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Quickest Maine hardwoods to season

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by joecool85, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
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    856
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    For last season and this current season my wood piles have consisted of (basically in this order): pine, willow, fir, birch, apple. Pine and willow make up close to 75% of the wood though I'd say.

    Obviously this is less than ideal, but it was all free stuff I had access to - just my time to cut, split, haul. Also due to lack of space and time, these woods were great because they season in 6 months to a year quite well. Pine is also the best (in my opinion) fire started when dried properly.

    Now, I'm trying to get some wood with more btus in my stack for next season and again, due to lack of space and time, am interested in which woods season the quickest. These are the hardwoods available (didn't list Oak because I know it takes 1/2 an eternity to season).

    American Beech
    Black Cherry
    Grey Birch
    Paper Birch
    Yellow Birch
    Red Maple
    Sugar Maple
    White Ash

    Which of these woods would you folks rank as quickest to season?

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  2. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I think the Red Maple and White Ash will be the quickest to season. I'd continue to get pine as well, if you have access to pine. Black Cherry, Gray Birch, and Paper Birch should be close behind the maple and ash, with the other birches, sugar maple, and beech a little slower.
    smokinj likes this.
  3. Standingdead

    Standingdead Burning Hunk

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    Loc:
    Saratoga county, NY
    Maple, ash, cherry under optimal conditions (single stack with sun and wind) can definitely be seasoned in a year. I know some who swear by the birchs ( my favorite is yellow, then black) but whenever I tried I could only get the Moisture down to 20-25%. In the past I didn't burn much beech but plan on in the future cause I have a lot of beech trees. Those are all great choices. Don't forget you can mix dried pine with some 25% moisture hard maple or oak and still have a good fire. I think dried pine and poppel are so underrated! GL!
    smokinj likes this.
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Ash
    Red maple
    Cherry
    White birch
    Gray birch
    Yellow birch
    Beech and Sugar Maple
    midwestcoast and smokinj like this.
  5. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    Then, keep getting the lower BTU stuff if that is what you have alot of and start mixing on a regular basis
    redmaple X pine
    Ash x willow
  6. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Great, thanks guys. And I will be continuing to get the pine and fir, maybe some willow (depends on wether I decide to tromp through my swampy land to get 'em). But now I can aim to get some harder woods in there too. I think I'll be poking around my parent's lot to see if they have any ash, red maple or cherry around. I'm almost 100% certain they have a fair amount of red maple, no cherry and very little ash, so it'll probably be red maple in the stack for next year. I figure if I cut, split, stack it by february it should be fine for next heating season.
  7. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    As Jake has it, although I don't have experience with Grey Birch or Yellow Birch.
  8. scotvl

    scotvl Burning Hunk

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    southern ontario
    Sounds like a good plan except for the willow part. I would take pine over willow even if the willow was dropped off for free, the stuff I had last year but like paper and threw less heat.
  9. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    +1 with Jake's list

    Good plan
    Pictures help the wood dry faster too ;)
  10. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    Central Maine
    I didn't mind burning willow really. You do have to make sure it's fully dry though, and split on the finer side to get more heat. It doesn't last long, but it's better than no wood...which was my other option.
  11. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I've burned it before . . . a good wood for the shoulder season or for those days when you're just sitting around the house and don't mind loading up a little more often.

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