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How long to season hickory

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by bryankloos, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. bryankloos

    bryankloos Member

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    Hey Guy,

    What's the consensus on length of time to dry hickory. I'm going to fell a few trees this weekend and would love to burn some next winter... Of course I plan to css enough to have some the following year.
    Do you think I'll get the moisture below 20% by winter 2014/2015?
    Thoughts?

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  2. nrford

    nrford Minister of Fire

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    Two years at least, 3 preferred.
  3. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    I split some bitternut hickory to ~4 inches on a side. After 18 months in an open meadow and covered, it was mostly ready. But it burned a lot hotter with another year of drying.
  4. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Hickory takes three years for the best burning efficiency. If not in a windy,sunny location it will get punky first.
  5. ClintonH

    ClintonH New Member

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    However long it is, make sure it is covered: hickory has very little resistance to rot. If you take a walk through a woods, lots of shagbark especially fall down from bottom-rot. A single broken bough up high will rot the center out all the way down. I'm burning some seasoned 2 years: nice and hot, no sap/sizzle, but to each his own.
  6. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit Feeling the Heat

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    Cut ASAP and get it split, the smaller the better. If stored in direct sunlight and ranked, it will burn next year but two years is better.
  7. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    I have burned wood for 40 years, and many of those were 1year seasoned wood. I survived. but now I burn only 3 year old seasoned wood and there is no comparison . Get ahead and enjoy.
  8. bryankloos

    bryankloos Member

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    That's the plan. My goal is to get 6-7 cords split and stacked this year and the same next year. After that point, I will be three years ahead and only need 4ish per year following. I'll do my best to get started splitting soon so I can burn some of this years wood next winter. I may also supplement with a purchase of better seasoned wood to mix in just for next winter while waiting for the stash to ripen.

    Thanks!
  9. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit Feeling the Heat

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    FWIW, that looks like a Makita 6401/6421, a 60 cc saw which is a strong saw but heavy. That is what Home Depot uses for rentals.
  10. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    I think you missed the thread you were aiming for.
    Firewood Bandit likes this.
  11. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    What does "ranked"mean?
  12. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    12-18 months around here after splitting/stacking.
  13. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit Feeling the Heat

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    You Sir are CORRECT! You apparently have an incredible grasp of the obvious.:)
  14. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit Feeling the Heat

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    Stacked in a row rather than thrown in a pile. For best drying, I put on pallets and run two stacks wide with about a 4-5" gap between rows.
  15. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Im asking the same question. Only my indecision is over how small to split it.
    I have seasoned hickory in my reserve stash that is ancient. It burns super but offers no help.
    Its also got bugs.
    I have shagbark and pignut that was cut this year. November. It read 38%-42% on the MM.
    I have decided to split them at 3". Most of the pignut is still in rounds.
    On this wood I save everything.
    I have read that if you are smoking meat with the wood it should be green to semi seasoned...so I guess it wont hurt to experiment.
    At least in an outdoor fireplace.
  16. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Hey Thistle where ya been?
    I hope you are right on the aging. So what size splits?
  17. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Nevermind. Ive got tons of sticks. Twigs lol. Size of splits is a personal/stove kind of issue. Overnight burn time...etc...
  18. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    lol I have tons of small stuff too.Main thing that helps me is 90% of all the mixed Oak/Hickory I cut year round is standing snags or deadfall so with average size splits or smaller rounds (4 to 6") it dries much faster,we have lots of wind here most of the year,really bad the past 3 weeks.The remaining ''green'' wood is from CL scores,occasional paid removal job & small local tree service dumps a load or 2 in backyard.So I'm in no rush for the greener stuff,it can set there 2-4 yrs no problem.
    splitoak and Applesister like this.
  19. BEConklin

    BEConklin Feeling the Heat

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    I'm just about finished bucking and hand splitting a nice big mockernut hickory that fell in the woods near my house in a storm back in Sept. 2012. I had about a 40 foot section of straight trunk from which I was bucking rounds some 18" in diameter. All the big stuff is split into rectangles now - which was a surprisingly easy job with my Fiskars axe. But now I have to split all the smaller rounds from the limbs and then bring it all out of the woods and stack it in the yard. It's good to learn up front from those with more experience that it will get punky unless it's covered and in the sun. I'd hate to ruin it - it's gorgeous firewood. I was surprised that there was no sign of rot or insect damage in the wood or even in the bark despite the fact that the tree lay out there dead for more than a year before I even started cutting it up. It looked like it was still green.

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