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Probably useless elm moisture readings

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by wendell, Feb 15, 2009.

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  1. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    I had a dying elm that was felled and cut in early January and brought an 8" round, 12" long from one of the limbs into the house and after it warmed up, took a moisture reading of 35% from the end. After letting it sit for a month about 10 feet from the fire, I split it and re-measured. The readings were 17% on the end, 22% an inch in from the end on the freshly exposed surface and still 35% in the middle.

    Maybe I have too much time on my hands?

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  2. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    I just cut a dead standing elm that blew over with our last winds. Its a big one, like 25 inches at the butt or more. I split some of it yesterday and was surprised at how dry it looked inside. I will take a reading later today, but I will probably burn it in March if its as dry as I think.

    Shipper
  3. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Not useless... Cut 1 inch off each end and burn to those cutfofs your heart's content. :LOL:

    Matt
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    First, elm is one of the trees that naturally has a high moisture content. However, once it is split it seems to dry fairly quickly.

    We have lots of elm with some dying every year. What we have found is that it is rare to cut a dead or dying elm and have it dry enough to burn, with the exceptions of the upper limbs. Not only that, but we almost always wait until all the bark had fell off the tree before we cut it down. Still, that tree will be full of moisture, with the possible exception of the upper limbs.

    So, with that, we will usually cut elm and wait at least a year before trying to burn it. Fortunately, we are now in the position where the elm we are burning this year is 3 or 4 years in the wood pile. We have a pretty good stack for next year that will also be 4 years in the stack so it burns rather nicely.
  5. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    My limited experience with elm is that it takes longer to dry than other similar BTU woods. Further, it is a pain to split. As long as I ahead with wood, I will not be scrounging more elm in the future.
  6. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Splitting elm with a maul is a lesson in itself and you've graduated class when you go hydraulic. As stated above the upper branches may be ready to burn right now but the lower trunk will still be wet. Red elm (http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm) isn't bad in a gasifier because of potentially longer burn times than a regular wood furnace so it's not too bad but splitting it will have you looking for a more pliable source. I have seen bigger rounds 15" and up hold moisture two years after cutting when splitting. But I still class it in the low end of premium to upper mid grade wood.
  7. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I also just felled a 24" dutch elm that was diseased. The bark was almost all off. About the top 1/3 was ready to burn. The rest was too wet.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Hey Vic. Did you take the trip yesterday?
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I think he changed his trip to next week?
  10. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    This is my 2010 wood so it will have time to dry. The big rounds ooze moisture when the wedge is going in so understand how they hold moisture.

    Anyone trying to split elm with a maul gets my respect. It's hard enough to get it done with a splitter.

    I had a little soft maple from a neighbor's tree that came down last summer and split along with the elm this weekend. The maple splits within the first inch of the wedge hitting it. The elm you have to run all the way through and still have to rip most of the splits apart. I'm wondering how much faster I could get my 4 cords split if I was working with something other than elm. :)
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