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What to do about next year?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by lumbering on, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I just completed splitting and stacking 4 full cords of red oak.
    I just started splitting a massive pile (10' x 20' x 6') of mixed species that I've hoarded.

    This is my current plan:

    Year 0: (this coming winter) 1 ton envi-blocks and 1 cord properly seasoned (2 years) wood
    Year 1 (next winter): nothing
    Year 2: about 4 cords of the mixed hardwoods
    Year 3: the 4 cords of red oak

    Now I could move the mixed hardwoods to next year, but that means they will have barely seasoned a year by the time I get them split and stacked. And move the red oak to year 2, but that means they will have only seasoned 2 years.

    After all this work, I want to get the most out of the wood.

    Should I just suck it up and buy 2 semi-seasoned cords now (same guy I got this years cord from last year), and let them season for the next year at $400. And let all my current wood season properly?

    Or do I burn everything a year early to save the $400, but not get the most out of the wood?

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  2. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    I'd spend the money, lol. But you know how us women are. Loose in the pocketbooks. More wood is always good to help add to the pile.
    milleo and Missouri Frontier like this.
  3. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Not all wood takes 2 years, what kind of wood do you have besides the red oak, you can get wood as dry as it will ever get in a shorter time then reported on here. Have you got a MM, I for the life of me dont understan how the 2 year thing got ethced in stone. I have good money I can bet on this.
  4. Missouri Frontier

    Missouri Frontier Feeling the Heat

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    Burn what you've got. The whole idea for me is sticking it to the power/gas/propane company. Free so so wood beats all the grid fuels and $400 cord wood all day long. POWER TO THE WOOD haorders! Sorry I got carried away. I'll go sit down now before I pass out.
  5. Soundchasm

    Soundchasm Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like it's too late to sort any splits that feel lighter into Year 1's pile. You could look for some silvermaple or hackberry or cherry for year 1, and it might be ready by then. You could also try robbing the top splits off year 2 & 3's stacks to feed Y1's pile. The stuff on the top always seems to be driest.

    I got behind last winter, and I can tell you my standards for seasoned wood tanked pretty quickly when I ran out of good stuff when it was still cold! ;-)
  6. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Split it , check it, check,stack , it right
    If u depend on ,weight, smell, moisture on your cheek, U are only gussing
  7. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    Burn the mixed hardwoods on year one and the oak on year 2. You have time to get more wood for year 2 if you want.
  8. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    You split the pile now and there will be enough good wood to get you through year 1. Like others said- Cherry, Ash, Maples will all be ready in 15 months is split now. Make smaller splits and stack them loosely.
  9. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    The most important thing that most miss is that you always have to be thinking 15 months ahead. You have to be working on 14/15 wood now
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  10. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Use the mixed stuff next year.
    Two year c/s/s Oak will burn pretty darn well if it's been in the wind/sun. Might sizzle fo' shizzle just a lizzle. Actually that stuff will be over 2 yrs. old. Right? C/s/s, right?
    I wouldn't sweat it.
    Start on more wood right now so you don't go through this agony every year. Next year, do the same.
    I know we burn 5-ish cord/year, so I like to make sure there's 6 in case there's a new ice age on the way. Do that every year and you'll be ahead faster than you realize.
    milleo and Missouri Frontier like this.
  11. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    I would move everything up a year. It'll burn fine if stacked right, off the ground, in sun and wind etc. You may have a bit of moisture in the mixed hardwoods but not enough to worry about in my opinion.
    Missouri Frontier and PapaDave like this.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Best plan is to stack everything really loosely and in the windiest spot you have. If that is in the sun (usually is), then so much the better. Don't stack the wood in tall stacks either else you may be re-stacking. Just remember to stack loose and a bit higher off the ground won't hurt. Do the best you can with what you have. As for the mixed hardwood, nobody can say because we don't know what that mix is. It's sort of like saying you drive a car. There are many cars so which one?

