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It just won't season

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by schortie, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. schortie

    schortie Member

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    I cut and split about three cords of white oak tops this time last year. It's stacked in a single row, east / west with full sun and near constant wind. I left it uncovered until late last fall and then only covered the top through the winter. Tested a couple splits from the stack. The smaller pieces were still 25-27%, the medium to large splits were over 30%!! I was hoping to burn it this coming season. I only have about 1.5 cords of ash and another cord of mixed, fully seasoned wood. We'll see how the oak looks midway through next season, but I'm not holding my breath. Hopefully I can scrounge some dead ash quick and get it split.

    I guess it's a sign of a true wood hog that I'm immediately planning next season just as this one is drawing to a close.

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  2. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    In Missouri, where humidity may exceed 70% 250 days a year, I have found unsplit 4" rounds of white oak to still have too much moisture after four years. I don't know what to do about it either. Maybe if it was stacked in a woodshed out of the weather....
  3. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Last summer was a wet one here, if this summer is better I think you'll be fine. One season on oak usually gets you to 30% so I think it's doing fine.
  4. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Freakin oak is a pain. I could die before it seasons. I stay away from it unless it falls in my lap (yard).
    Look for black locust, ash, beech, hickory.
  5. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I'm getting to that point with oak! I love white ash, we have so much dead around here I'll be burning it for years to come. I've wanted to burn black locust but can't find any around here to save my life.
  6. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Split the rounds?
  7. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    This is where all that free Pine/ cant give it away comes in. Go get it! It will only do ya good until that Oak seasons.
    Good luck.
  8. webie

    webie Minister of Fire

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    I always try to avoid cutting this time of year when the sap is coming up the trees . The sugar content is so high in the sap that it never dries . I got stuck with 30 full cords of red oak that was the same thing ,never really did dry right even after 3 years . When you through it in the fire the juice would just start boiling out the ends
  9. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Just make smaller splits when it come time to burning them sandwich them together and they'll burn slower.
  10. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Most of the oak I cut is dead and the wood is ready in one long summer of curing, I do how ever run in to some that is very green and when split it cures along with the rest, you would not be the first one to give up on oak due to moisture problems I have had people tell me the same thing. The humidity here in NW Iowa is high in the summer also, like some one said you should try splitting the 4 inch rounds. I do see the OP split his, it seems like it should not take that long no matter what.
  11. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    split smaller
  12. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    smaller splits and oak is the primary reason why I put a roof over my stacks trying to squeeze every last second of seasoning time as soon as the stack can support one. We get a pretty consistent SW wind here at least in the afternoon all the time.
  13. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    A wood burning book that was published in the 1960's said if you dry your wood for one year outside and one year inside your wood will be fine.
  14. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Oak doesn't dry quickly like the lesser woods do. It takes many seasons. Two years minimum, 3+ is better. Some say they can get their oak ready to burn in only one season, but it's best that you do not plan on it. That's not the norm and until you find out how long it takes to dry in your situation, you should plan on not burning it until after it's been cut, split, and stacked for more than 2 years.
  15. ChillyGator

    ChillyGator New Member

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    I'm coming around to understanding what ya'll are talking about with Oak. We cut 90% Water Oak and if cut and stacked by March it shoudl be ready in late fall, BUT....a little bit of Red Oak I have that was cut Feb 2009 is still not seasoned enough to burn. Since White Oak is even denser, I would expect it to take a good two years minimum.....we don't cut Live Oak at all.

    The two cords of Pecan I have split/stacked will be ready................I have no idea :p
  16. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Shortie, with 25-27% moisture now and 30% in the larger splits it very well could be ready to burn next winter. (I'd say it is about normal for white oak to be in that moisture range.)

    You might have better luck if you start stacking your rows N-S rather than E-W here in Michigan. I noticed many moons ago that the wood does dry much better if stacked in the N - S direction.

    I expect this summer to be a hot one. That should help the oak dry more. If we have a dry summer then you might also consider taking that top cover off although I've never had to do this. Like you, I cover in late fall or early winter.

    Good luck.
  18. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I agree, all my stacks are in the n/s direction. Predominant wind here seems to be a west wind. Sure we get a south wind in the summer and north winds in the winter but they almost always have some west to them.
  19. 70marlin

    70marlin New Member

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    I stack n/s never cover, and in a metal pole barn by the 4th of july. Most wood is ready for fall burn season except my red oak I just haven't had a supply large enough to not burn the damper wood, maybe this year?
  20. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Relax.

    You've got at least a good 6 months till next burning season.
  21. RAY_PA

    RAY_PA Feeling the Heat

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    Mee too!!! I do enjoy splitting red oak, tho.
  22. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    funny thing, i am turning away oak because of the same issue..... people want top dollar for it here too! i am only going for ..... anything but oak now...
  23. shawng111

    shawng111 Member

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    X2, west wind mostly.
  24. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I have a bunch of oak and find the burr oak is ready a bit quicker than pin oak or red oak. The Burr is about an 18 month project for me and it's all dead standing or down to start with. It works out for me bacause I have some in each stage all the time , right now I have 2+trees down in the woods 2 trees standing dead 3-4 cords in rounds ready to split and at least a cord split seasoned and ready to burn.
  25. the_dude

    the_dude Feeling the Heat

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    I have white oak that has been split and stacked for 2 years. It looks like it was split yesterday. Burned some of it this winter, and it burned like crap. I'm working on restacking my wood and I'm amazed how little some of my wood has seasoned.

    I just dropped a huge red oak. I don't need that wood until the winter of 12/13, but it probably won't be ready!

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