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Moisture content: standing dead red oak

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Pagey, Sep 6, 2009.

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  1. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    Dad took down a NICE standing dead red oak this weekend. We halved a round this morning and took a reading to satisfy our curiosity: 39%. The meter only goes to 40%, and I was of course unable to sink the pins as deep as recommended according to the instructions.

    People often inquire about the moisture content of standing dead, so I thought I'd share my experience with at least one red oak. We also hauled in some black locust yesterday. It too maxed out the meter when we halved a round this afternoon.

    I've got some pine that is already reading 18-20% on the interior of a fresh split. :cheese:

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    A tornado blew this red oak down in mid September of 2004. On March 14, 2007 I cut into it and a stream of water poured out of it. It finally stopped leaking out three days later.

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  3. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    And on the fourth day, you burned it? Am I right? :coolgrin:
  4. JoeyD

    JoeyD Minister of Fire

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    Did you ever do the celery and blue dye science experiment in grade school? Red oak is similar in in a way. It's an open pore wood and the pores act like wicks sucking ground water up like the celery experiment.

    Now if you want to get fancy and sell designer firewood, dump some dye at the base and wait. I'd bet there is someone who would pay more for color coordinated wood.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Nah. I gave it to CAL MI and he burned it a week later. :lol: But it kept his chimney clean and made his glass explode.
  6. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    epic lulz! ;-P
  7. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Like to know how ell calibrated that moisture meter is. Black locust at 40% sounds a bit high to me.
  8. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    Can't say for certain, but I can tell you that locust was visibly wet.
  9. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Was that a fresh cut locust or was it on the ground?
  10. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    It was lying in the edge of the pasture. It was bulldozed down about a month ago. So it was standing live not long ago at all.
  11. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I wonder if it picked up moisture laying on the ground?
  12. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure. The locusts have been bucked into 16" lengths for about 3 weeks. We just hauled some of the rounds out of the edge of the pasture this weekend. When we unloaded the red oak yesterday morning, we halved a locust round, as I was curious to see if it had any less moisture than the oak. I've read on here they are relatively "dry" even when green. At this point I have no reason to doubt the calibration of the meter, but I understand your skepticism.
  13. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    Thank goodness he was using his Magic Heat!
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