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Help me identify what's in my stacks...worried bout 1st yr.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Bster13, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I'm a scrounger and I take wood from anyone willing to drop off. Therefore I get bunches of rounds I have trouble identifying as a newbie. I'm the brand new owner of a BK Princess Insert and I'm worried about the wood I've been collecting since November of 2012 as to how well it will burn in the start of the 2013 season. So I shot two videos and have linked to a bunch of pics of the stuff I've collected over time. While Oak is wonderful, I hope I don't have too much for the first year:

    This is my oldest stack (pine for the first few stacks then hardwoods):


    Here is what is left of the last bit of rounds I received (my guess is mostly red oad?):


    Various scores I've had sinec November:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/425099_835432689206_652822841_n.jpg

    Little wet pile that fell over:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/385277_804855825486_364326250_n.jpg

    Kinda dark:
    http://i50.tinypic.com/1z38m84.jpg
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/735067_800926250386_1176529330_n.jpg
    http://i46.tinypic.com/sqkz9g.jpg
    http://i49.tinypic.com/2uzawwj.jpg
    http://i46.tinypic.com/2dttctg.jpg

    Another load, smoothish bark. Bark is redding color when looking at cross section:
    http://i50.tinypic.com/33omekh.jpg
    http://i48.tinypic.com/2uxxw28.jpg
    http://i47.tinypic.com/jglemo.jpg
    http://i45.tinypic.com/19vzn7.jpg

    Neighbor's tree fell down:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/155344_784700082756_1502134938_n.jpg

    Broken X25:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/554498_808202354016_935448085_n.jpg

    The load that almost killed me:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/424314_806508498516_1940001145_n.jpg
    http://i47.tinypic.com/fkz582.jpg
    http://i49.tinypic.com/syqpg1.jpg
    http://i45.tinypic.com/2zrf6o4.jpg
    http://i48.tinypic.com/mk9f0w.jpg


    Was raining out so I decided to split in the garage:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/227066_795921230486_197658601_n.jpg

    Harbort Freight splitter FTW!
    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/10091_837894805106_1286923756_n.jpg

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  2. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Wow, lots of types of wood.

    Learn what oak looks like & season it 2 to 3 years.
    All the other stuff, season it at least one year .
    ;)
  3. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Nice pics! HOLY CRAP BATMAN, is that a fiskars with the broke handle? If so, they should give you a new one!

    And do tell, is that splitter on steroids or what?
  4. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Videos were fun. You've done a lot of work. Your stacks are airy and you have a nice wide variety of wood. You are good.
    The really basic general rule of thumb is if the wood is heavy = high BTU . If its really light weight = low BTUs.
    If you are buying wood from Craigs list don't buy seasoned if you dont know wood that well. With your free drop offs you are getting the best deal.
    When you cut your own wood it warms you twice.
    Have fun....;-)
  5. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I have not paid for wood yet, but been through my fair share of splitters. Haha.

    3 long rows of wood are stacked criss-crossed like that, but I've decided to restack it traditional style due to two things:

    - A few listers have me scared I don't have enough wood for 2years (1974 sq ft, one story ranch in lower CT)
    - A few of the piles are starting to fall and since I've gotten better at stacking, I decided to restack traditional style to make room for more wood.

    Yes, that's a broken Fiskars, and they did warranty it, but it's sitting new in box. I now have a 7-ton Harbor Freight, love it and yes it goes though that big chunk in the pic. You just have to be smart about it and slice stuff off the sides while u balance the behemoth off center.
  6. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    When in doubt I'd get a moisture meter and learn how to listen to the wood to make sure it's suitable for the stove. Wet wood can make for a miserable season....I learned that the hard way.
    Trilifter7 likes this.
  7. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    "A little bit worried about the mount of oak i have", said no one ever. LOL. I see pine, oak, maple. Oak will be ready in two to three years, maple and pine ready for this year. If you were closer Id barter seasoned cherry and locust for unseasoned oak.
  8. nrford

    nrford Minister of Fire

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    You have very little oak if any at all. I see alot of maple both hard and soft, some cherry, and pine. Relax you will be fine! At least in the two videos.
    Shane N likes this.
  9. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Ok, that's my first stack, good to know. I guess I'll learn quickly as I start to burn. Anything that doesn't burn well is prob oak (in my area) and I'll learn quickly to set that aside.
  10. nrford

