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Partially rotted wood??

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by chris2879, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. chris2879

    chris2879 Member

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    I was splitting some maple wood that was bucked into 18" sections in the summer of 2010 and was quite surprised at what I saw. I am not sure if this is partially rotted or just discolored. Some pieces are worse than others. I was planning on burning this this upcoming with season. Will this wood? Does this appear to be rotted or just stained? I know some pieces feel pretty light and others feel somewhat normal.

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  2. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Definitely spalted / punky, but it will still burn (assuming it's dry). You've lost some heating value, but I've seen worse.
  3. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Definitely punky....but doesn't look too bad yet.

    Can you pull any of the punky areas apart? I cut up some maple that had been sitting. I pitched the stuff I could pull apart and kept the rest.

    Don't let it get wet before you burn. The punky areas tend to absorb water quickly once wet.
  4. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Punk has begun. Punk is relative. Compare the weight of the punky ones to non punky ones of the same size and you will know how much the wood has been deteriorated.
  5. chris2879

    chris2879 Member

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    That's what i was afraid of. I keep my stacks uncovered for the entire summer (once the spring rains have stopped) and recover in early fall when the temps drop off and will not evaporate moisture from rain storms. Will having the stacks open to the elements in the summer cause the punky areas to absorb too much water that will not dry out again by burning time next season?
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Maple & birch seem to get that way faster than other wood.
    My theory is it's the sugar in the sap. It enables the bacteria to grow faster than in other wood.

    I have to keep the split birch dry here. Stacked splits left out a few years starts to get punky.
    Especially on wet years.
    Even now the wood that is coming out of my long stack has a green mold growing on it.
    It's been near or below freezing since it was CSS. The snow covered part has the worst mold.

    Keep birch & maple dry & it'll keep a long time.
    Several times getting wet from rain & snow, it'll start rotting faster than other wood.
  7. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    You could probably still get it dry in the fall, but I would cover it to prevent any further deterioration. That wood should work OK, from the looks of it. It may be that the weight difference is due to some of the freshly-split rounds being wetter than others, not due to the punking of the wood.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Chris, leaving the stacks uncovered during summer can be very good. However, in this case it could also be very bad. I would keep that stack top covered until the wood is burned. Wood is not a sponge.....until it turns punky.
  9. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I'd keep just the spalted stuff covered and as dry as possible to slow down the decomposition.
    A reasonable roof for reasonable dry.
    It won't rot and be worthless by October if you don't but you've already got cutting and splitting time invested in it may as well try to maximize it's value.

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