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Best Wood Pound for Green Pound: Which Would You Choose?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by kjayhawk, Nov 17, 2009.

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  1. kjayhawk

    kjayhawk Member

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    My wife says I'm a Hearth.com forum addict. Love it here ... and have learned so much!

    So here's my question. I have a wood supplier who will deliver 10' green logs in any species I desire--for the current going rate of $30/ton. If you could pick your species of wood to buy (considering the green weight of the species) ... which wood is the best pound for pound?

    I've scoured the wood weight charts ... and the respective btu values ... so I'm not necessarily asking for the scientific/mathematical data ... just opinions.

    To narrow the field a bit, I will ask everyone to pick between the most common species in our area:

    Red (and Black) Oak

    White Oak

    Shagbark Hickory

    White Ash

    Black Cherry

    Black Locust

    Honey Locust

    Hard Maple

    Black Walnut

    So ... pound for green pound ... which species would you choose?

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  2. szmaine

    szmaine New Member

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    Black locust: High BTU but not a high moisture wood. Very dense, burns hot.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    White Ash would be a close second.
  4. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    Wow, those are all great choices! If you are ahead on your wood supply and don't have to worry about seasoning times, I'd get a mixed load with a little of everything! Otherwise, go for the Ash and Locust.
  5. szmaine

    szmaine New Member

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    We get 8cd, 10 ft every so often. Last years load 40% locust - very nice.
    I never heard of buying wood by the ton - anyone else?
  6. kjayhawk

    kjayhawk Member

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    My supplier owns a mill ... so he deals primarily in "tons."
  7. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Stay away from the oak. No sense in paying for something you will need to store longer when you can have locust or ash.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    The mill I work for buys wood by the ton.
  9. szmaine

    szmaine New Member

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    Yeah, I didn't realize mills were involved when I asked -thought maybe some places sell it that way to folks as a matter of course.
    That would be nice - not to pay for the air in the truck load of wood.
  10. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Don't pay for air but you pay for mud!
    When I owned log trucks we had one with onboard scales. When the truck nazis were playing their games that was the only truck we wood run till they went into hidding again. :coolgrin: Always new the exact weight we were hauling.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    That way you pay for the water instead. The greener the more expensive hence the reason for this thread.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Of what is listed, all are good. Water, or moisture is weight that will no longer be there when the wood is seasoned. Naturally the wood with the most moisture is the poorest buy. Then the opposite is that the wood with the least amount of moisture is the best buy. So is locust or oak the better buy or is ash with its lower moisture content?
  13. szmaine

    szmaine New Member

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    Oh right - duh. Still thinking and learning, or learning to think.

    Lets try this thinking: I used data from here http://mb-soft.com/juca/print/firewood.html
    according to my math the locust will cost him $2.55/BTU wtih Ash coming in next at $2.70/BTU so both are better a better deal than oak at ~ $3.00/BTU.

    lb/cd, lbs excess lbs, green tons $30/ton BTUs cost/BTU excess % H20
    20% H2O H20

    B. Locust 3890 661 4551 2.28 $68.3 26.8 $2.55 17
    Oak
    red 3757 1165 4922 2.46 $73.8 24 $3.08 31
    white 4012 1003 5015 2.51 $75.2 25.7 $2.93 25
    Ash
    black 2992 449 3441 1.72 $51.6 19.1 $2.70 15
    white 3689 553 4242 2.12 $63.6 23.6 $2.70 15
  14. boostnut

    boostnut Member

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    Locust, period. In our area its the best you can get with only the exception of hedge (my opinion of course). It splits fairly easy and keeps forever. Leave it outside in the rain, snow, whatever and 10, 20, 30 years from now its still solid without rot. If you've got the space to store a bunch I'd stock up, just cut it to length right away as it gets HARD as it dries. Sounds like you've got a good connection, take full advantage of it while you can.
  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Shagbark Hickory
  16. kjayhawk

    kjayhawk Member

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    Thanks, SZ ... my math was a good bit fuzzier than yours ... but I essentially came up to the same conclusion: locust should be my first choice ... then ash ... then oak.

    I also like the suggestion to get a mixture ... although it's kinda tough to get the smell of cherry in an EPA stove! Ash will be ready sooner ... but locust will provide the most heat ... and oak is oak (my personal favorite).

    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!
  17. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I don't have any scientific data to back me up, but I think Black Locust would be my choice - it never seems as water-heavy as fresh oak, but burns about the same. I also helps that I have recently scrounged several cords of oak, but don't have much locust, so I'd like the locust just for variety's sake.
  18. szmaine

    szmaine New Member

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    I'm a science geek - as pathetic as it is, crunching numbers is the height of entertainment.
  19. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    x2
  20. peterc38

    peterc38 Feeling the Heat

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    I'm interested to see how black locust burns as I just scrounged a 1/2 cord. It is not that common in these here parts. Maple and Oak are my primary sources of hardwood.
  21. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    agreed......ash and locust are great sure but id go with white oak or the mighty shagbark .......density is one thing but the ability of certain species to coal up well and sustain heat is a big part of burn times and efficiency .on a side note this is a loaded question becuase getting more bulk wood in a truck wont really matter much if you get alot less btus out of it and in the end ultimately youll have to load alot more of that wood in the firebox to get the same heat ...so what are you really gaining ?
  22. FLINT

    FLINT Feeling the Heat

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    Locust is the best wood I've burned and makes up probably 60% + of the wood in my shed and drying outside right now.

    Somehow, dry locust hardly feels lighter than green locust. Hickory is really good wood as well, but harder to split than locust.

    a lot of people say that locust is crazy easy to split, and it can be, but i dont think its THAT easy to split. i think red oak is easier to split than locust. locust can be a little stringy and gnarly at times.
  23. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    As said before BL is second only to White ash in the green to dry moisture ratio. Pound for pound it is overall the best and most efficient wood I can get my hands on. Has almost as high a BTU rating as white oak but seasons in 4-6 mos.
    I have white oak thats on 2 summers of seasoning and is still in the 30% range.
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    1.) Locust

    2.) Hickory

    3.) Ash

    This is my opinion based on more than just water content, but taking that into consideration as well. It would be perfect if you could get a load with those 3 in the mix.
  25. moosetrek

    moosetrek New Member

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    Lodgepole Pine and Ponderosa Pine are both pretty good if you have them there?
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