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Couple questions for the experienced on here..

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by 84Buckeye, Jun 14, 2009.

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  1. 84Buckeye

    84Buckeye New Member

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    Hey guys new to this forum- love all the information. I'm getting ready to add a indoor wood furnace to my home and have been going hog wild on collecting wood for the last 2 months. So far have 3 rows - 5' high and 40' long, split and seasoning on pallets.

    First question is all this wood was either standing dead trees or wood that felled last fall. Lots of Cherry and Ash with sprinkling bits of Black Walnut and some form of Oak- not sure of the species. I've been told since this wood did not sap up over the spring that this would be ok to burn this year if I get it split and stacked right away, sounds believable to me? I also have nice tarps that were made for me free of charge to cover it. Any thoughts?

    Second is I have a friend who gave me 22 Black Locust trees which we dropped and started cutting up today.. Well.. one of those thorns broke off under my skin today and honestly I've never felt anything that has festered like that sucker did.. I could hardly move my finger. I got it out I believe but is there something I need to know about those thorns? Besides obviously to watch your hands.

    Thanks for any info!

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  2. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Do youself a favor and use the black locust and ash for this year. These two species have the least moisture content. This will allow you to get years ahead on your supply. I suggest not mixing seasoning woods with oak. Oak takes 2 yrs to season. Most others take 1 yr. Ash and locust < 1 yr.
    The thorns usually leave some remnants in the wound. It easily gets infected, like all punctures. Have it professionally looked at if it swells, feels warm and hurts around the puncture site.
  3. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Hello Buckeye, and welcome. Agree with above, except in the case of standing dead wood. Burn that stuff first, as it is already seasoned, just needs to be dry. As far as the splinter, Take a large bowl, put water as hot as you can stand, and a bunch of dish washing liquid. Soak your hand in there all evening. Also, if you cover your wood stacks, just cover the top. Alot of people don't cover it till the fall so it will season faster.
  4. iskiatomic

    iskiatomic Minister of Fire

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    Hey Buckeye, some picture of those stacks will really help us addicts. It's kinda like therapy.



    KC
  5. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Too me standing dead is never as dry as >6mos seasoned ash or black locust. Sometimes the tops of standing dead similar, but not the whole tree. Depends how long its been dead. Standing dead is a crap shoot. Split and seasoned is guaranteed.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Buckeye.

    It sounds like you pretty much have the right ideas. That is, gathering wood before it is needed. Naturally you will be even better off in another year so that everything can be in the stack for two years. However, you are probably going to be okay this winter.

    Contrary to what most folks say about dead standing timber, it is not all the same. Some will be dry and some will be still loaded with sap, so each one has to be taken into consideration by itself.

    For example, we burn a certain amount of elm every year and we rarely cut any elm before the bark has fallen. Even then those trees can still have lots of sap in them while others will be bone dry all the way through. Some will be bone dry at the top but loaded with sap near the base.

    On the oak, again, it all depends. It very well could be ready by fall or it very well could take another year.

    On the stacking, hopefully you've left some space between the rows but if not, all is not lost if the wood is stacked where wind and sun will get to it. I also am a big believer in leaving the tarp off until late fall or early winter. If you have an extremely wet fall then you could cover it early but we usually cover ours in November....about the time Ohio State gets beaten up by Michigan! Leaving the tarp off just allows more air and better evaporation of moisture.

    We have several years wood supply on hand and last winter I cut 9 cords. That wood is not covered nor will it be covered until November or December. Then it will be covered on the top only. Nothing on the sides or ends. Doing wood this way it can stay for well over 10 years with no harm and will burn nicely too, although we won't wait quite that long; maybe 6 or 7 years and we'll get to that pile.

    Good luck to you in your first year burning. Don't forget to check your chimney monthly your first year of burning.
  7. 84Buckeye

    84Buckeye New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies guys.. It's sounding like I need to be a little less concerned with whether a tree sapped up or not and focus more on the species of wood with respects to mosture content. At first this can be quite the challenge trying to arrange many different species of trees and and the order in which you plan to burn the stuff.. but I'm learning on the fly.. so it's all good. The last month or so though I have been taking this more into account and put the Ash closer to the ends so I can get to it first. When I started I bought a dump truck load of slab and have it in close to the Ash.. I was thinking that maybe I could burn it and the slab first.. well that's kinda the plan.

    I'm going to try and put some pictures so hopefully it goes well. Thanks again for all your help!
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    That sounds like a plan.

