Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Intheswamp, Dec 22, 2010.
Thanks for your info, Don.
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Thanks for the update on the pecan, I've been curious about how it would work for you. Sounds like it burned nicely. Might be a good wood to use to burn down oak coals with, too. I think I'll see if I can round some up. A friend of mine has several *old* GIANT pecan trees in her yard along with a small orchard of smaller trees...she lives across the road from the church that I attend so I'm keeping an eye on them. I've got a few around the house here, too, so should be able to come up with at least some to burn.
With your "2 cords minimum" statement, does this mean that you're moving from your 1.5 to 2 cords to a solid 2 cords?
Here in Asheville, NC with 2185 square ft (no wall insulation in my 1927 arts and crafts) I burn 1 cord a month in the cold months thru my Jotul F3CB.
My first post BTW.I have been using wood for 5 years now.
Two different kinds of ants.
The fire ants do seem to like pine. They'll build mounds on stumps and through down limbs. They don't seem to actually "consume" the wood though. They may just like to be near it to eat the termites it attracts (fire ants eat meat).
But the big black carpenter ants seem to like hardwood. They are about 1/2 inch long each, and never make mounds in the earth, as far as I can see, but only live in dead wood. They go through it quick and make a mess, too. I've been trying to burn off as many pieces of wood that they've gotten into as I can. The thing is, I can't tell if they've moved on, died out, or are just hiding. There doesn't seem to be any activity, and when I split pieces open I can't find any.
I wonder if you could cure the problem with ants getting in your wood stacks by using landscape timbers to set the wood on and before stacking spray the timbers and the ground beneath the stack with boric acid? Ants and other insects do not like boric acid and borax at all. We cured a problem with ants coming in our house in Vermont by leaving little dishes of borax and sugar mixed around the foundation of the house and the ants died/vanished in short order. We have also discovered that we can keep mice and red wasps/yellow jackets out of our storage shed by
setting a couple of dishes of mothballs high and low in the shed. The vapors drive everything off and is not so strong to keep you out. A friend told us he keeps wasps from building nests under his roof overhangs by hanging a handful of mothballs in a section of panty hose in a few locations around his house.
Welcome to the forum, asheville Sorry to be so late in welcoming you aboard. Have you been burning the F3CB for all of those five years??? Got any tips or recommendations on using the F3CB?...I'm all ears What type of wood do you normally burn? Thanks for your report, too
pyper, I gotcha on the two different types of ants. My major concern (at the moment) is with fire ants. Seems the further south you get the more intense the invasion is.<sigh> I can remember as a kid in the pastures in pine forests there would be hills as tall as I was at the time(3-4 feet tall!) DDT is/was bad stuff, but I really think that is what stopped a strain of ants that were very bad being as I haven't seen hills that big/tall around here since then (1960's)...but what we have are still bad. The wood ants I see sporadically "here and there"...I guess with harvesting, processing, and storing firewood I'll get to know them better. Does it seem that they go for the more punky wood or good, solid wood, or...both?
Jbird560, I'm not sure about boric acid, though I've used it for sugar ants and cockroaches. I don't know how the outside climate would affect it. I guess I'll probably just treat the area around the stacks with a residential fireant treatment and then spot treat any beds that pop up. I used some dursban (I'm not sure you can still buy that) several years ago in an area and the fireants would build hills right up to the edge of the treated area but would not enter the area. On a cabin that I've been working on for years we treated a lot of the wood with "40 Mule Team Borax"...seems to have worked, though powder post beetles are still somewhat of a problem even after using a commercial "BoraCare" product...logs were 150 year old logs from two old log cabins. I may just get some 40 Mule Team and treat the area with it and see if it works.
They probably lost the war with the fire ants. Fire ants go for total domination of an area.
Bayer makes a product rated for wood piles. It's in a blue bottle. You dilute it and spray the ground before you stack the wood. I started using it, but only after the carpenter ants showed up. Sigh.
Anyway, they seemed to come out of no where and took over a pile of freshly cut pecan. There were no ants in the wood when the tree was cut (on a city lot), so they must have come out of the woods.
For the fire ants, nothing seems to eliminate them, but I found a great way to get them to move out of the garden. Run through the mound with a tiller. Wait an hour and do it again. My MIL used to say that pouring pots of boiling water would get them to move on, too, but that hasn't worked so well. Mostly I leave them alone when they're not too close to the house.
For those who don't know about fire ants, here's a good reference -- just scroll down and look at the pictures:
Nah, I think they were fire ants to begin with...maybe a different strain of fire ants, though. I know we have a few different fire ants...some are darker in color than the brilliant reds. The darker ones seem to have smaller more "stealth" nests and seem to be more agressive (is that possible?) than the brilliant reds.
