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Oak is a joke

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by schwaggly, Dec 2, 2009.

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  1. schwaggly

    schwaggly Member

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    I hit a scrounge score of Oak with my buddy and I don't want any of it. I split about 1/2 a cord
    and I cannot believe how wet it is. I know it will be good but I don't have room for 3 years worth of
    wood. I guess it could be worse. Thank you in advance for offering to take it off my hands but I throw
    it in the back of next years pile.

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  2. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Oak when green has lots of water and takes a year or so to season but makes great firewood.. Send it down to Carver and I'll take care of it for ya :)

    Ray
  3. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I hear you, but it's most of what I have available here. I'm lucky to have plenty of space to store wood, too. I'll take "lesser" BTU woods prerentially just because I'm always behind on stored wood seasoning. I find that it takes MORE than a year- it dries slower than other woods. Something about the actual wood fiber structure.
  4. rathmir

    rathmir New Member

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    I've got two yr old oak that still sizzles sometimes in the stove...
  5. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank goodness I'm not cursed with much of that PITA hardwood here in the central Oregon high desert country. Our firewood seasons in our arms as we carry it from where we split it over toward the house where the stove is. Depending on micro-climate, some need to split a bit further from the house than others. %-P Rick
  6. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    We took down the remnants of an oak tree taken down by the tree dude last year (to just under electrical wires). The "stump" was probably 8 feet high. After it hit the ground, we took off the first round, and water poured out of the middle...it's going to take some time to season, that's for sure.
  7. schwaggly

    schwaggly Member

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    I'm heading back tomorrow. We are going to load up his trailer 3x and take it to his place. I will CSS what I have and my buddy will have the rest.
  8. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I have two large piles of oak thats been stacked for 2 summers and is still 30% mc. I turn oak down unless it falls in my lap.
  9. f3cbboy

    f3cbboy Feeling the Heat

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    i'll take any and all that anyone doesn't want!
  10. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    That's pretty funny Rick!! Does it light on its own too? You probably have to wet it down periodically lest it turn to powder and blow away :p

    Ray
  11. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    If I had a chance to get some Oak I would take it no mater how green it was. Just because it is such a rarity in these parts. But I would only take a cord or so and no more. My problem is also one of space. I don't have the room to store years supplies of wood, 3 years ahead!. My wood shed can only accommodate 5 cords. I can, and do, pile a cord or two extra off to the side in my splitting area, but that is wood I either burn right away or it is some of the stuff that isn't quite seasoned and will be split and stacked once I use up some of the wood in the shed.
    I prefer to cut pre-seasoned, standing dead, softwoods like pine mainly for that reason alone (no space to store for years), but also pine is so readily available and cuts and stacks well.
    With out even looking I have been offered other unseasoned hard woods like apple and walnut, these "scrounge" wood are often very branchy trees, lots of crotch wood and irregular shaped pieces that are hard to cut and stack, and usually when they are offered come with the condition that you must take all of it, not just go in and take the nice rounds. In the time it takes me to cut and deal with a half a cord of this green stuff I could have a full cord of the pre-seasoned pine cut, stacked, and ready to burn sitting in my wood shed.
    But I'll still take a cord or so of green oak if someone offers, just for the novelty.
  12. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    You don't want oak it'll make u fat cuz it burns 3X longer than pine so u will make less trips to the woodpile for firewood!

    Ray
  13. mainemac

    mainemac Member

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    Glad I did not know this earlier!

    My first experience with splitting was 2 winters ago when I had 3 oaks taken down from my yard
    I thought all wood was soaking wet on the inside!

    It has been cooking in the sun for 2 years but the wait is worth it.
    It ignites easily when placed on coals and warms the whole 1st floor in no time!

    Find somewhere for it you will appreciate it in 2011/12!
  14. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Oak isn’t an impatient wood. It’s not cut in a hurry, not split in a hurry, doesn’t stack fast, won’t be ready to burn anytime soon,....... What makes oak a desirable type of firewood, and why many people feel it’s worth the wait, is because of another thing that oak does slowly; it’s not in a hurry to turn into ash once loaded in the stove. It’s a compromise. Some people aren’t willing to put up with the extra work and waiting of oak. And there is nothing wrong with that. Oak isn’t for everybody.
  15. Redburn

    Redburn Member

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    I just cut it smaller and stack it single row in the sun and wind ...... no sizzle after one year and I'm good to go .
  16. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    Red oak (Quercus rubra) takes a long time to season, maybe two years where I live. Make sure to stack it off the ground or you'll be a lot more likely to get carpenter ants. They love green red oak.

    If you can get it, white oak (Q. alba) is the better choice, I think. Not only is it a higher BTU (amost 26 million/cord vs 24 mil ) but it starts off with a lower water content. Pick up two similar sized pieces of each species. Huge weight difference.

    Not sure about swamp white oak (Q. bicolor) or the other oak species.
  17. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Agreed
  18. Nic36

    Nic36 Feeling the Heat

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    I've had experience with 3 oak species so far. White Oak, Red Oak, and Willow Oak (Quercus Phellos).

    I agree with Vic, White Oak can be ready in a year. I cut up two storm felled trees and was easily able to burn them after a year of being stored in my barn. They never seemed to have much moisture from the start and I cut them up just as their leaves were starting to turn brown. The Red Oak I cut up was dead for 2 years and it was dry on the outer limbs, but it still held some water in the larger pieces.

    Now, the Willow Oak, it seems to be different altogether. It was a huge tree and fell on my property early this year. It has been sitting for a while. The thing had been quite dead almost since it fell. It is loaded with water and super dense. I split some last week and loaded the truck up like I usually do only to discover it was much heavier than the loads of White Oak and Willow Oak I've hauled. I was scared I had damaged my truck. Fortunately I didn't have to drive far to unload it. It will probably take two years to dry well. I'm betting it burns great though.

    (Before posting, I looked up the BTU content of the Willow Oak. 28.2 BTU is what the chart claims. Sounds right. It seems like a denser wood.)
  19. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    I have 8 month sesasoned oak in the stove tonight and not a sizzle or steam. Gotta love no rain for 5 months out of the year.
  20. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    Wow, it takes just over a year by me to season it. 18 months and its great...
  21. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    You guys that claim a year or less to season red oak must be splitting it like toothpicks and leaving in sitting in the sands of the Sahara! I've lived all around the US and I'm yet to see any reasonably sized (~ 4"x5"x18") splits of red oak season well in under two years... and white doesn't season much quicker. If possible, I like to let oak sit for 3 years before it sees the stove...

    With that said, White oak is still one of my favorite woods to burn (and split), with red near the top of the list as well. If you have the room to let it sit, oak is w/o a doubt a premium wood for splitting and burning.
  22. twitch

    twitch Member

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    This is my second year with my boiler, and I have mostly red oak on my property. I split fairly small, split end about the size of a playing card, and it seems to season pretty well in a year. It's a little more work, but my gassifier burns a lot better with smaller splits.
  23. Nic36

    Nic36 Feeling the Heat

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    Well, I do have a small stove, so I do have to cut it and split it small. Up until the last year, we have been in a drought for the last two years, so it has been very dry down here. I also have a large barn I can store my wood in, so rain never touches it. Under other circumstances, I can see it taking over a year to get good and dry.
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Hey, nobody has mentioned that oak is heavy stuff to lift! Dang that stuff weights up.

    It is bad that it usually takes so long to season well, but I'd trade any wood I have even up for oak. I'd gladly lift all that stuff right into the stove....after 3 years minimum seasoning.
  25. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Me me! I did! "doesn’t stack fast"
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