    nrford Minister of Fire

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    The videos of your early stacks show little if any oak at all. You did get a fair amount of oak in the "load that almost killed me" Pics 47 and first photo almost all oak.
    Shane N likes this.
  11. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    The load that almost killed me, I thought that was some form of Maple...ugh, I suck.
  12. nrford

    nrford Minister of Fire

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    Well there was Soft Maple in that load as well. pics 45,48,and 49 are Soft Maple
  13. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Oak is really easy to recognize when looking at end grain, because its medullary rays are much bigger and more obvious than those of other species. Look at 2:31 in the first video. See those light-colored lines radiating out from the center of the tree to the bark? Those are the medullary rays. Look it up on Wikipedia if you're curious about their biological function. Virtually every kind of tree has them (out of the hundreds of species native to the continental USA, I think only one lacks rays), but on oak they're big and obvious. If you can see the rays from 3 feet away, it's oak.

    I didn't study every pic. In that first video I do see a fair bit of oak, but it's not the majority. It's mixed with maple, ash, pine and maybe other things. My guess is that you'll have enough wood for your first season, but you will be sorting as you go, judging each piece you pick it up to carry indoors rather than grabbing it indiscriminately from the pile. It will be a bit more labor-intensive, but you won't freeze. You'll make some wrong guesses, put some wet wood on the fire, and that will be educational. Don't worry too much.
    Bster13 likes this.
  14. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Great tip, thanks so much. Never keyed in on that.

    At the 19 second mark, if memory serves me correctly, that is black locust. I recall getting a few rounds right in the beginning and a friend on arboristsite.com identifying those in person. They didn't see as dense weight wise and they had very thick, chunky bark when look at the end of a round:


  15. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    The piece at the 48 second mark, right in the middle. Is that oak as well? (red oak I'd assume with the red bark that is distinct in my stacks?)

    And then maybe again at the 1:08 mark?

    Again at the 1:37 & 1:39 mark?
  16. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    The image is too fuzzy to be sure, but I do see 2 splits in the middle of the frame that could be black locust. Thick, corky bark is typical of BL, and though it's in the same density range as oak, the live trees carry much less water so a green piece of black locust (probably around 55% MC) is going to be lighter than a green piece of red oak (more like 80% MC). When they're dry, they'll feel about the same. BL is an unusual color when freshly split -- a bright, slightly greenish yellow, but it darkens with sun exposure.

    There are oak pieces at both 0:48 and 1:08, but they're mixed in with other stuff and the camera is moving around a lot so I can't promise we're looking at the same pieces. But I do think you're getting the idea.
  17. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Ok, I feel much better about identifying Oak. Man was I way off, haha.

    I agree about the Black Locust, I'd describe my stuff much the same.

    Many, many thanks. Made my day. :)
  18. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    2:25 - 2:32 is Oak city (I think :p)/
  19. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    2:33 - 2:41 is ~something~ I have a lot of, but cannot identify. It's more yellow in color and uniform color throughout the cross section of the wood. The bark has some more ridges in out on the outside.
  20. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    2:42 - 2:48 is more Oak. 2:49 -2:57 is back to the stuff that is more yellow, with more ridges on the bark and uniform color throughout with no real medullary rays that I can see.
  21. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Definitely. Now you're getting it.


    My guesses there would be either white ash or Norway maple; the video is too blurry to tell which. Both have similarly light-colored wood and similar bark texture, but ash is ring-porous while maple is diffuse-porous. Neither has rays that are obvious without a magnifier.
  22. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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  23. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Yep, get a good magnifier and a new world opens up. Also helpful when removing splinters.
  24. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Applesister likes this.
  25. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Go to a lumberyard by where you live and ask to talk to a manager of Hardwood sales. Tell them you would like samples of the species you might find locally. The thing about residential trees are they are mostly nursery stock trees. And can be shipped from anywhere.
    But ask for sugar maple, they probably wont have any soft maples, oak red and white, birch, cherry, ash...poplar(usually tulip poplar which isnt a true poplar) and whatever else you may want to use as a reference. write on them what they are and use them as a comparison for your "round samples". Samples will give you a rough range. Its not an exacting science.
    Flooring samples also are good to collect and use. If you want to study different tree species. But remember that oak IDing is simple and what you need to see can be seen with the naked eye.
    All this isnt necessary...but if you want to learn this works for me. Also keep samples of wood you are definite about. If you have a friend with a foresters license...use them!!

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