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Winter seasoning vs. Summer seasoning

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Cutterman, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I hear you. I have put about 10 hours this week in the evening cutting and tossing that wood into a pile. I had a bunch of wood in log form laying around on the ground in piles. Some of it was starting to get punky. I had to get it cut even if it won't dry ideally in the mound; it is on pallets at least, so it should be less likely to be wasted by rot.

    As an aside, I am cutting really small pieces. About 7-9" long about 5-7" wide. These little chunks have alot of air exposure on at least a couple sides for the rectangular shaped pieces. In my experience, these will dry much quicker than a big split. For my little stove, I can really pack a firebox full with smaller chunks as opposed to larger pieces sometime irregularly shaped.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Definitely the smaller logs will dry the fastest.

    Only one thing to keep in mind. When filling the firebox with small stuff it is easy to get an overfire. However, you wood is perhaps not that dry yet to be a concern but please do keep it in mind for the future.
  3. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

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    This is interesting. There has to be some study on this out there some where. First law of thermodynamics in play here I think. The low and very low dew points play an important role in drying cord wood in the winter. Extreme drying takes place in these conditions (like those in Alaska and Northern Canada). I'll bet the same amount of drying in both mid winter and mid summer seasons in the northeast.

    Just another thought !
  4. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Very true.. Relative humidity is low in winter. With the super low temps.. the ability for the air to hold ANY water is diminished. So your wood is not sweating it out.. but the air is super dry in winter.. so I think plenty of drying is happening.

    JP
  5. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

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    Heat always goes/flows to cold ;)
  6. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    The wood (if already C/S/S) does dry in winter too, but more slowly. From the chart mentioned earlier by weatherguy, I concluded that at our location, wood dries 1/6th as quickly in the coldest winter month as in the warmest summer month. Of course - the months between (like spring and autumn) are better than January's 1/6th.
  7. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

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    What chart? Got a link?

    ~Bruce
  8. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    HDRock likes this.
  9. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Wood will dry some in the winter, not as fast, but still lose moisture to the dry air. All that being said, winter cut wood starts out drier, the tree is dormant, no sap flowing up to the leaves. Cut a Maple tree in Nov/Dec/Jan time frame, & you'll get no moisture in the cut. Now cut the Maple next to it in Mar/April, or even late Feb & see what you get. A C
    Backwoods Savage and Applesister like this.
  10. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick Feeling the Heat

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    I stack my wood on pallets roughly a 4x4 square about 5 or so feet high. I put up my wood like this in the fall for the following year (although I am getting a couple years ahead) The wood I am burning this year was all c/s/s in october/november last year. It is all seasoned nice except for my oak stacks. There is a bout 8 inches space between pallets of wood. I put a piece of metal roof over my stack and it is all seasoned fine by the following year. The fact of the matter is that most wood will season in a year......simple strategies.....c/s/s....off the ground. cover or not I do not think it really matters, but I choose to cover anyway. Done
  11. Kenneth Kline

    Kenneth Kline New Member

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    Here in southern maryland where I live it seems to only take one summer to dry any wood, including the red and white oak. I've been splitting and stacking in October and by the end of the following summer the whole stack is gray, cracked and has the bark falling off. It's stacked uncovered in the open where it gets sun and breeze all day. We don't get much rainfall here.
  12. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Here's my pile of winter cut wood. I cut them small and try to create as many cut sides as possible. The smaller logs that were branches with only 2 sides cut will propably be left in that pile to season at least another year. I have burned some of this in my stove. It is ok to burn especially when the air control is left open a little till I have a decent coal bed. Small pieces sweat quickly in a hot stove. It hasn't been cold enough where I care about having top heat output. Alot of these logs were cheap or free, so I'm not too picky with it. There's very little good stuff in there, but it heats ok and the price was right. I'm gambling that the stuff exposed to the air will dry a little, in the winter air, before getting burned. I know it's not stacked correctly, but I was more concerned in getting the logs off the ground before they rotted in the short time I created this pile. The wood had a little better chance of not rotting if cut-up and mounded especially with most of this being burned if we ever have a winter.
  13. rasp21

    rasp21 Member

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    MM a new splt and burn what you can.. Maybe have to feed some small splits to keep up a good fire, but doable.. Watch your creo build up in your stack.
  14. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I also mix that with this pile which burns alot hotter. This is better seasoned, mostly good hardwood. I'm not too worried about creosote.

    IMG_0521.JPG
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Kenneth.

    Because the wood ends are turning gray and are cracking, this only means that the ends are dry! There is no way I'd burn oak that quickly even in a dry climate.
  16. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I agree here - I'd much rather work wood in the winter (or colder, less humid months) than when it's warmer, humid, buggy, etc. I'd be on those trees! Cheers!
  17. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Relative Humidity is the only important factor (and enough breeze to get through the stack). Some winter climates are dry, some not (like here!) I've seen snow disappear overnight in Eastern Colorado when it was about -20F. All it does here is rain. Sounds like your climate is dry enough for effective seasoning in winter. I'm jealous. If curious, put a humidity gauge outside and see.

    All the other advice is good too, smaller splits, lots of air space, etc.

    Get a moisture meter if you don't have one.

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