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What's growing on this wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by JimFNJ, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. JimFNJ

    JimFNJ New Member

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    Jan 11, 2013
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    As a first-year wood burner, I severely underestimated my wood needs and also the ability to buy good, dry wood once winter hits. So I got a cord of unseasoned oak delivered 2 weeks ago so I could start drying it out for next winter so I wouldn't have to deal with CL or anything else.

    I originally had stacked it in my garage, since I didn't have anywhere outside to store it at that point. I wanted to take advantage of the warm(ish) weather here in NNJ over the weekend, and started carrying it to its permanent home on my deck.

    A bunch of pieces had some white fuzzy stuff growing on the bark; and a few pieces had some more ugly stuff growing on the wood itself. (See pictures) None of that was there when I originally stacked it.

    20130120_131948.jpg 20130120_130303.jpg

    The "real ugly" ones I put aside for now, but I used a stiff brush on the pieces with the white fuzzy parts before stacking.

    A few questions for the pros here: What did I have growing on my wood? Did I make a mistake just brushing the white stuff off?

    Thanks,
    JF

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  2. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    mold from being stored in the garage
  3. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Feeling the Heat

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    A simple form of mold. get your wood to some moving air and sun. won't hurt you just don't eat it! It burns! If your in NJ as I am, I get it to from time to time, must be the moisture in the air.
  4. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    Yeah, but maybe you'll be lucky and it will turn out to be shiitake or oyster mushrooms! (Wouldn't bet on it, though.)
  5. JimFNJ

    JimFNJ New Member

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    Thanks everyone! I wasn't sure whether it was mold, or mildew, or something else entirely...

    I was hoping for black truffle of some kind... :)
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Jim.

    Sorry to say this but oak is one of the best firewoods you can buy except....it needs 3 years to dry before it is ready to burn. That is 3 years after it has been split. Then it, like all firewood, needs to be stacked out in the wind. Some sunshine will help but wind is your best friend for drying wood.

    In addition to that, never expect that you can buy good dry firewood. It ain't going to happen unless you buy kiln dried. This is because the sellers can't store wood for as long as it needs to be stored after being split. They simply split the wood just before delivery. We never count time of drying until it has been split. See the problem?

    Best advice is to buy a good quantity of wood of something other than oak. Ash is one of the best as it will dry nicely in a year. So get wood this year that you will burn next year. Even better is to get yourself 3 years ahead on your wood supply. That will solve 99% of all wood burning problems. Good luck..
    Nixon likes this.
  7. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Pretty sure you brushed off all the BTU's.
    It's no good anymore.;)
    I find that occasionally, when the wood doesn't get enough air. Give it some air...outside.
    Just remember, wet Oak is VERY heavy. The deck will hate you.
    midwestcoast likes this.
  8. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Must have been moist and very dark to grow that white fuzzy mold.
    After all Kennett Square is the Mushroom capital of the world.
  9. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    there are a number of molds, mildews and fungi that will grow on wood
    moist still air doesn't help keeping the spores from engaging.
    I can get some pretty big fungi growing on oak roundwood in the stack outside.
    Luckily no one here has (known or obvious) allergies affected by any of them/spores.
  10. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    I'm with PapaDave. You want to be Very Sure that your deck can handle the weight before stacking a cord of anything on there, let alone fresh Oak. You're talking about 5 or 6 thousand pounds.
    As Dennis says, I sure wouldn't count on that Oak for next year. Even the year after that it will be marginal. It is the slowest drying firewood by a long shot.
    Get about any other species stacked and drying outside asap for next year.
  11. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Oak is notorious for harboring different growths, some of mine has colors, I just toss it into the stove and burn it all.
  12. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    It all burns.

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