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Cottonwood question

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Summertime, Jan 20, 2009.

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  1. Summertime

    Summertime New Member

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    Western, Ct.
    Bieng a woodburner newbie I got a load of "Craigslist Cottonwood" this past fall, I know it's not good wood now but my woodpile of seasoned wood is diminishing quickly I am looking for stuff to burn.

    1st question is does it dry or season quickly?

    2nd, I know that when I split it the wood it smelled like a dirty animal farm, what else is there that people hate about this wood other than the fact that it burns quickly?

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    It smells 100 times worse if you burn it before its time. I doubt it is fit to burn until next season.
  3. damifino

    damifino New Member

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    What is a minimum amount of time before it is o. k. to burn cottonwood?
  4. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    Really the only way to know this is to have a moisture meter. Harbor Freight has cheap ones in the under $20 range and they do seem to work pretty good. I have no cotton wood but checked some ash that was cut and split mid summer and it is at 20% now and seems a tad heavy and the stuff that I have been burning (seasoned two plus years) measures at 6-10%.
  5. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    Loc:
    Nelson BC
    It can be tough to split.
    When split when it is green it will spray you with moisture.
    To me it seemed like it took longer to season (but I am talking vs pine and fir) and I did not have a moisture meter at the time.

    Most people out my way will give it away. Nobody will pay for it. A guy gave me three cords (unsplit) and delivered it to my house. If I didn't want it next stop was the dump.
    It has more ash when it burns, and gives out less heat. But to me it was free and seems a perfect shoulder season wood. It weighs a ton when it is green.

    I will now burn some if it is there but don't go out of my way to find it. I would rather burn pine. But I will not turn it down.

    I never noticed the smell. Maybe that is just me?
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    not alot of btu's and alot of ash's!
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Cottonwood indeed does stink. However, if you give it a full year or perhaps a little more to season, it will burn hot and rather fast. We've burned some as slab wood after making lumber. For those who don't know, cottonwood does make decent lumber. We cut mainly into 1" though rather than 2 x 4 or 2 x6 etc. The hardest part is stacking it so that it doesn't warp. It much be done very carefully to keep it straight. Other than that, we just don't mess with it.
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