Hi all, I've been lurking for a while at the site and just joined yesterday. Yesterday I also replied to someone else's post, but this is my first actual "posting". I in New Jersey, and I'm new to heating with wood. I installed my fireplace insert this past November (was supposed to be done in October, but Hurricane Sandy threw a monkey wrench into that plan), and have been enjoying it despite the huge learning curve for me, and the difficulty in finding proper fuel at this time of year. Thanks to everyone for their helpful posts on this forum, there's so much to absorb and learn here. Now a little more background, and then on to my seasoned wood comment and question. Until reading about it here, I really didn't understand what true seasoned wood was. I knew you couldn't properly burn wet wood, but that was the extent of my understanding on the subject. I had hoped that I could tell seasoned from unseasoned when looking at it and handling it, but soon found out how wrong I was. I purchased my first cord of firewood shortly after installing my insert, in mid-November. I found the guy on craigslist. Got kind of lucky in that the wood (mostly White Ash) burned really well despite the fact that it didn't appear to be completely dry (no drying cracks on the ends of the splits). However, the seller insisted it was fully seasoned and had been stored in a barn for 2 years. He explained that the lack of cracking was due to it being stored in the barn, and not exposed to repeated wet and dry cycles outside. Apparently he also heats his rather large house exclusively with wood, with a very big, very old wood stove that he claims weighs 700 pounds. Got a 2nd load from him later, again that had been "seasoned" 2 years, stored in a barn. The ash burned just fine. The oak (and other hardwoods that I'm not familiar with) did not. When I split some of the non-Ash hardwood splits into smaller pieces (he tends toward very large splits), I found that I could see and feel the interior moisture of the wood, even though the outside was dry. When I attempted to burn these smaller splits, I could see a wet spot forming at the ends through the glass of my fireplace insert. And I would see some occasional foaming/bubbling at the ends as well. I asked the seller about it and he apologized but repeated again that it was seasoned 2 years, he thought it was dry, and he had no problems burning it. Now I recently got load #3. Due to my concerns with some of the wood from the last load, this time he brought stuff that was all 3 years old and older. And it is incredibly dry on the outside. Once again, the ash pieces burn great. But once again, the oak and other hardwoods, not so well, though better than the last load. So I split a few more pieces and, to my surprise, still found the insides to feel a little moist (though less so than the last load). Three years old and still wet inside? So I don't know what to think. It may be that for his big old wood stove, this wood is sufficiently seasoned, and he believes it to be properly seasoned. Am I being too picky? My EPA insert just won't burn all of this wood properly, and it does seem (to me) to be not truly, fully seasoned wood. Your input and thoughts on this is greatly appreciated!