    Big thing to me is that you live in NY. That usually means you live in sort of a wet climate. That definitely will have a bearing on how well the wood will dry.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Quit trying to understand it! Do understand though that everyone does not live in the same climate so there can be some big variances. I have no doubt you can burn your oak in 2 years and have no problem with that. However, most folks on this forum will not be able to experience that unless they want to burn wood that is not properly dried.
    Trilifter7 and swagler85 like this.
  14. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I'd stack that mixed wood in single or double rows with plenty of air space. Cover the tops to keep rain off if you can. The wood will be fine by next year. Maybe I'd separate the oak from the other species and save it for the year after next. If you can get the wood nicely stacked with lots of air, you can probably do in one year what most guys do in two.

    Also, look for pine, spruce, etc. Maybe call a few tree services, who probably can't give the softwoods away. I burn any softwood I can get, and I really like it. It should season very nicely in a year.
    Trilifter7 likes this.
  15. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Seems the consensus is to move everything up one year, under ideal drying conditions, but not sure I have ideal drying conditions.

    It's been wet and high humidity all summer, so I don't think a lot of drying has occurred. (good point backwoods). And I have a wooded lot, lots of shade. And trees and houses block a lot of the wind, and due to space limitations, everything is stacked close.

    Conventional wisdom is 1 yr softwood, 2 yrs non-oak, 3 yrs oak, right?

    I was so frustrated last year with bad, smoldering wood. And I put so much effort into getting this wood, I want to burn it at its best. So I'm leaning toward waiting the customary 2 and 3 years.

    It seems like the initial start up investment in this process has been pretty high. If I buy the 2 cords for next year, I'll be out about 1,000 dollars in wood and envi-blocks before any of my "free" wood is ready to burn. Is this typical?

    I haven't saved any money yet...

    Anybody willing to share a reliable wood guy on Long Island?
  16. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    That's what I would do, get Silver or Red Maple or dead standing trees, except Oak. As you split the mixed pile, separate out the quick-dry stuff. Even if it's not perfect, it'll be good enough. Just keep an eye on the flue and brush as necessary.
  17. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Locust might be good to go next winter if you score it soon. High BTU's too. Good luck!
  18. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    hahaha...true story bro!
    Soundchasm and Trilifter7 like this.
  19. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

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    Holy C#IT, that gave me a headache_g..... Buy seasoned now! burn, then go with original plan.....o_O
  20. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

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    Have you tried the local tree services? Someone recently posted about 'hijacking' a big load while stuck in traffic on the LIE.

    Do you have the space to get 12+ cords of wood stacked up? If so I'd keep pluggin away at obtaining wood, don't even think of the following winters yet. Who knows, you might wind up with a load of standing dead ash and have next winter taken care of.

    Smoke 'em if you got 'em, or something like that.
    Trilifter7 and osagebow like this.
  21. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Get a moisture meter, test your wood, splt your driest smaller, stack it properly like you have been taught here, you will be ok...I have 3 month old maple ready to go, you can do it too...
  22. byQ

    byQ Member

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    There is an under utilized resource that wood burners don't tap into enough. A place where you can get free wood that you can burn the first year. Where? From building sites or tear downs. The pieces may be odd shapes or smalls but they are burnable. A lot of times they are glad to let you have this scrap because it means less work for them.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  23. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Just keep cutting and splitting til you cant fit any more wood on your lot, if your tight on space don't get so much oak, if you can fit 4 years worth then you have some room to let a few cords of oak season but you still need plenty of the quicker drying woods, mainly ash if you can score some. I live in a similar climate and after 2 years my oak was between 19-25%, I just burned the outside rows (they were 19-21%) and saved the rest for this year. Its a lot of work to get ahead and takes 3 years or so depending on how much room you got but once your ahead you can coast and be picky.
    Backwoods Savage and osagebow like this.
  24. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    What is that supposed to mean, I can back up any statement I made and I looked at the rainfall, RH, wind speed, and ave temp in my area compared to some othere here and it was very close.
  25. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Well, you're on the wrong end of the state or I'd trade you some pine we got as standing dead that's CSS for some of your stuff that needs more time. We're pretty set and could stand to trade dry for needs to season, we're ahead several years now. Maybe see if you can find someone in a similar situation that has dry stuff they can trade for the stuff you need to season longer?

    Barring that, try scrounging some pine or quick drying wood and get it CSS now.

    And barring that...burn what ya got!

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