wrong!

    The first load he brought I about crapped myself. It had been cut that morning and split then delivered; all in the same day. Naturally I was a bit ticked but my hands were tied. Fortunately we got a really good price on the wood. But gee whiz. This was white ash and, as most folks know (that should be, they think they know), ash can be cut and burned right away. That is what makes ash so great! Right? Wrong!

    Ash indeed is one of the lowest moisture content woods there are when cut. Still, it will be about 35% moisture when cut. That is way too much water to attempt to burn. But, we burned it all that winter. We did not freeze nor did our water lines freeze. But we were never warm that winter either. In addition, we cleaned our chimney many, many times that winter. We fought the fire constantly but learned to load the wood on a huge bed of coals. Let the coals burn down some and then it was a battle to get the wood burning.


    But I grew up burning dry wood and I learned from many neighbors who did not burn dry wood that there is a big difference between burning dry or green wood and all favors dry. But let's compare that year we burned green wood with what we have been burning the past several years. And fwiw, wood heat is our only heat source in winter; we have no back up furnace.

    We purchased our first epa stove in 2007 so this makes our sixth year for heating with this stove. The wood we've burned in this stove has been probably 95-98% white ash. So it is good to compare with that winter when we burned green wood.

    That winter with green wood I do not remember for certain how many cord we burned but will guess around 7-8 cord. We also closed off part of our house to try to stay reasonably warm. Since installing the new stove we have never had to close off any part of the house. The most wood we've burned during any one winter in this stove is 3 cord. The least was a bit under 2 cord and that was last winter which was an unusual winter.

    We did some remodeling before last winter adding a lot of insulation, putting in new windows and doors and we also put on a small addition. Of course we do not know yet how much wood we'll burn this winter but we are guessing it won't be much over 2 cord. That is a whole lot less work than burning 7 cord! And remember, we no longer close off part of the house. In addition, we keep the temperature in our house 80+ degrees. I just looked at the thermometer and at present it is exactly 80 in here.

    Now let's look at the chimney. That year we burned green wood we were constantly cleaning the chimney and always got lots of creosote from it and the cap. After installing our present stove, we cleaned the chimney after 2 years just to see what was in there. We got about a cup of soot from it. No creosote. So when we are done burning this spring the chimney will be 4 years since being cleaned. We might clean it this summer but will determine that later.

    My whole point is that if you give your wood time to dry and dry it properly (don't count drying time until the wood has been split and stacked out in the wind to dry), you will burn a lot less wood to get the same amount of heat so that will save you money and labor. In addition, you won't have to clean the chimney as often nor will you be fighting the fire. I also believe your stove will last longer and for certain it seems the gaskets last much longer.

    Until we can come up with a good way to burn water, it is just not a good practice to burn wood before it has dried to a decent level of moisture. That takes time. We usually give our wood 3 years or more in the stack before we burn it. The benefits are numerous and we are very thankful because it saves us much labor and dollars.

    Now I'd best quit before I really get carried away. ==c
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  23. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Thatsallota typing._g
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  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    No blisters yet on the fingers though. ;)
    ScotO likes this.
  25. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    But has the smoke from the keyboard subsided yet?
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