    We will be burning a lot of ash for many years now with the ash borer killing all of our trees. What we have found works really well is to put in a soft maple or maybe two along with the ash. The soft maple burns faster and hotter and by the time that is going good so is the ash. So we get a quick fire and a long fire with one load. It works nicely.

    By the way Buckeye, that cherry also should be good to burn as it usually doesn't take very long to season at all. Many times while deer hunting in the north country we even cut some live cherry and it heats the tent very nicely. You just have to keep a good fire going or else it is a bit harder to get started. Here at home we burn some cherry every year and I would not hesitate to burn cherry that has been split and stacked all summer.
  9. 84Buckeye

    84Buckeye New Member

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    I have about 4' between one row and the other two rows are together.. wanted to keep equal spacing between rows but my city lot (1 acre) is not that wide but very deep. Wish I wouldn't have stacked so much together (species) and concentrated more on keeping them seperated.. I guess the excitement of getting access to so much free wood overcame my sense of planning. Kinda like a kid in a candy store.

    I'm taking the tarps off the top.. I can't see how some rain during the summer will effect the drying of the wood. The sunshine... coupled with some good airflow should dry it right back up.

    I would really like to put some pictures up on here but for somebody like myself that is not computer savy it is presenting quite the challenge.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Buckeye. I'll send you an email.
  11. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    True, but standing dead which has been stacked for six months should be fine.
  12. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Not standing dead oak, maple, hickory, black walnut, or elm that I've seen. Unless 30% moisture, is fine.
  13. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

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    As others have said, not all standing dead trees are the same. I actually cut down two dead elm trees two years ago that I would have thought we were good to burn that day. One tree was fine while the other(which looked the same) had to wait till last year to burn. Ash trees do season pretty fast. Also I have cut cherry in June and it burned fine in December.

    I don't tarp any of my wood until a few weeks before I start to burn. I think it seasons better with the direct sun, rain, etc.
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    You can burn bricks in a furance! LOL standing dead split and stack now will be fine just keep the hardwood for jan. feb.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Here are pictures from Buckeye:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That should season well in those stacks.
  16. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Oooohhh.....purdy! Nice stack job.
  17. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Buckeye: Sounds like you've got a sound plan in place.

    Standing dead wood: As others have said there is dead and then there is dead-dead wood. There can be a difference . . . between standing dead wood species and in just how long the standing dead wood has been dead. Some folks swear by moisture meters. However, if you've been around wood long enough you'll eventually get to the point where you'll know (usually . . . but not always) what would can be burned right away, what wood could be used this coming season with some seasoning and what wood should be kept for next year's wood supply.

    Slab wood: An excellent wood to have on hand. Great for kindling. Great for getting the fire going and for catching larger pieces of wood on fire. Great for Fall and Spring fires where you just want to take the chill out of the air.

    Ash: I'm a big fan of ash. Some folks say it can be used right away. My experience is that it is a good wood and can be used in the first season . . . but only after several months of seasoning (for modern stoves . . . it may be different in older stoves) and even then it may be hit or miss on how well it burns. That said, it produces decent BTUs and is a great wood to have on hand.

    Pallets: Kind of a pain in the butt to "process", but often they're free, good to get the fire started and good for the shoulder seasons.

    Getting your wood cut, split and stacked now is important (Point for Buckeye), keeping the tarps off until the snow flies also will help seasoning as the little bit of rain you get here and there will not be a problem (Another point for Buckeye) . . . keep your stacks loose and if you've still got more wood to split I would recommend splitting smaller rather than larger to speed up the seasoning process.

    Final piece of advice . . . get more wood than you think you'll need. If you use up more than you thought you would need you'll have the wood. If you don't use as much wood as you thought, you'll be that much further ahead next year.
  18. 84Buckeye

    84Buckeye New Member

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    Thanks for posting my pictures Dennis! I really appreciate all the help guys.

    Sure is so much simplier when cutting in a logged-out woods... Just throw all
    the branches in huge piles and wait for winter... easy!

    I'm sure hoping all this Locust is worth the time it's taking to properly drop and
    clean up the incredible mess you make in someones backyard. I asked a buddy
    if he wanted half- just way to much work for one man in such a short time frame.
  19. btj1031

    btj1031 New Member

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    Those are some seriously nice stacks of wood! Good luck with your new endeavor.
  20. mike1234

    mike1234 New Member

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    On the black locust, I take my very sharp axe to the thorns before I get may hands anywhere near it. Cut it in 24" lengths, pick it up by the ends you cut. I also throw more limbs from locust in the brush pile because it is not worth the pain to sort through the smaller stuff.
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