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Will poplar / popple dry enough in rounds over summer to split in fall?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Northeaster1, May 21, 2009.

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  1. Northeaster1

    Northeaster1 New Member

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    I know, I know... poplar.. but it's free. Had to cut a few dead standing in the backyard. Can't split it by hand now as way too wet. Not enough to rent a splitter. Will it dry enough over the summer, if piled or stacked, cut in 18" lengths? Most is about 10"-12" accross.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Enough to split, but not enough to burn.
  3. Northeaster1

    Northeaster1 New Member

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    That's fine. I have wood for next year. Just didn't know if the poplar might rot in larger rounds, the way that some birch will. Of course, the birch has different bark that causes it, I guess.
  4. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Just do the obvious, keep it off the ground. Dry gravel area is better, it'll wick the moisture out of grass. It breaks down quicker than white birch. Its a good wood for what everybody refers to as "shoulder season". The ash is very minimal.
  5. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    My experience is that popple can stay really wet in rounds. Once split,
    popple dries relatively quickly. I love it for shoulder season wood and
    for fire-starting.

    When hand splitting fresh cut popple, water can ooze up from the soft center
    cuts. It's like trying to split a sponge. Taking slices around the outside edges
    and working around to the middle is often the only way that
    I can hand split popple.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I agree. If you could just split them in half they would dry much faster than in the log. However, you said they were dead! If they were dead then there probably isn't much moisture there anyway. If it were me, I'd split a few to see what they are like on the inside. Choose those few logs from the butt end and just split once. That will tell you what you need to know.

    Also, popple won't rot like birch in the rounds, but it will still rot.
  7. Northeaster1

    Northeaster1 New Member

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    Well, one was windblown down in the yard, and the others were what I would call deadstanding (maybe that's not correct) but they had no leaves. They were not long dead, as they are very wet. I may let them dry for a couple of months,, then rty spitting from the outside, as mentioned above. Right now the axe / spliiting maul just stops dead!

    Thanks for the advice!
  8. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    Get yourself a couple of wedges. Along with the maul, they'll make short work of those stubborn rounds.
  9. Tedsokol

    Tedsokol New Member

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    Wood does not dry in the round in long lengths ( This includes firewood lengths) . At least not to the correct moisture content needed for burning. You need to split the wood in order for the drying process to begin. I work with wood for living and test the moisture content of wood on a regular basis with a moisture meter and am always surprised to find how wet wood can be when stored out doors unsplit. Here in the Northeast, it's usually around 25 to 35% Moisture content in unsplit firewood lengths. That's too wet for burning. It needs to be under 20%. It may differ slightly in your region.

    The smaller the splits the faster it dries and the quicker it burns... so keep that in mind.

    Split the poplar now if you plan on burning it this coming season.

    Ted

    Burn Responsibly

    www.woodhomeheating.com
  10. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Its interesting that you are having trouble splitting poplar. I cut and split some this spring, mine was Bigtooth Aspen, and it split about as easily as any wood I have ever split. Mine was cut in the spring, before leaves appeared but the sap was already running, so the wood wasn't as dry as it could have been. I assumed that poplar/aspen was always easy to split. I guess I assumed wrong.
  11. mn_jon

    mn_jon Member

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    i agree with everyone else. I have had rounds for over a year that hiss when they are on the campfire. Might be better if they were split & covered. They seem to soak up water like a sponge.

    Jon
  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    This had to be a cut and paste job since the grammar and punctuation is too good . . . and it makes sense. ;) :)
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