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For all those behind in their wood stacks - or the "will it be ready this year" crowd:

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by stee6043, Aug 24, 2009.

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  1. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    Loads of folks ask the question about cutting/splitting in the Spring with the hopes that it will be seasoned and ready to burn that same Fall/Winter. 90+% of the time the answer is "no, it won't be ready".

    But I tell you what, there is at least one exception - Black Cherry! I was farting around yesterday splitting wood for my 2010/2011 stacks. During a beer break I grabbed a split off one of the piles of Cherry I cut, split, stacked this past March. I split the piece and grabbed my moisture meter. I was moderately shocked to see the reading at 18% in the center.

    I don't know where the Cherry started out at since I didn't take any readings when I split it this Spring. But the trees were big and healthy when I dropped them, no standing dead. I do make it a point to split my rounds into quite small pieces to aid in the seasoning process. I'm sure this helps but I'm still surprised to see a sub 20% number already in August. Of course the meter is a $15 unit so plus or minus 5% is to be expected.

    So there you have it. My suggestion to all of you struggling to find wood to burn in less than 12 months - get some CHERRY!

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  2. PunKid8888

    PunKid8888 New Member

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    In the December Ice storm a cherry tree fell on my house. (not sure what type of cherry) but I cut it and stacked it then, and in April split and stacked. In April it was already full of checks and cracks, it split like butter even being all curvy. I have a moisture meter ordered so I can not wait to see what it reads.
  3. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    We have a medium wood we call choke cherry...smells like cherry when cut and split.. It dries in 3 months!
  4. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure I know what black cherry is, but the cherry here we call choke cherry. With choke cherry (which is my favorite firewood, even more so than oak) I have found that it splits easy, seasons fast, burns as good and as long as oak, with a more pleasant smell to the smoke. The only bad thing about choke cherry is that you have to process it right away after it dies. If a tree is left dead for very long at all, even standing, the wood rots quickly and is soon unacceptable. Same goes for leaving it in big rounds, the rounds rot and do not season unless they're split right away.
  5. mattinpa

    mattinpa New Member

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    Western Pa
    I have noticed the same. Cherry is my favorite. Dries fast (even rounds!) and burns good. Having cherry lets me put large
    splits in my furnace even after a summer of seasoning.
  6. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    It's funny you mention this. A neighbor gave me about 1/2 a cord of what I now think is black cherry. I split this wood about 30 to 45 days ago while it was still green. Walking by those splits yesterday, I was amazed by how quickly it appeared to be seasoning based on the weight of the splits. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if this wood is burnable yet this year... it does smell nice too!
  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I like cherry . . . almost as much as I like ash . . . mainly I like the rich redness of the color of the wood and the smell . . . my wife always thinks I'm a bit nuts when she catches me sniffing the fresh cherry splits.
  8. bluefrier

    bluefrier Feeling the Heat

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    Maybe my wood is located in an ideal drying location plus I split every thing small to medium. spring to fall is enough to dry any wood for me.... even oak. Yes, this is with a moisture meter after splitting the wood in half. I just thought I should post this for any rookie who think they need two years minimun to season wood, time is not the only drying factor.
  9. kbrown

    kbrown Feeling the Heat

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    Once again, I'm reminded how "normal" I am in this wood burning life! I too picked up a full pickup truck of cherry from a CL post; except it had been cut a year ago, but left in large rounds on the ground and had a good 1" of punk all the way around on all the splits. But, before taking it, I checked a piece and it was solid after that. That is now all split and stacked over this past weekend and let me tell you, I too would rather be offered cherry over oak. The smell is beautiful, the splits look great and even the neighbor commented on how nice the aroma was. Little ole HF moisture meter showed 22% so that will be going in the stove in the next couple months - overnight only though! Wife caught me sniffing the couple rounds of cedar also...now both my little girls want to sniff the splits when Daddy is cutting wood! Start em young! :coolsmile:
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Black cherry and choke cherry are really the same thing. I've posted many times before about the benefits of cherry. I like it. I also agree that it needs to be taken care of right away else it will be lost to Nature. Once it is cut and split, it can last a long time too. We have some that is six years in the pile.
  11. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Cherry does seem to be good stuff. Splits nicely and does seem pretty dry even when green. About 50% of my '09/'10 wood is Cherry and so far I have nearly 2 cords for '10/'11. I also have an old, slightly rotten Cherry tree on my property that I will sadly have to cut down this fall due to summer storm damage.
  12. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    That is too funny. I got a cherry tree yesterday and after I bucked it up, was sniffing the rounds as I tossed them in the truck. Fortunately, I was out in the woods so nobody could see me and think I am as strange as you guys. ;-P
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    heck cherry, silver maple, and ash will all season about the same way
  14. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    Well I'm glad others have made this discovery as well. I've never had any ash (or silver maple) so this is my first experience with the ultra quick seasoning stuff. All is well in the world...
  15. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    A) The debate is still out as to whether we're all "normal" or not . . . maybe we just share the same psychosis

    B) Who doesn't sniff fresh cut cedar . . . I mean that is a given . . . hands down one of the best smelling woods there is . . . you would be crazy not to want to sniff a few pieces of that aromatic wood. ;) :)
  16. SmokinPiney

    SmokinPiney Feeling the Heat

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    There aint nothin like the smell of fresh cut cedar! no way, no how.. I've got a small plot of cedars over my uncles that need to come down for a new bog. You can bet that i'll be sniffin away!! :)

    Oh and yes, cherry seasons extremely fast....
  17. JotulOwner

    JotulOwner Feeling the Heat

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    Long Island, New York
    How about Beech? I just acquired quite a bit and I heard that it is great fuel wood. It seems to be dense like Oak, but I am not sure how long it typically takes to season. The splits I have are large (5" to 6" in diameter at the widest point and 16"to 18" in length).
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Those are nice for sure but I still hold there in none as sweet smelling as sassafras.
  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    not sure cutting a big one down frist sat. of sept. never season it or for that matter even burn any!
  20. JotulOwner

    JotulOwner Feeling the Heat

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    This is next year's supply. I was just wondering if it seasoned quickly or took as long as Oak.
  21. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    shoulnt take as long as oak and thats when i plan to use mine
  22. marsfarmer

    marsfarmer New Member

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    Hey all, I'm new to posting but have enjoyed these forums for a year or so. I have to take issue, however with the idea that Black and Choke are the same. Chokecherry and it's cousin Pin Cherry are both small gangly trees that come up in old field and burnt over areas. They never get very big and don't compete well with forest trees. They are different species from the Black Cherry, which is happy in a forest and gets to be of respectable size.
    The fruit on the Chokecherry will make you choke. It's really bitter. Black cherry has nice little sweet cherries in it, if you can climb up and get 'em.
    The wood of these three is pretty similar. In my experience, the Choke seems somewhat heavier, but they both smell good and burn in the high medium range.
    For my money you really can't beat the smell of black birch, hands down.
  23. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    Welcome Marsfarmer! Glad you see another one join the posting crowd.
  24. fahmahbob

    fahmahbob Member

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    I second the black birch - awesome smelling! But boy can it be a bear to split when it's twisted! Cherry just splits messy when twisted, but the black birch is messy AND tough as nails.
  25. dreezon

    dreezon New Member

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    All right... gotta add my 2 cents. I'm a confessed wood sniffer, and my last two loads have been pear (incredible, just like a piece of fruit) and honey locust—very aptly named. I bet I sniffed at least 20 pieces. I'm afraid it's some bizarre kind of fetish.
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