1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

I hate seasoning oak thread!

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by rdust, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,870
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I haven't made this one in a while but I still HATE seasoning oak! I just got done moving some red oak that I cut in Nov. of 2010, split in Jan of 2011 stacked it in the spring of 2011. I had it on pallets with ash making one row and the oak making the other with a 16" gap between rows. The ash is pretty much good to go and the oak is still in the 30's on the bigger pieces!(which are what I consider medium, nothing bigger than 6 inches across) :mad:

    I have absolutely no idea how the guys who season in cubes ever get oak to to season. These were my last double rows, I've been moving everything to single rows with 6' or so between them. This is one of the main reasons why. I don't need this wood this year so it's not a big deal just irritating that after two + years it's still no better than fresh split ash. Too bad all the ash will soon be gone around here.

    Attached a picture of the stacks from last year...

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    5,783
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    Man, I don't like to hear that, especially with the dry summer we had last year. I have a bunch of Oak stacked double-row from early to mid-2012. I was kinda hoping it would be ready for 2014. The White Oak was pretty wet, some of it fresh from a blow-down. The Red was dead. Some of that Oak is split about like yours, 6" on the biggest ones. Now, some that my SIL scrounged at the same time was already split, smaller, and I was looking at it today. The single-row appears it will be good this winter, or at least decent. Didn't check the double-row over there today. I may have to stick with smaller splits on the Oak until I am way ahead, but at least the Oak I'm stacking now is dead and starting in the 30s. I think I'd better stack more dead Ash, pronto...._g
  3. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,021
    Loc:
    NNJ
    Oak is a pita. I stay away from it unless it is literally dropped in my yard. IMO, it needs two yrs in the sun and single rows with at least 3' between.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    29,042
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    I love seasoning oak. I better. If I didn't I would get mighty cold in the winter. I did get a bad surprise in May when I went to move this seasons oak into the shed. Center row for some reason was kinda wet. Leaking top cover. Put it in the shed with the black rubber roof and the solar attic fan blowing into it while the sun shines and hoping for the best. There are two months of bone dry stuff in front of the shed before I get to that stuff. But man it is ugly looking. What summer doesn't do the low humidity of winter and that fan should get done.
  5. oppirs

    oppirs Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Loc:
    SE Illinois
    I have found my oak (swamp) to be dry in two years. But I do have hot/sunny and windy condition for the stacks.
    Joful likes this.
  6. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    5,783
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    Damn, I was counting on that double-row Oak over at my SIL's this winter. I'd better pull some splits and meter 'em. I may have to drag it up out of the woods and single row it where's there's more air, while there's still some summer left. I was hoping to take that stuff straight to the on-deck circle over there. I still have some soft Maple to scrounge but that would be mid-winter stuff at best. I've still got everyone covered but it might mean hauling split wood from here. I'm trying to avoid moving wood around. <>

    I'm hoping this is more of a MI issue than a southern IN issue. Been mighty wet here most of the summer, though. :oops:
  7. oppirs

    oppirs Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Loc:
    SE Illinois
    Wet Understatement. Same here rain-wise 5" in 4 hours one day. Poor farmers sticking with corn, soybeans look good tho.
  8. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,870
    Loc:
    Michigan
    It's really multiple reasons, the area the wood is stacked in is a little lower than the area around so it gets less wind,(full sun) stacking just on pallets still lets a lot of moisture out of the ground and into the lower splits. I stacked two other cords on pallets the same as the oak/ash stack but put plastic down first, that seemed to help with ground moisture so I'm hoping those do better. I'm in the process of changing those pallet rows over to rows like the other rows pictured(the cinder block stacks). I'm giving that area one last chance before starting over somewhere else! ;lol
  9. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Messages:
    2,210
    Loc:
    Grand Blanc, Mi
    I just started out last year, from reading all the info on here ,I decided I am going to stack my Oak and Hickory with this set up, single rows,
    will be much longer than pic though

    IMG_20130716_205719.jpg
  10. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    5,783
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    Serious air under those blocks, for sure!
  11. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Messages:
    2,210
    Loc:
    Grand Blanc, Mi
    Oh :) I didn't see those back there in the pic before
    Edit, I should clean the Bifocles
  12. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,879
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    There's a lot of factors involved, climate in your location, where its stacked, how its stacked, weather, my oak usually get down to 20-25% after two years, some I burn but I like to let it season three ideally. If you have room its not a problem, its a problem if you can only fit 8-10 cords on your property, then you don't want oak taking up too much space. Nothing wrong with ash, seasons much quicker and burns nice.
  13. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    597
    Loc:
    N. California
    I pulled this oak out of the creek. It was a few fallen trees in whole logs. It was bone dry the day I found it. It must have been there a while.

