1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Wood drying in the heat

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Backwoods Savage, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I can't help but look upon so many threads and folks sounding as if this summer is the super summer for drying wood. Well, it has been hot and the wood does dry well in the summer but....

    My fear is that too many will have cut wood this summer and "it has dried so well we can burn it this winter." Perhaps the wood might dry a little better this summer but not that much. It still takes time. Sure, the outer layer will dry fast but the inside still has to get the moisture out.

    So just a little word of warning. Enjoy the drying weather we have but understand it still takes so much time to get the moisture out of the wood....even if it is 100 degrees outside.

    Compared to a "normal summer" this year is warmer but overall we are only talking a few degrees. Be careful on what you are expecting. Don't be like a fellow I helped a week or so ago. They cut white oak...and will burn it this winter. That will not be done in our home!
    CageMaster, ScotO, zap and 3 others like this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. The Beagler

    The Beagler Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    Northern Ky
    How true! I split a good load of pin oak in March & silver maple in April. I didn't notice that the wood was checking or getting a weathered look any sooner than normal. I wasn't planning on burning the pin oak next year anyway. I'll see what the silver maple looks like by March or maybe February. It dries way quicker than oak will.
  3. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,708
    Loc:
    SE MI
    I'm not sure the heat has made a huge difference here, but we haven't had any measurable rain here since May. The days of really uncomfortable humidity have been few. Been like a kiln. I leave for work at 2-3 am, and don't remember the last time there was dew on the windshield.
  4. jwoair23

    jwoair23 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I hear you backwoods, I have been working my butt off to get ahead this year all through this summer. Its been crazy for the past few months, but I have been taking every scrounge I can get, and I am halfway through the 2013-2014 supply so far. Trying to get one year ahead so I don't even have to think about wood drying anymore! :)
  5. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Although I am not gonna be burning any wood that was cut this year, some always will....

    Compared to the Soggy Summer (Rain every other day) last year, we had 18 days over 90° in a row, this July.... A new record since 1936. Also broke numerous single High Temp Days and Very, Very low precipitation numbers the last 3 months.

    So it may not be substitute for burning wood early, but for those that are "Gonna do it anyways", its helping a little. Some people will never learn. But all we can do is try and educate them...

    My wood this year should be Primo (Cherry, Ash, and Locust/ with 2 full Summers) . Last year was good. But this year will be better... And next year should be Awesome (Hickory, Pin Oak, White Oak/ 3 Summers).....

    People are always gonna burn what they have and get by. We can only hope they check and clean there Chimney/Flue every month (or more frequently if burning less than desirable wood)...
    ScotO likes this.
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    Good point Dennis.
    I had some birch rounds I cut late last fall & stacked up all winter. When I split them this spring, some had water oozing out around the wedge of the splitter.
    The ends were cracked & checked real good too. But still pretty wet inside. Pic:

    4-17-12.JPG
    ScotO likes this.
  7. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,811
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    I had some rounds sitting around for a couple months baking, when I split them this weekend they oozed out quite a bit of water too. This years wood is 2-3 years drying and thats how it will be every year from now on, hopefully.
  8. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,161
    Loc:
    Schoharie County, N Y
    What has surprised me this summer is that it has been very dry in the Northeast, but it has been rather humid for the most part. With all the dry conditions I wonder where the humidity comes from. I would have to think the humidity can't be helping the drying process. My dehumidifier in the basement has been running quite a bit.
    ScotO likes this.
  9. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Dave, same here with some White Pine I've had in the side yard since last August. Water was literally pouring out of the rounds as I was running them throu.gh the splitter.
    I've seen the same thing with oak.
    Dennis, most of the regulars know what you're talking about, but some newer members or "guests" don't. It's good to make the point every now and then.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    9,226
    Loc:
    Lake Wissota
    +1 I think humidity has more effect on drying times than just hot temps.
  11. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,468
    Loc:
    Greenwood county, SC
    Yea most of my oak that has been cut the first of this year and some about a month ago split. The Moisture readings on it is between 33-37% Which is way down from when it was dropped but still way to wet to be burned this fall. I did split a decent amount of elm that will burn this year. Have a small stack of left over last season and some really dead stuff out of the woods. then i have my half cord or so, emergency stack thats kind of a back wall in my wood shed to shield my shed contents from the neighbors. i think its about going to be 3 years this year (it was around 10-13% last year)?

