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Standing Dead Wood -- OK to burn?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by 80s Burnout, Jan 22, 2009.

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  1. 80s Burnout

    80s Burnout New Member

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    Hi.

    I am about to buy 2 cords of wood which has been described as still standing but dead due to caterpillars. Apparently parts of Rhode Island have lots of this standing "dead wood" that has been de-barked from the caterpillars. The gentlemen said he would cut the trees down, then immediately split and that they are ready for burning. Does this sound right?

    Thanks.

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  2. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    The tops yes..not so with the close to the ground trunks. But if you split 'em small and stand them around the stove for a day yes. btw I only tried that cause of your post in Dec about speedy seasoning LOL. I would take that guys wood.
  3. woodzilla

    woodzilla New Member

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    Found myself cutting standing dead elm last year. It had some wetter parts than others, but it was good enough to get me through the winter. Good luck!
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Depends . . . depends on the wood species and how dead the dead wood is . . . this past year I have burned a standing dead maple, cherry and a whole lot of elm. The maple and cherry were dead dead and burned like a wildfire in California . . . the elm has been a mixed bag . . . some wood that had little to no bark and had been standing dead for a year or more has burned well . . . some wood that had been standing dead for a year or less has not burned as well. I've got to the point now where I can pretty much look at and heft a piece of the elm and know if it is worth throwing in the stove or waiting until next fall.
  5. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Upper limbs might be OK, but I'd bet the trunk and bigger limbs will still be wet. I've split a few trees which were cut down for 2 years, but not cut into log lengths. The bark was falling off, but the wood was still wet.
  6. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    Buy it. A standing dead tree will likely be drier than any other "seasoned" wood you can buy.
  7. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    We took down a standing dead white oak this October and bucked it up. I'm guessing it was dead for a year or more based on its appearance last year and my crummy memory. We split the rounds in November, and I checked one at 35% moisture with the meter. Of course your mileage may vary.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It all depends and the only way to tell is to cut it first. Some will be ready to burn while some needs more time.
  9. FLINT

    FLINT Feeling the Heat

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    Last year I got a late start and burned mostly chestnut oak that was standing dead and while it was not completely dry, it burned fine. My dad regularily cuts standing dead stuff in october/november and burns it all winter fine. We have older non epa stoves, so i don't know if that makes a difference.
  10. Bigcube

    Bigcube Member

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    Seems I should have looked around before I posted the same question.
  11. Summertime

    Summertime New Member

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    I burned a dead Poplar that was cut down in Oct. and it burned hot and quickly!
  12. JeffRey30747

    JeffRey30747 Member

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    The only thing better than good solid standing dead wood is good solid wood that has already fallen over! Of course, seasoning is a case by case issue as mentioned above but you typically do have a little bit of a head start on the process. If you are the one cutting the standing dead wood, please be wary of the widow maker branches that could fall at any time.
  13. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    If it's dry, yes.
  14. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    Jeff and Bigg are right.

    Cut safely any dead standing trees! Once they are down do not assume how dry it is. Split and test some samples for moisture content. Most splits may require some short seasoning time, at least.

    Cut and burn safely, and wisely.
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