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Tested dead standing wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mattinpa, Dec 17, 2008.

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  1. mattinpa

    mattinpa New Member

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    OK. This had to wait until I bought a wood moisture reader, but there have been alot of posts
    having to do with drying time of dead standing timber, so I bought a meter and was thrilled with
    the results. About 2 1/2 months ago, I cut and chopped and split several large standing dead
    trees. They died as a result of the lower bark being ripped off by family pets (horses). These
    trees were oak and the wood was not punky in the least. The rounds averaged about 18"-20".
    After splitting them, I stacked them with space for the air to circulate, and after a month and a
    half, took them to the basement, which is dug dirt and not heated. Yesterday, I put the meter
    to the splits. My low reading was 19 and my high was 22! I'm pumped! Why? Because I've
    got about 20 cord of the stuff.(Obviously, not all from the oaks I tested) Now if I only had time
    to cut more. I sold a cord to a friend the other day just to help him out, and he said the stuff
    burned long, hot and dry! I'm pretty anxious to do some tests on some fresh cut dead wood!
    This meter could just be my latest addiction!!

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  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Did you split the pieces and test the interior?

    I am burning oak that was standing dead (not walking dead) this spring. The top was dry, the bottom was leaking water. It dried in no time, compared to live trees. There's a big variation possible.
  3. Cedrusdeodara

    Cedrusdeodara Member

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    Wow, very interesting. I too cut alot of standing dead trees (AKA, widowmakers - so be very careful). THere can be a great deal of variability in the dryness, so I select and stack the dryer stuff in one stack and the greener stuff in another. You have 20 cords cut?? What, did your horses destroy a small forest?? Ha ha.
  4. mattinpa

    mattinpa New Member

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    I took a couple of the largest splits, cracked them in half, buried the prongs to the hilt and took my reading!
    I felt on top of the world when I saw the readings. I started detailing the story to the wife, before realizing
    I was talking to the wall. I stacked according to the size of the rounds, so I know I got measurements from
    the base, the middle and the top. I think my situation has alot to do with why it was so dry, even standing.
    About 7 years ago, my father in law had his 130 acres logged. His place is on top of a ridge. His acreage is
    flat, and receives a good deal of wind. The forest is thinned out as a result of the logging, and I think that's
    what's drying out the dead stuff so fast. The oaks I cut were in our horse pasture, 10percent of which is wooded.
    A few days ago, I went out with a camera to take pictures of what all was going to fall to my saw in the near
    future. I was shocked just how much dead standing stuff we have. One big guy the loggers left is easily 4 to
    5 feet in diameter. Tops laying around everywhere, too. I'll cut as I can and get the seasoning started!

    Oh yeah. Our horse pasture is 40 acres, so 4 acres of dead standing......endless cutting!
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Iam burning a dead standing maple right now cut it in late sept. Burning well. Stop by a freind house yesterday all he is burning is dead standing elm drops it splits it burns it all in the same day
  6. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

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    The funny thing is that even wet live wood once split drys pretty fast .I cut trees in the summer and split them from Sept to Dec and burn it in January and have never had a problem .I think the cold drys the wood better and deeper then the sun shine . Plus we don't get much rain here in the winter. I am finding my new stove like really dry wood . If been trying to experiment with fresh cut oak and drying times under my stove but some one keeps throwing the splits in the stove.
  7. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    I think the Cialis commercial had a warning about wood that has been standing dead for more than 4 hours.... Might want to be careful out there folks.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    To hell with the doctor - I'm taking out an add. :cheese:
  9. Summertime

    Summertime New Member

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    I have been burning a dead standing poplar that fell in late Oct, 2 cords worth has been heating my house since I split it. It does burn fast though but it was free...
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like you have some mighty good firewood! Just please allow me to throw one little fly into the ointment:

    Just be sure that you or others don't think what you are getting for a reading will go for all standing dead trees! There can be a huge difference in moisture readings. I do not have a moisture meter nor do I intend to buy one, but we cut a lot of dead trees every year and it is amazing how much they can vary in moisture. For instance, the elm we cut. All of it is dead and the bark has all fallen off. Yet, some of those trees need a full year to dry and some can be burned right away.
  11. mattinpa

    mattinpa New Member

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    I agree. I was just pleasantly shocked, so I had to post my findings. I will definitly be cutting some fresh dead stuff,
    just to see how it reads. I do think the conditions I listed are responsible for the readings I'm getting.
  12. Malatesta

    Malatesta New Member

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    Were do you Guys get these moisture meters ? And how accurate are they ?
  13. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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  14. roac

    roac New Member

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  15. Summertime

    Summertime New Member

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  16. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    I'm worried about buying one of these.... I think the wife will be upset to find pinholes from when I moisture tested the couch, the table, the towels, wet and dry sponges, the tea(according to the ad), and the cats... not sure if I have any bamboo around, though. Might need to pick some up and test it if I get one of these.
  17. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    I have the cheaper one with 2 pins. Stated accuracy is 2 percent. If true, that is very good indeed. I got mine for just under 10 bucks on sale with a 15 percent coupon thrown in. You can buy the cheap one for 15 dollars there any day of the week. So far I like mine and would recommend it.
  18. roac

    roac New Member

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    Hope those cats are declawed, not to mention your wife!! :)
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