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How long to season wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by kingfisher, May 20, 2009.

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  1. kingfisher

    kingfisher New Member

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    Theres a guy in my area selling ash that was just cut and split. How long would it take to be dry enough to burn?

    Thank you

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  2. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Ash is pretty dry to start, from what I've seen it should be ready by the fall.
  3. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Yup that's the one wood that will burn good if it is C&Sed;for 6 months.
  4. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    Agreed.....get it stacked now off the ground in a nice sunny/breazy location and it'll be ready to burn this coming season.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Yes. We burn a lot of ash and have even burned it green. But get it split and stacked now you will be fine for winter burning.

    One little hint. We have found that if we put in a stick or possibly two of a faster, hotter burning wood along with the ash that it works much better than all ash. We usually use a split of soft maple in the front of the stove and ash everywhere else. This is for night loading. Daytime we burn the junk; short pieces, knotty pieces, etc.
  6. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

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    I would season it off the ground for 6 months or so and it should be fine. I know others have had success burning ash green, but when I tried it, it didn't work at all.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Josh, it certainly won't burn like good seasoned stuff will but it will burn. You have to set the draft more open to keep it going. Another thing with ash though is that occasionally you will get some that won't burn worth a hoot but that is not too often for that to happen.
  8. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    You guys in the mid west must have different ash than the east coast. Our ash has no negitive attributes. It can even be burned immediately. It has a 30% mc green. I believe ours is white ash.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    gzecc, we too have white ash and I've burned it for many, many moons. I've posted before how I heated all of one winter using freshly cut white ash so I am well aware it can be done, but you will also burn more wood than you would normally. However, leave that ash set around for a year or two and it will be much, much better.
  10. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    I've had my eye on a ASH tree at a lake close by that I fish. It split in half more than a year or two ago. The Park guys cut it into 3 sections that were about 15 feet each and about 2.5 feet in diameter and pushed it aside. I helped myself to it and got all I could. The rounds were so big, I had to wedge them in two so I could lift them into the truck. Only a small portion touched the ground - the wood was very dry and split like a dream. It's already stacked and I swear I could burn it now. It's got that baseball bat sound. Most wood you split - has alittle wet look inside. This split like it was kiln dry - no wet at all.

    I left behind a huge 3 prong trunk that I should return for, it's just too big for my gear. I guess I could saw down and wedge out chunks and keep picking at it. It's enough to fill the bed of my truck - but I've got easier wood I can scrounge. Never thought it would be so easy and so available. I've got a construction site with 3 huge piles of mostly cherry - must be 8 - 10 cords worth. I should have it all by next fall.
  11. flewism

    flewism Member

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    I've 6 cord of ash cut and split since the beginning of April. I cut it last fall out of the local farmers tree line all standing dead from EAB. I currently have at least 5 trees to drop in people's yards do to EAB. I'm reasonably certain the wood you are about to get was standing dead, and it will be ready this fall.
    I also have 1/2 a cord of oak, and about 2 cords of mulberry but about 75% of all wood we've burned in the last 4 years has been ash.
    Get it stack and out in the sun and you will be fine.
    5 years ago when the county had their ash tree removal program running you could get a truck load of ash logs for $150 and get between 3 to 4 full cords out of it.
  12. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    Here in So. Calif. most of the Ash seems to be Green Ash. Definitely too wet to burn green, but seasons quickly. Not the greatest wood, wouldn't make a very good baseball bat or rocking chair, but it burns fine after its seasoned for a while.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Well you've already got plenty of replies . . . but figured I might as well weigh in as well.

    This past winter I used a bunch of standing dead elm and tops (a lot of branches) to get me by most of the winter . . . until I had to dig into my white ash which I had cut in July-August-September. As folks have said, it does have a lower moisture content and in theory you can burn it pretty quickly, but as others have mentioned it is definitely better to have it seasoned longer. It would burn pretty well once it got going, but it most definitely could have been seasoned even more as there was some sizzling when I would stick it on the fire even after several months of seasoning.

    I'm guessing that if you had ash that was cut and split this month you should be able to burn it in a few months (4-6) months and have a reasonably decent fire once the fire takes off . . . but you may also find that it will not burn as well as more seasoned ash and may be a little more difficult to get going from a cold start. I would go for it . . . but if possible re-split if necessary to make smaller splits and stack for good air-flow to aid in the drying process. Getting your hands on some pallets might also be useful for use in "starter" fires.

    That said, I love ash . . . which is good since we have lots and lots of it growing on the family land . . . it's a good wood. In general, it splits easily, seasons relatively quickly and is a good looking wood . . . although I don't keep it around for its looks!
  14. pulldownclaw

    pulldownclaw Feeling the Heat

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    I keep hearing about the legendary drying times of Ash. I don't have any and have never burned it, but wondering how it compares with other fairly quick drying species like red (soft) maple and southern pine. Those species I have split this Spring and I am wondering if I should burn them this Fall for shoulder season or save for next Spring's shoulder season, letting it season thru the Winter. Problem is (which is a good problem to have), is that the only other thing I've got to burn is oak seasoned for 1 year.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    The soft maple can be seasoned over one summer. You'll also find that the red maple is good for mixing with harder woods like oak and ash.

    You are right. It is a nice problem.
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