Paid for a full cord of "seasoned" oak...

ianb42 Posted By ianb42, Jan 21, 2009 at 9:21 PM

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  1. ianb42

    New Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    It stacked up alright, but after the guy dumped it and left I noticed that about half of it felt like it was just cut and split last week!

    It feels damp and there are no checks or cracks in the ends of the splits.
    This is my first year burning wood, but im pretty sure i got bamboozled.

    I paid 180.00 which is about the average price I suppose in NJ.

    I have some 3/4 seasoned ELM that I can burn. I was wondering if it was worth it to split the oak into smaller pieces and mix it with the elm once my stove is nice and hot. Or just stack it with the rest of my "next winter" wood.

    I know burning unseasoned wood is a big no-no. But I was hoping not to have to spend any more money on it this winter. Work is really slow and money is tight.. :-S
  2. cgeiger

    New Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Northwestern VA
    ianb42 - I had the same experience. Worst part was they were late and by the time they got to me it was after dark. The next morning I went out to grab some and give it a test burn and I knew as soon as I picked it up it was just no good for burning. Same as you: little to no checking on the ends, fairly heavy, smelled very woody and just felt "wet." So I threw in a very small split just to see what happened. Well, my semi-seasoned wood went in and immediately went to flame. After it was good and hot, I threw in a little 2 inch split of this crap and all it did was sizzle, spit and smoke. Well, that was that - I just threw it all in the back to stack and season next year. I'll probably run out of good enough wood for this year but I've got a great head start on next year. Unfortunately, it sounds like you do to. Take heart: you'll find plenty of commiseration on this site. At least you didn't pay over $200 for yours. Down in my parts I see it for as much as $250. :bug:
  3. karri0n

    New Member

    Nov 18, 2008
    Eastern CT
    This will always be the case. You can't expect to buy seasoned wood, period. You're much better off buying "green" firewood a year in advance, since you'll be getting the exact same thing for a much lower price. You weren't necessarily bamboozled, as this is what every firewood supplier will sell you.

    edit: just saw the part in your post about hoping you won't have to spend more money. Don't spend it on a different supplier thinking you will get different results. Chances are what you have is 1/4 to 1/2 seasoned, which is what you will get from any other supplier. If you know an actual wood burner who's willing to do a "green for seasoned" trade or sell you some of what he's got, that might be worth your while.
  4. myzamboni

    Minister of Fire

    May 22, 2007
    Silicon Valley
    Be thankful. The $180 you paid gets you half a cord in my area. Full cords are $300-$400
  5. Bigg_Redd

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 19, 2008
    Shelton, WA
    Let's play a game.

    The game is called Berate-the-next-guy-that-buys-wood-in-January-and-complains-that-it-isn't-dry.


    Minister of Fire

    Mar 1, 2006
    Pomfret, CT
    Well....this happened to Woodbutcher about 7 years ago when I bought my new house. Moved in late November.... the owners only had 1 cord of 2 year old oak and the only source of heat in the stove room was a little Russo stove. (I knew I was in for it)
    Got some delivered (gritted my teeth about it) I got home to a load of sopping wet red oak...nasty-ice-covered oak (the worst wood to get).....I remember calling the guy back and asked if it came from the bottom of a swamp or pond.
    Lessoned learned......everyone here has been there before. Split the oak into smaller pieces and mix with what you have left and make the best of it. Keep an eye on your chimney because the oak is going to cause a steam bath in your fiebox.
    Right now I'm loading my Oslo with old hickory split in June 2007....ahhh....hard work paying off.

  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 14, 2007
    And oak really needs two years seasoning.....
  8. cityevader

    New Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Santa Cruz "Mountains"
    I used to buy a "cord" which was really 2/3 during the burn season because that's when I needed it. Year after year, order after order, I got cheated after being cheated.

    Literally, the final-straw-load I bought of "seasoned Madronne" in '05-'06 still had little branches and green leaves attached, and was ridiculously water-logged. A Live tree was culled to fill a desparate firewood order. I vowed "never again". The following summer I spent ridiculous hours cutting and splitting with a maul to acquire the 5 cords I needed. I barely made it through that winter with marginally seasoned wood.

    This is my first winter with properly seasoned wood, using a hydraulic splitter instead of maul, and I now have next years and the year after wood split and stacked....approx 10 cord not counting this years'....and still taking up a bit here and there to fill future needs, whether mine or others.
  9. iceman

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 18, 2006
    Springfield Ma (western mass)
    well it seems this is quite frequent as yes it has happened to me too..
    but you did say that some of it may have been seasoned somewhat... start with those ... what i do.. am doing because not all of mine is completely seasoned,,, i re-split any pieces that i think are still wet/seasoning ...this will help them dry out faster and if ihave to put them in it will also help them dry out faster in the stove.. even dry pieces if you split them burn hotter faster which helps if you are mixing ..... you can also split those that you deem wet and just bring them in the house get a wood rack fill it up let it sit for a week or so and it'll be a noticable difference .... i moved where i stack near my house so that the wood gets a little sun ...
  10. Darrel


    Oct 2, 2007
    Sadly I have learned my lesson before too. They don't get call backs either.
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