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Cherry seasoning time...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by beagler, Jul 24, 2009.

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  1. beagler

    beagler Member

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    I've tried researching this on the forum, but came up empty handed. I have a cherry tree that was cut up in March and split two weeks ago. What is the seasoning time for cherry? Will it be ready for this winter? Anyone know of a good reference that tells seasoning times of various woods?

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  2. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    It won't be ready this season. I plan on a full summer of drying before my splits are ready......Split and stacked by May 1st and I havent had a problem with maple, oak, or cherry. But with the mini ice age that has settled into Michigan since April, I may eat my words..............
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    cherry pretty fast to season to me it seems softer than silver maple. get it stack up and in the sun could suprise you!
  4. BroadCove

    BroadCove Member

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    Agreed - split cherry seasons fairly quickly.
  5. donmattingly

    donmattingly Member

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    Save it for next season though. I was able to get a cord of cherry two years ago. I used it first last November. Nice burn.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Around here cherry seasons quite fast. You have it split. Do you have it stacked? In the sun? Where wind will hit the side of the pile? I'd say you can probably burn it this winter, especially if you can wait until January to burn it.
  7. beagler

    beagler Member

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    Thanks everyone. I have it split and stacked where the sun and wind can dry it out. I have a bunch of walnut in the same situation as the cherry, but it was cut in September - any thoughts on it?
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    sounds like your on track! use the cherry frist to give the walnut a little more time
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I find that to be odd advice from someone that is 7 years ahead. I didn't think Michigan was that different than North of Superior where I grew up. We don't have Cherry but we have lots of Birch which seems to share a lot of characteristics. I have burned a lot of Birch in my lifetime and had many occasions where I had less than ideal Birch to burn. I just cannot fathom how one can cut and burn that stuff in the same year.

    Yes it will burn but IMHO it would be far from ideal.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    cherry and silver maple ash are 3 differnt woods that work very well. Quote from my dad would be cut and splitt by june 30th and your good to go! I think may 1st is best for the woods that are mention.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I dunno... maybe I'm just too particular. I burn Poplar, Elm, Birch, and Ash and despite trying different seasoning techniques, none of them are a pleasure to burn "same year". I keep hearing about how Ash is good to burn the day it's cut and contend that it is a myth.

    Now pretty much all wood will burn the day it's cut. I've worked many large slash and burn operations and know that everything will burn if you get a hot enough fire going. I'm no spring chicken and have burned wood a long time. My father burned wood longer than I and he never did master this whole "proper seasoning" thing. I watched him do all the wrong things and struggle with less than ideal wood until he finally burned his house down with a chimney fire and could never convince him to it differently. After all, he burned wood longer than I so how could I teach him anything?

    I have cut and burned "same year" wood often. If it comes down to buying food versus heating oil or burning lousy wood, you do what you have to. If you burn wood to save money for more beer or for pleasure, save it for next year and drink water.
  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    lol you do have a great operation going on there,(and only wish I had more time and wood shead) but there is always something you can do to help you situation silver maple ash and cherry are the 3 woods that can be season quick. Been cutting mulberry the last few weeks and that will take 2-3 years to season.These 3 woods are the easiest to sell in the dead of winter around here because most know if its a little less than season "perfect" its still good wood to burn now!
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    lol. Yes, we are 7 years ahead on our wood but that still does nothing to change what the OP is doing or has to do this year.

    I'm surprised there is no cherry in your neck of the woods. However, please allow me to give you one example: For many, many years a bunch of us fellows took to the north woods for the annual deer hunt. For heat in the old army tents we used nothing but wood. That wood we cut the first day we got there and right after setting up the tents. What did we use? Cherry. And it was not dead cherry that we cut either. We had no problems keeping the tents very warm, sometimes, too warm.

    So no, it is not odd that cherry and ash season quite fast. You will also recall in one of my previous posts that one winter we were totally unprepared and burned nothing but freshly cut white ash all winter long. Was it ideal? Absolutely not! But, we did not freeze that winter and had no problem keeping the fire going. Yes, we did clean the chimney more than once that winter too but the point is, we burned unseasoned ash all winter with no problem other than having to clean the chimney and also that we burned more wood than we would have if it had been seasoned.

    For my money, proper seasoning of any wood is the absolute best but some folks can not go that route, especially in their first and second years of burning wood. Sometimes you do what is necessary, not what is ideal.
  14. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

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    I try not to cut and burn wood the same year although with cherry I had success when I cut it early and burned it late in the year. It seems to season as fast as a soft maple like silver does. I have not burned much walnut but would go with cherry first.
  15. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    cherry and birch- similar woods in how they season- very quick. Judge it when the season rolls around.
  16. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    I have burned both black cherry and black walnut in a wood stove and in a gasifier. I would split the black walnut right away as it will hold water quite awhile in round or log form. Split smaller than normal (down to about 3-4") and stacked well both woods will dry fairly fast. Both should be placed in the home for the longest tme possible to heat the wood to room temperature and promote further drying once the heating season has started. Cold wood will get water condensate in a gasifier and a regular stove even if the wood is at optimum dryness and when it's below zero you want everything working right for you. Black cherry is charted as 19.9 Mill. btu's per cord and bl. walnut is rated 20.2 (http://chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm) so the walnut is the better of the two but not by a lot. Kind of a side note try not to split all of the wood to the smaller size if you ae not going to use it all this winter as the smaller splits will burn hotter but they will also burn faster if the draft is wide open. Some larger splits will help keep the fire going longer in the winter but for the coldest time I recommend you locate some seasoned (cut and split and stored well since early last year) oak or something similar and buy it.
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    It's all relative to what you compare it to. Around here Birch takes the longest compared to Ash, Poplar, and Elm.
  18. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    In WI choke cherry grows on the sides of fields and that stuff will season in 60 days if cut and split. It will have deep checks in 2 weeks in the summer. Birch (the kind here anyways) will dry slower and is not as dense. I know that does not make sense but I have trimmed my cousins birch and cut a chokecherry a day appart last year and the difference in drying and burning was dramatic!
  19. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    I have some cherry that was cut, split and stacked the first week of March. I just busted a medium size split open and it still has a pretty strong odor and is still pretty damp.
    I'm going to leave it for shoulder wood at the end of the season.

    WoodButcher
  20. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    There are many types of cherry, and the woods seems to vary between species. Black Cherry is the most common cherry here, and by far the most common in firewood piles because it is by far the largest type of cherry. It seems like a pretty hard wood to me, and I don't notice it seasoning particularly fast compared to other hard woods like Red Maple, Black Locust, Black Walnut, etc. The other cherries, including Fire Cherry, Pin Cherry, Choke Cherry (all similar or the same, but many names for it) and Sweet (domesticated) Cherry all seem to have similar wood, which seems less dense than Black Cherry. I think the type of cherry you're talking about makes a difference in how long it will take to season. Same goes for birch, with Black and Yellow Birch being pretty dense, while River Birch and the White Birches have less dense wood.
  21. chad3

    chad3 Feeling the Heat

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    I have come to love cherry. Its a great wood to burn as long as it is seasoned some. Not like Oak, but make sure it is fairly dry and will be good to go.
    Chad
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