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Old Fallen Oak - Still Usable

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Rob From Wisconsin, May 13, 2009.

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  1. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    I'd been walking past a tree that must have been fallen for five years in our woods.
    Last night I finally got up the gander (or should I say, my chainsaw) to cut it up & see
    what its condition was. To my surprise, it was in really good shape & appears to be red oak!!
    Got a healthy face cord out of it. What a find!!

    Has anyone else out there also experienced the apparent rot resistance of this wood??

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  2. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    No not really...but I have no problem burning punky wood anyway. It's good for shoulder season and campfires. CNY is the cloud graveyard so when wood hits the ground it's got a shelf life like bread.
  3. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    Actually, the weird thing is that the wood wasn't punky at all - in really good shape!!
    Not bad for being on the ground for perhaps 5 yrs.
  4. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

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    I have seen the same with old fallen oak. What looks iffy on the outside can be real solid when you cut it up.
  5. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    I've seen Oak on the ground that was in surprisingly good shape. Occasionally, there was a little punk wood on the bottom. I prefer to trim this off with a hatchet after splitting. It dries a lot faster that way.
  6. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    Curious.......because it's been "dead" for such a long time, does it dry faster than freshly-cut oak??
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes it does, but it will more than likely still need additional seasoning.
  8. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    Great!! Hopefully it can be ready for the upcoming winter.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Very possible.
  10. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I doubt it will be below 30%mc this season. I scored the nicest oak logs from a customer of mine that were down for years laying on rocks 6" off the ground. This wood looked petrified. It still had a 25-30% moisture. It looks so nice cut and split I don't want to burn it! This is in north central NJ.
  11. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I cut and split an Oak that about a month ago that had fallen in a storm nearly 5 years ago. The splits looked and smelled like a green tree. There was a small amount of rot just under the bark. I hope to burn it next winter.
  12. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    I agree with the posts above. After splitting, the Oak needs at least some seasoning time. Some will still need a year or more. But OTOH I have been very successful burning Oak deadwood which did not have ground contact. I'm talking about stuff that has been dead 4+ years. I did season a few months, but was able to burn it the same year, with good, hot fires and no hissing wood. I also put many of my splits on a grille on top of my running stove for a final half hour or so of drying, then toss them in the firebox. Even that makes a difference. I do have a moisture meter and I use if pretty often. I'm finding my hands are quickly becoming 'educated' so I'm able to make some pretty good guesses about the state of dryness of a split. The moisture meter usually confirms my guesses.

    The reason I take the trouble to trim off the punky wood is that it soaks up rain like a darned sponge. I get much better, faster drying after I trim it. I consider it well worth the extra effort.
  13. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    I'd say definitely yes, but horizontal deadwood having no ground contact is way better in this regard.
  14. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Oh I absolutely positively believed you Rob...the English created an empire with oak ships. Oak is like the #1 wood burners preference. We just never had the opportunity to cut any up.
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