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 worth splitting?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by nihil, Mar 13, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. nihil

    nihil Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central Mass.
    Firstly, let me thank all who contribute here. Reading these forums has been tremendously educational!

    We moved into a new house about a year ago and are in the process of cleaning up the property.

    The previous owners had obviously cleared some trees a while back as there are several wood piles on the property with most of the wood gone seriously to rot. I've come across some rounds in one of the piles that I'm not sure are worth splitting and burning. Right now we use one of the fireplaces in the house for "decorative" fires (my wife likes a nice fire) though I'd like to install a wood burning insert to supplement our furnace (natural gas/hot water radiator.

    Are these rounds worth splitting? And if so, do I just scrape off the growth on the sides? Thanks again for all of the insights & experience that people share here.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,847
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Looks like oak...tough to tell though.
    I would split and stack now, and you should be good to go in the fall.
    Nice to see another person here from central mass!
  3. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    935
    Loc:
    Pomfret, CT
    Free wood...burn it! Don't bother scraping the wood.....split it, stack it and cover the top.
    The first 2 pictures looks to me like a mix of ash and redoak ( if they were split I'd be 100%) The third picture is definatly ash.

    Nice free stash!

    WB
  4. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,504
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    looks like old oak.

    chance of termites and rot if they've been on the ground the way they are in the pics.

    turning them over and splitting a couple is the true test.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    They surely look like burnable wood. You can tell for sure by swinging an axe or splitting maul at them. Looks like some of the bark may fall off when you split and you can always use that as mulch.

    That last picture perhaps is one you have already split. Looks really good. Should make many fires for you.
  6. Chief Ryan

    Chief Ryan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    Certainly looks like oak. Definitely split it. I had a pile of birch that looked just like it. After splitting it, it was fine. That bark will probably fall off after you split.
  7. stejus

    stejus Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,227
    Loc:
    Central MA
    A central MA folk? I live in Douglas (very south central). Where do the other MASSholes live?
  8. nihil

    nihil Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central Mass.
    Shrewsbury here
  9. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,663
    Loc:
    Eastern MA
    Milford here - does that count as "central" hard to tell.

    BTW, I found myself some rounds that looked a lot like that in the woods behind my house - they were sitting vertical in the dirt. I swear they were trying to grow roots... had been there at least 3 years I think. Anyway, they were oak. I split a few (some are still too big to split, need to cut them a bit first). They were amazingly wet inside (guess they wick a lot up from the ground) but the wood was solid inside. After stacking and leaving for a couple months they look to be drying out well - I bet they burn really nice next year. I knocked the rest on their sides and plan to cut them to length and split them in the next month or so (once the ground is dry enough so I can roll/haul them where I can deal with them). I need to get myself a 'real' chainsaw someday, but that's an issue for another thread :)
  10. pteubel

    pteubel Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Messages:
    310
    Loc:
    Fitzwilliam, NH
    Small world. I just moved from Milford, MA back in October.
  11. chad3

    chad3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    453
    Loc:
    Southeast CT
    If it feels like a sponge it may be a bit bad. I've still burned it, not great, way too quick, but it will burn if dry. Most should be alright. Burn some and see.
  12. pastera

    pastera Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    335
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    had a pile like that when I moved in to my house.
    Some of it split nice and got burned.
    The punky stuff just wouldn't split right (cracked across the grain) and was dragged out in the woods.

    Split it up and let it dry

    Aaron
    A Masshole from Taunton
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I've never see wood that is too big to split!!!! I also have never resorted to cutting them with a chain saw; a terrible way to do things.
  14. echo

    echo New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Central MA & Hudspeth County, TX
    Hopedale
  15. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,663
    Loc:
    Eastern MA
    Perhaps I should be more clear - these are too long - i.e. they are cut about 2-3' long in some cases. Perhaps some of you with splitters can do that, but so far with my maul I haven't yet been able to get one of these to split. Besides, I'm going to have to cut them to less than 20" to get into my stove at some point anyway so might as well cut them to size first and make splitting easier.
  16. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    North Billerica here... It is worth noting that our fearless webmaster is also from MA, out towards the western side. According to some of his comments on the demographics of the Hearth.com user population, we have a very large %age of members from the Northeastern states.

    I would say that I've seldom seen stuff too rotted to split and burn - split it, stack it, top cover it, let it dry and it will burn - however if it's punky you won't get real long burn times or huge amounts of heat. I don't worry about bugs that much (they also have BTU's, and generally vacate the premises when you bust up their house...)

    Also I would cut long logs to stove length as quickly as possible - most wood seasoning happens through the ends of the rounds, so the shorter they are the faster they will season. Also splitting is FAR easier on a short round, so cut them to length first...

    Gooserider
  17. nihil

    nihil Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central Mass.
    just an FYI, I started splitting the wood I had posted earlier. Most split very easily, the stuff that's reddish inside was a bit more challenging.

    Looks like this inside:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  18. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    475
    Loc:
    NJ Piney
    It'll burn! May not be the best stuff, but not all of us are fortunate enough to stick our noses up at "OK" wood.
    split... stack... wait... and burn baby burn!!!!!!
  19. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,445
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    That certainly looks like firewood to me. Rick
  20. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    935
    Loc:
    Pomfret, CT
    The top picture looks like punky ash, the bottom is good red oak. Burn all the punk stuff early or late in the season. Save the oak for deep winter.

    WB
  21. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Messages:
    881
    Loc:
    Mid Atlantic
    You'll get a better feel for it after working with it for a while. I'd definitely recommend you cut and split it. The bottom photo is Red Oak in good shape. Even the wood in the top photo looks like it might be usable. I've worked with Red Oak that was way worse than the bottom photo (but better than the top photo). I did cut away the punky outside wood on mine with a hatchet- it varies from a quarter inch in places to 1-2 inches occasionally. Most of my Oak was not punky, but where it was, it didn't dry very well until I removed that junk- then it dried pretty fast. Punk is like a doggone sponge. It loves to soak up water and hold it forever. Get rid of it.
  22. metrowlogger

    metrowlogger Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    24
    Loc:
    metrowest MA.
    I live in the backwoods of Holliston MA. and have a Hampton i300 fairly new to this site and i just think it is great
  23. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,125
    Loc:
    Central PA
    It looks like pretty nice oak and ash to me, and the splits you show seem fairly solid - not much rot. I'd expect a lot of the bark to fall off the ash when you split.
  24. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,504
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    old oak can be hard as a rock and sometimes even a bit moldy.
    as long as it's not rotten from dampness it'll burn great.



    The red light atop the U Mass Dartmouth broadcast tower is everpresent in my kitchen window.
    Great seat for thier fireworks, too.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page