1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Downed Red Oak

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Plow Boy, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Plow Boy

    Plow Boy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    Iron Station, NC
    I found a red oak today down in my brush pile from when i had 3 acres cleared back in 07. The tree is still whole and is only touching the ground at the base of the tree the rest is laying on other brush. It is about 14 inches in diameter and noticed when i cut the first log from the base that the heart was gone a couple feet up in the tree. Should this tree be seasoned by now or should still have to let season after i CSS.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Its definitely dryer, but needs to be split & stacked. Check in a year, maybe you'll get lucky. :)
  3. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,209
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    Even after all that time, if not split, Red Oak will hold lots of moisture. Maybe it will only need a year, but it won't be ready now.
  4. Plow Boy

    Plow Boy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    Iron Station, NC
    so, from everything i'm hearing from u guys. a down tree almost never means seasoned wood?
    ScotO likes this.
  5. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Correct, with the exception of maybe a standing dead. I suppose any wood if standing or down off the ground, bark falling off and not punky yet could be extremely close to ready. Oak its just a whole nuther breed of wood.
  6. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    497
    Nope. I'm no expert, but I just split some yellow poplar that has been down 18 months. It was sopping wet. Also some black cherry that came down with the poplar. It was still wet too, just not as wet as the poplar.
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  7. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,209
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    Maybe if you coma across some Black Locust that has been down a while with no bark on it.
    ScotO likes this.
  8. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,539
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    Have to agree with the others, maybe in an area with minimal rainfall but not likely in NC.
    ScotO likes this.
  9. Dyno625

    Dyno625 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Loc:
    Kentucky
    Cut some logs up in the spring that had been down since january of 09. They were still solid in the middle, only punky about 1 inch on outside. Red oak and white oak. Cut and split in april of this year and stacked in full sun in my back yard. We had a very dry summer here. I checked some of the wood in october, split several pieces to get a new edge and my moisture meter still showed 28%. Oak takes a long time to dry out.
    Backwoods Savage, ScotO and Plow Boy like this.
  10. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,170
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Standing dead tops & smaller limbs are sometimes dry enough to burn, trunks even off the ground generally require some seasoning. I've never found a "stove ready" Oak. As others have said, it gives up it's moisture grudgingly. A C
    Thistle, Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  11. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Messages:
    356

    Any tree can be knocked down. If it was very dead before it was downed then it could be seasoned.
  12. Plow Boy

    Plow Boy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    Iron Station, NC
    going to pull the rest of the red oak out of the gully today with the 5203 john deere will try to get some pics for u guys. Going to be a fun day LOL
    ScotO likes this.
  13. Plow Boy

    Plow Boy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    Iron Station, NC
    Here is some pics of the work so far today, I got a good size poplar log that has been down for a while laying on some small trees. It was really green! Wood cutting 017.jpg Wood cutting 014 (640x361).jpg Wood cutting 016 (640x361).jpg Wood cutting 024 (361x640).jpg Wood cutting 026 (640x361).jpg Wood cutting 031 (640x361).jpg Wood cutting 035 (640x361).jpg Wood cutting 036 (640x361).jpg
    Thistle, Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  14. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,326
    Loc:
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Nice Deere Plowboy!
  15. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I would be willing to bet it is "off the charts" in regards to moisture. The only time I ever found an oak tree that was still whole, and ready to burn when I dropped it, was when it was standing dead for at least 25 or so years, and all the bark and sapwood had long rotted off of it. It still probably was in the 22-24% MC range, but it was good enough to burn (not to mention I love the smell of that white oak both split and burning) so it when right into the basement from the woods. That was last winter.

    You'll be needing at least 2 to 3 years to make that wood optimal, I would be willing to bet. But sometimes miracles happen. Best way to tell is for you to cut, split, and test it. If you put a split of it in the stove and she sizzles FURIOUSLY, you've got at least two years of seasoning in order.
  16. Plow Boy

    Plow Boy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    Iron Station, NC
    thanks bow, shes been a good one
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    NO! One should never assume a fallen tree or even a dead standing tree is ready to burn and doubly so with an oak. In the past when we had to we did cut dead standing elm to burn right away. We cut the elm after all or at least most of the bark has fallen from the tree and find several benefits from this. Mainly the fact that it will split decently rather than splitting into a bunch of stringy mess. Then what we found with this elm (it does not get very big here before dieing) is that most times we could burn the top half or at least the top third of the tree right away. The bottom part of the tree would almost always be loaded with moisture so that had to wait a year before burning.
    ScotO and amateur cutter like this.
  18. Plow Boy

    Plow Boy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    Iron Station, NC
    Well u guys hit the nail on the head with this red oak. I split several pieces and found it to be really green. It going to make excellent firewood in a couple seasons.
    ScotO likes this.
  19. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    756
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    I cut down a stove ready oak a few weeks ago.....but the entire interior of it was gone, so there wasn't much to it. It was just a hollow shell full of carpenter ants nesting. Cleared it out, split the exteriors and have been using them as my first add after getting a good fire with kindling. Not much wood, but certainly nothing to wast. Actually thought about trying to seal em up with some polyurethane and slapping some glass on top for a coffee table. Also thought about making some homemade drums for my kid, but the wife was opposed to both.
    ScotO likes this.
  20. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    805
    Loc:
    Mineral County, WV
    Unless its been laying down for 20 years as most of my dead oak is it should be split and stacked. Or you could try to sneak a split or two in with some dry stuff like I do and see what happens

Share This Page