    Generally green cut oak in spring late winter i have found to be around 25% by the next winter, at least that was the case last year. No expert and i have worked hard up till now to try and get ahead at least a year. this will be my second full winter burning full time so im trying to do my best.
  12. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,231
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    I'm getting 3 years out on oak and will continue to buck and split it in the fall and winter. I do not use a splitter. I come down with the maul and hack me off a nice big chunk. How much more needed drying time am I putting on each split ?? I do not feel I need to make them small if it is for 3 yrs out.
  13. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    616
    Loc:
    West Carrollton,Ohio
    That's why I am so relieved to be 3 years ahead. I will be burning 2 yr. seasoned wood this winter for the 1st time since being a wood burner. Looking forward to seeing the difference another year seasoning makes.
  14. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,879
    Loc:
    Beautiful British Columbia
    The summer heat is what is preventing me from going out and cutting this winters firewood right now, but once it cools down I'll get out there and start cutting.
    I'm fortunate that I don't have to worry about seasoning times since I know the trees I'll be cutting are already pre-seasoned standing dead. It's a good thing to, I just don't have the room around my place to store several years worth of firewood.
  15. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    Lots of "Good examples".
    That's why it said on here. "Wood only starts to season after it is CSS (Cut, Split & Stacked)
    (some exceptions for some species of long standing dead trees)

    Better seasoning if it's off the ground, with good air circulation & space between the rows.

    Best (the "Gold standard") is like Papadave does it, off the ground in a single row, but you need a mile long field (& a laser for straightness ;) ) to season a few cords:
    Papadave's seasoning stacks:
    Pap-D stack.jpg

    & it still takes "time" ;)
  16. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Papa Dave does have some Beautiful stacks...

    I wish I would have seen that straight line! These 3 stacks are 36' long. But 3 rows deep, w/ about 8" between rows.. I should have went straight. Would have been over 108' long!!

    skid2.jpg skid1.jpg
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I wonder how long several of our wood piles would be is stacked single! It would be interesting for sure.

    It makes me happy to read that most folks still know the real key to wood burning success and that is to give the wood time to dry properly. No such thing as over dry wood. And once folks really see the difference between 1 year dry and 3 years dry, they won't go back.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    So long as you are giving that wood 3 years to dry, worry not about the size of splits. It should be dry enough. We even leave small rounds and after 3 years it is ready to burn.
  19. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA

    DD your stacks make mine look like a cobbled pile of wood. Artwork !
    Just awesome :)

    Mine have from 4" to 12" between the 2 rows, & about as straight as a "dog's hind leg" ;hm

    100_7741.JPG
  20. jwoair23

    jwoair23 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    If you use the Maine calculator for cords and just make it a single stack, whatever width you cut, and pick a height, you can figure out how long a stack you would have if it was one row, if you know how many cords you have.

    I would have one row 6'x16" about 100' long if it was a single row, which is about 6.25 cords. :)
    DexterDay likes this.
  21. Shadow&Flame

    Shadow&Flame Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    788
    Loc:
    Central Arkansas
    Heat helps, but its always 'best to test'
  22. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,468
    Loc:
    Greenwood county, SC
    Or just do your math? I figure this stuff pretty quickly by hand. cord = 128 cuft no matter how you stack or pile it.
    PapaDave and Backwoods Savage like this.
  23. jwoair23

    jwoair23 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    lol ok you caught me, I have a bad habit of using calculators rather than do the math in my head. Your way works also :)
  24. Realstone

    Realstone Lord of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Messages:
    852
    Loc:
    Southern ON
    Proved that for myself just this week. It's been hot & dry and even a little breezy here this spring/summer. Took a moisture reading of a Poplar split that was C/S/S'd this May. Still over 22%. There is no substitute for time.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  25. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Geeze Clemson, you beat me to the punch.

Share This Page