Interesting that you mention the domination factor. I was walking to the woodpile the other day and glanced down at a small mound with lots of dead dark ants on top of it. I've never caught one of the epic battles happening. Of course there are other, more mundane causes for piles of dead ants, too, but "ant wars" are definitely much more interesting. The bad thing is that (as in the situation with the Africanized honey bee) is that the more aggressive strain usually wins.<sigh>
I've tried the boiling water laced with HOT peppers poured on the mounds. It does killed them, but not all of them. After pouring the water on I've found LARGE piles of dead ants piled up on top/to the side of the mounds....something had to pile'em up there, eh?
What is interesting is that on occasion I would pour the water on the mound. The water did not run off of the mound but rather down into the mound. After emptying a 3-4 gallon pot I was standing there and probably 30 seconds later I'd hear what sounded like a tub or sink drain emptying...that water went DEEP!
Yes, if you keep disturbing the mounds they will move. Problem in a garden environment is that you don't want to till up your tomatoes or broccoli to get rid of the ants. Fire ants are simply a nightmare to deal with.
The only problem with leaving the mounds alone that are at the perimeter of an area is that eventually they'll produce other colonies...but,...you can't treat all of then or we'd be working ourselves back to South America. <groan>
For you folks up north that have never had to contend with fire ants...consider yourselves very blessed.
Ok, any of you deep south wood burners want to give a final tally on your wood usage?
Between 3 and 4 cords. That was more than I expected. I am heating a big house with half oak and half junk wood.
Ed, I've been meaning to take a measurement of the stacks of wood that are now missing. I might have burned much less that I thought I would. There were two rows left that I was hoping to use up, and I never did.
As a matter of fact, I think I am going to mosey out to the barn before to see if I can make some sort of assessment.
Pretty good estimating there! Back on December 22 you estimated you'd burn about 3.5 cords! I think the extra cold we had probably caught a lot of people off guard!
I guesstimated pretty good. If my measurements were right, I burned just over a cord this season......140 square feet of wood. My house is about half the size of an average home. It's an open floor plan too. 99% of my fuel was very well seasoned white oak and red oak. I did have some misc. stuff, like some cottonwood that I tried to burn towards the end.
Yelp, you about nailed it... roughly 1.09 cords!
I didn't burn every night but every night below 35 degrees for sure. I burned about 2.5-3 cord, and I have about 3 cord left over. Not all of what
I burnt was totally seasoned, but we burned alot of standing dead hickory and ash, and about a cord of 2-year seasoned oak. The rest was
a combination of sweetgum(!), sycamore, and yellow pine.
Next year it's going to be nothing but ash and oak
jlove, it looks like you hit right in there with your estimated amount, even burning the non-prime woods. How'd that yellow pine do? I'm thinking of cutting some down our way to have something dried before this coming season.
I tried to always mix some oak in there with the other wood. The pine is excellent as far as quick heat. I usually used it after I cleaned the ash/coals out of the fireplace
to get the metal heated up so I could throw some hardwood in there. It seasons pretty fast too. I lucked up and got some 'lighter-pine' with this batch so I was stoked
2 1/3 cords, mixed hardwood in a Woodstock Fireview; house is 4 yearsold, well insulated.
Heating 1700 sf d/tairs.
40 miles N. of Atlanta.
Thanks for the feedback on the pine. I'd like to find some ash around here but where I've been cutting is a clear-cut and figuring out what most of the stuff there is tough for me...if it isn't oak. I'm planning on cruising a little property of mine and see what's on it, but really not keen about cutting on it right now as long as I've scrounging grounds elsewhere. I have some dead standing bug pines that I can cut, but younger trees about 20 years old. I missed some bigger, older short-leafs a few years ago when I wasn't burning...bug feed, rotting in the woods now.<sigh> I'll come up with something to go with the little bit of well seasoned oak that I have.
Thanks for the report, SG. That's a nice stove you've got there, excellent reviews. Looks like it took care of you this past winter with a little over two cords...not bad for 1700sqft!
PS That's some pretty country up your way, used to go up I75 all along to check on my SIL. Me and the wife rented a cabin up around Blue Ridge several years ago...we arrived the night that Chattanooga got hit by numerous tornadoes...lots of them down in your area, too, that night. I had a 2-meter HT with me and we listened to reports and warnings all night long...what a start to a vacation
You're welcome. The little town is Ball Ground, abt. 18 miles east of I-75 from Hwy. 20 exit. It is beautiful , born and raised in N GA in BG 4 years now.
Got my start with the Fireview from reading/researching this site, great folks.
No LP purchase for 2 years now but will have to buy this summer as I use that for backup.
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