Green ash

Jukeboxfun Posted By Jukeboxfun, Feb 4, 2009 at 5:15 PM

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  1. Jukeboxfun

    New Member

    Jul 28, 2008
    Ephrata, PA
    “Ash wood wet or ash wood dry, a King will warm his slippers by.” Don’t know who made up the verse but it is true. If you can have only one firewood pick white or green ash, white preferably. Ash splits like a dream and can be safely burned green or cured unlike any other wood that I know of. The moisture content of just cut ash is only a few percentage points higher than it is when cured and so it will burn readily in your woodstove with no start up or creosote problems. It also has good heat value though not as high as the oaks or hickories. Its desirability is in how easy it is to split, handle and burn up no matter how wet or dry it is.

    I read this posted elsewhere, is it true. The reason I ask is that i just got a cord of white ash from an amish farmer who says that even though it was recently cut, it is ready to burn. I am skeptical.

    Minister of Fire

    Mar 1, 2006
    Pomfret, CT
    In late December of 2007 a big ash tree came down in my woods. I bucked it up,split and stacked it.....left it it in the woods with only the top covered.
    In late March of 2008 I did an experiment.... I tried burning some splits from the crown and the trunk, it burned "ok" not even close to what my seasoned stuff burned like.
    I had to tinker with the stove alot, which is something i cant't stand doing.....esp in late March. You can get buy with it, but don't bank on hot efficient fires.

  3. LLigetfa

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 9, 2008
    NW Ontario
    Catchy verses don't make it true. As WB said, Ash will burn before its time but nowhere near ideal. You will fuss with it and burn way more just to boil off the moisture.
  4. pen

    There are some who call me...mod.
    Staff Member

    Aug 2, 2007
    N.E. Penna
    I have done the exact same thing several times with the same result.

    Burns better wet than other woods but is NOT a substitute to truly seasoned wood.

  5. gpcollen1

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 4, 2007
    Western CT
    You can burn it fresh but it still burns off moisture and helps form creosote. It will just not hiss and bubble like 6 month old oak - forget about fresh oak...
  6. RAY_PA

    Feeling the Heat

    May 13, 2008
    Northeastern PA
    I tried a few peices this winter, when I heard someone here say the same thing, I wont do that again...not even close to burning seasoned wood (ash included), but I would agree, that in a pinch, it might get you by for a bit
  7. savageactor7

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 25, 2008
    One of my favorite woods to harvest....but never heard about burning it green till I signed up here.
  8. Yamaha_gurl

    New Member

    Aug 31, 2008
    I bought some ash that I didn't think was seasoned very well, I took at 5 inch round and split it and put it near the stove...about 2 weeks ago, seem like the edges are turning a brown/red color, as opposed to the yellow on the inside...does that mean it's loosing water? :D
  9. firefighterjake

    Minister of Fire

    Jul 22, 2008
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    I'm burning some white ash that was cut up this past Summer . . . and while it burns "good" to "very good" on a poor, fair, good, very good to excellent scale (after 6-6 months) I would have much preferred to have had it season up a bit longer.

    It burns . . . but not as well as the standing dead maple I burned up this Fall or some of the other wood, including a bunch of standing dead elm. I have noticed that the splits (which I specifically split on the small size) have little to no moisture . . . the larger rounds however are often a different story with some moisture bubbling out on occasion.

    Since this wood is not as well seasoned as I would have preferred and since I am a bit anal retentive about keeping the chimney clean I regularly check and clean the chimney . . . just to make sure there is no excessive build up of creosote.

    I would speculate that the little ditty may be true in the sense that ash seasons faster than many other woods due to its original lower moisture content and may in fact burn well in a pre-EPA stove I would still recommend folks season their ash if at all possible and not view it as a wood that can be cut, bucked, spit and used in a day in today's EPA stoves.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 14, 2007
    Many moons ago we burned 100% freshly cut white ash and stayed warm all winter. No, it is not as good as well seasoned wood, but you can burn it green if you need to. You just have to keep a hotter fire going and leave your draft set a little further open than you normally would. That winter we also cleaned our chimney 3 or 4 times (maybe 5. My memory fails.).