    Attached Files:

    ScotO likes this.
  14. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,202
    Loc:
    Kennett Square, PA
    I think if you can ever get 2-3 years ahead, then Oak is a great choice, Every year there is seasoned oak ready.
    I know its difficult for some to stack that much cord wood on their property. Slice it thinner.
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  15. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,195
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    It's worth the wait :)
  16. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Messages:
    2,210
    Loc:
    Grand Blanc, Mi
    As need be ,if U need it 3, 4"
  17. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,202
    Loc:
    Kennett Square, PA
    Yep, Definitely a great addition to the supply. I like to mix it. Locust will burn good thrown on top of a good oak base.:)
  18. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    5,783
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    Doesn't burn as nice as Oak, though. ;)
  19. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    North Of Canada
    So I have Oak and altoho it is nice I get good 10 hr burns about of a fully loaded Stove and Maple. Load to 250 stove top temp Reload.

    10 hrs is more than enough to keep me busy, if Im away from the house more than 10 hrs the house will be a little colder when I return, Ill burn whatever is dry and not worry about it.

    If Oak seasoning is an issue build a solar kiln in a sunny spot. I did and in 90 days I have some oak below 20% already(started at 45%+). Some Plastic and a simple frame out of scrap lumber I had around the house was all I needed. I can fit about 1 cord in my simple rig. Ill prob be doing this just about every year now that I know how. It allows me to keep longer seasoning wood in the limited area I have for storage.
  20. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    5,783
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    Hard Maple is the BTU equal of Red Oak....
  21. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Lkie pauly said, make your oak splits smaller! All of my oak is split around 4-5", some even smaller, and I stack in cubes. I have NEVER had a problem burning 3 year oak, EVER. The bigger the oak splits, the longer it's gonna take.

    I also have my stack top-covered with black rubber roofing and let me tell ya, that definitely heats the stack up. And heat helps the seasoning process big time.....
  22. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,870
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I've been 3 years ahead for a long while(more like 4). Red oak up to this point just hasn't been worth the wait. I guess I could make all of it into kindling and it would be ready in two years. ;lol

    It burns nice but has never "wowed" me. Almost any other wood is good in one full year and this oak I have right now will be 36 months since split this winter and still won't be ready.

    May as well make it kindling at that point. ;lol

    I've actually never noticed much trade off between oak and ash. I'd take ash any day of the week over red oak. I put white oak over ash, it season easier than the red oak around here though. Of course I have a Blaze King so any decent hardwood burns great. ;)


    I just stacked 2+ cords of red oak that I split on the bigger side(8x8 squares). I figure I won't be able to touch that stuff for 4 years. I'll check it after 3 and probably make a thread like this again complaining about it. ;lol
  23. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,202
    Loc:
    Kennett Square, PA
    Yes it's mainly the red oak that still has a sizzle to it after even 3 years.
  24. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,520
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    I try to keep my oak seperate from the rest of my firewood and try to put it out of my thoughts. Like that 100.00 bill I have stashed in my truck glove box. Out of sight...out of mind.
    Paulywalnut and Woody Stover like this.
  25. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Oldspark will no doubt jump on this with both feet. ;)

    Today I stacked a little bit of oak (yes, I'm late this year). Working on the second row and yes, they are right together. I'll probably stack as I have been lately with 3 rows together. I seem to have no problem doing this and sometimes I wonder if perhaps being on sandy ground makes more of a difference than what I thought. For sure the wood will dry better on sandy ground than on clay, especially in a wet year.

    The wood on the bottom of the pile is definitely wet! It has been laying there for a few months. I just stick it into the stack and it will be fine. I started stacking from the far end of this pile.

    Split pile 2013c.JPG

Share This Page