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Dead standing or fell trees

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by quartermoon14, Oct 28, 2008.

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  1. quartermoon14

    quartermoon14 New Member

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    If you have a tree that has been dead standing or on the ground for over a year, does this reduce the recommended 1 year drying time after it is cut and split? I now my pops did it for years, ()burn dead trees in same year) but that don't make it right.

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  2. bayshorecs

    bayshorecs New Member

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    Seasoning typically STARTS after the wood is split. It may take a little less time, but a solid dead tree can hold a lot of moisture for YEARS!
  3. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    That will depend on the tree I'd say. I've processed three or four standing dead trees in the last two months. At lease one was still quite wet inside and it had been dead for several years. The rest were pretty decent. It's surely better than a living tree, but there is no guarantee it will be ready to burn this year.
  4. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I'd say that in general it speeds the drying greatly, as evidenced by the harder to split wood. The wood may be wet, but it's more extracelular water- which leaves faster.

    My experience is with oak, which takes longer to dry, and piune, which takes little time to dry.
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Doesnt make it wrong either,my pops is 74 if he does it,it makes it right in my book!
  6. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    The main difference is "standing" versus laying on the ground. A standing dead tree may be perfectly burnable.
  7. Dill

    Dill Feeling the Heat

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    Take a look at the wood. And use the usual is it dry techniques. I burn a decent amount of standing dead trees. Most are good to go right off. Especially is the bark is off.
  8. akhilljack

    akhilljack New Member

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    even if its for next year dead standing is always gonna be better. it will be that much drier next year. i only cut dead standing and laying trees that arent rotten. every one i know does i thought that was how you did it. i know our softer type wood trees around here are heavy to be hauling out of the woods even they are dead and definatly when they are green. i cant imagine how much work it would be to haul hard wood out that was green unless i absoultly had to. you can usualy tell (at least i usaualy can) how much longer for the most part it will need to season before you can get a relativly safe burn from it. i dont always burn dry wood, mostly a mix and mostly a little greener wood in the fall before the real winter i just clean my chimeny one or two more times than most people, besides it gives me piece of mind to know whats going on in the chimney instead of cleaning it and waiting until simmer to check. doesnt hurt my stove any, glass stays clean what else could i be missing? thats all there is to it. there is to much hype on the whole green would thing. if it doesnt leak or hiss than i see no problem.
  9. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    top 3/4 seem to be dry enough when I cut. but any with ground contact and the bottom trunk always seems wet.
  10. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    I cut down four hard maples this year that were standing dead. Two were absolutely excellent. They were gray, hard as rocks, and split really nice. The third was a touch punky, but still mostly usable. The fourth still had water coming out of the ends when I ran it through the splitter.

    Moral of the story, cut them down with the continual thought that you can use them next year. If you find they are dry enough to burn yet this year, it is just an added bonus.
  11. caber

    caber New Member

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    I am cutting up an oak that has been down for over 7 years. It fell onto another downed tree, so it has been up off the ground drying. Beautiful stuff. When I split it, the very core was still damp. It was dry a week later after a good exposure to the sun and wind. i am burning a couple of those splits tonite as a test. I have others that are actually on the ground. They are still wet. Must be absorbing moisture from the ground.
  12. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    I burn tons of lying and standing dead. Standing dead generally has a big head start on live and often is really dry within a few months though I still generally hold off at least a year. Lying dead often is also well seasoned but generally wet but dries out reasonably quickly as Adios said (though I have no experience with piune :p) Must be Mass thing.. As others point out though, it varies from tree to tree and species to species. Birch really needs to be cut up and split to dry even when its dead otherwise it just rots. Maple and hickory dry nicely standing as does oak.
  13. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Yup, agree with Caper on this one....was psyched this morning when I was getting my 6 year old on the bus.....heard a big noice coming down the road, and it was a tree cutter.....decided this day would be my first for scrounging..
    Anyway, after they tree folks downed the tree...went over with my Subaru and gathered a look at the wood.....was dead for a few years stadning, and very punky....still picked it up, and will see if it dries at all....free is free, right?

    I think ya basically have to cut and split a few rounds to see what you are working with.

    Good luck
  14. caber

    caber New Member

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    For what its worth, I put two of the larger splits in the back of the stove last night. I got a real sweet overnight burn and was able to restart the fire this morning from the coals. Thumbs up for the quality of the downed tree.
  15. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Well the tops of the trees will be seasoned and be a good burn...I suppose it depends on how the lower splits play out. For years I've cut dead standing trees and brought them in to the wood stove for an immediate burn. With experience you'll just know if it'll be a good burn or not. Of course a moisture meter would be the fail safe way to proceed.
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