    Ash is a funny wood. I know of no wood that splits as easy as ash nor do I know of any wood with less moisture when it is green. However, even though it is low moisture and even though you may season it a couple of years, occasionally you will find some that just does not want to burn well. This is not very often for sure, but it just happens and I have no idea why. BB says it is where the coons go potty. lol

    We treat our ash the same as we treat all wood. Cut it, split it, stack it and forget it for a time. A few years later, put it into the stove and enjoy the heat. If everyone could follow that plan there would be much less problem. You simply get so much more heat from the wood and so much less creosote plus you don't have to try to figure out the stove all the time. It simply makes things go so much smoother. Besides, I get great joy out of looking at my wood piles. It's like money in the bank.
  11. drewboy

    New Member

    Oct 8, 2008
    Lakes Region, NH
    I posted in the Wood Shed last week on some moisture readings of an ash tree that I cut down in Aug.
    I re-split the splits and checked them at close to Rm. temp and the highest reading I got was 23% with most in the 20% range (a few 18%)
    This tree was cut and all split and stacked in a windy/sunny spot by the middle of Aug.

    It's all the wood I have left and it is doing the job, but like you said Dennis - the draft is open more than I usually need with dry wood.

    Oh yeah - I have cleaned the chimney 3 times this season already just for peace of mind ...

  12. andybaker

    Feeling the Heat

    Oct 31, 2008
    Northwest OH
    I burned about a cord of White Ash to start the season this year. It was cut down around mid-autumn, about 4' diameter with a bunch of big limbs that where cut off it. In other words, so large, so tough to cut and just about impossible to split that no one knew what to do with it. It was in the front yard of our church, an eyesore, I counted over a hundred rings, so it had been around for a long time. I tore into it and bucked it up any way I could. It gave my splitter a workout. Bent one of stops for when a log is wedged and even cracked and smashed my wedge. I kinda regret taking it. It split up into pieces that just a mess, almost nothing straight so it wasn't something to set aside to season. I knew I could burn it green but it needs to burn hotter and it doesn't get quite as hot, good for the beginning of the season. I was glad to see it gone. White Ash definitely burns better after its been split and stacked. It doesn't need to season long, maybe 6 months, longer better. It will burn hotter when seasoned longer. It is one of my favorite woods but I'm afraid it won't be around long. My small city alone just contracted to have around 600 Ashes removed. It's a real shame what EAB has done to not only White Ash but Green Ash, Marshal Ash and Blue Ash as well. You ought to try burning some Green Ash sometime. It leaves so many coals that I have to empty them nearly every day to make room for more wood. In the ash bucket, the coals don't all die til about 5-6 days later. I cool them in the garage and they heat the garage to 45-50 degrees. I got through my Green Ash about 5 weeks ago and have just got done with some old hardwoods, mostly Oak, and now have started my White Ash. Got about 4 cord to go, won't get through it this winter, unless its cold til June.

  13. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 26, 2007
    Emmaus, Pennsylvania
    I have never done it myself because I've never run out of wood (thankfully), but I read so many times about Ash being burnable green- "as soon as I split it I burn it" I've read some say. So last Summer I gave some to friends of mine to use outside in their chiminea/firepit green and it was horrible-smoked like crazy, wouldn't burn for #@$%. I'll never do that again....
  14. ikessky

    Minister of Fire

    Sep 2, 2008
    Northern WI
    We had a huge white ash that fell over in a storm last spring/summer. I cut it and split it in September/October and got it into my basement soon after. I figured since I was late on wood this year it would be a good thing to start with while the other stuff "seasoned". Long story short, I ended up burning it for a month or two before I finally switched around all my piles and burned all the stuff that was standing dead first. While the ash did burn OK, I felt it still had too much moisture. I would get some crusty creosote on the loading door after I had dampered down a load. Now that it's sat in the warm furnace room with a dehumidifier running 24/7, I've started burning some of the smaller splits. It's really surprising what only a few months and a dehumidifier really does. I don't have a moisture meter, so I really can't give you an idea of what the actual moisture content is, but the pieces I'm burning have the classic baseball bat sound when you tap on them.

    White ash is a great wood and a lot of the old timers around here will burn it green, but after my short experience, I will season my white ash just like anything else.
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