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would you burn this wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by OhioBurner©, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    863
    Loc:
    Central Ohio
    I want to start by saying I have learned a lot since joining this forum. I have learned that dry wood means cut split and stacked a whole year ahead of time. However I didnt know all that when I started on this years wood.

    For this years wood I started last winter with a few truckloads and then again in the spring. Its about 80% cherry, maybe a little maple and a few peices of something my brother in law was cutting up. The cherries were blow downs, but not necessarily dead. They were all cut into 20" chunks. I split it all and stacked in early august, a little over a month ago. Ironically it was only a few days after stacking did I 'see the light' here lol. I was curious about the moisture content so I ordered one of the cheapie H.F. meters. Just went back and grabbed two of my average sized split and knocked em in half and checked the reading... both reading 30% in the center and one was 25% about 1/4 way from each end the other was a little closer to 20% 1/4 way from each end, I'll call it average in upper 20's MC. I split one of my biggest splits and it was at 34% in center and 28% 1/4 way from each end.

    I have about 2.5 cords of the above wood, not quite enough so in addition I also have one small stack of wood (maybe about a face cord) that I got from my BIL last year split, its all pretty dry around 15%. And before I had been getting my own wood I was buying from my neighbor down the road who was selling level bed fulls (stacked) for $60 for an 8' bed. I still needed a little more and saw he had some left still split and stacked from last year and the pile was solid grey (out in the sun) so I bought one truckload again of that. Only problem with his is it is left in the open uncovered (rain). His was reading upper teens and a few bigger pieces in the low to mid 20's in the center. He has 1-2 more truckloads.

    So what would you do? If I say my neighbors wood is good, between that and my BIL wood I have maybe 2/3 to 3/4 cord and could potentially get another truckload or too. My stuff is averaging upper 20's MC. Will mine dry enough? Its stacked on the porch so out of the rain, and the wind hits it head on, but the house is behind it so that cuts down on the circulation. Should I burn the good wood the first couple months and mine will be ready say by christmas? How much does wood dry in the winter? Or should I burn my upper 20's MC in the shoulder season and start mixing in the drier stuff once the cold season gets into full blast? Thanks for any advice!

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  2. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,708
    Loc:
    SE MI
    I'd get all I could from your neighbor. I've never covered my stacks. Rain doesn't have much effect on seasoning, but wind and sunlight does. If it's been split since last year, it will be much drier than what you split last month. Cherry seasons rather quickly, and may be decent late in the winter. If you've got the room and feel like doing it, you should move it out in the open. If it makes you feel better, cover the top only, before the snow flies. And start on next winter's wood now.
  3. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    2,810
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Get all the other wood you can, save the cherry for as late in the winter as possible, cherry dries pretty fast, should be O.K.
  4. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    5,034
    Loc:
    Ridge, LI, NY
    What Dune& Jeff said.


    The cherry will suprise you by seasoning quickly. Any C & S pine will help, too..most species season pretty quick.
  5. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    They cherry may well be ready at the end of season, not ideal but burnable...
  6. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    15,453
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    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    +1 . . . or +2 or +3 . . . whatever number we're up to. Good advice all around . . . sounds like the neighbor is decent and has some good wood for sale . . . you'll be helping him out and yourself by getting some more good wood to start off with . . . and cherry seasons pretty quickly . . . I don't know if it will be ready by Christmas . . . but you've got to do what you've got to do . . . most of us started off burning marginal wood in our first year . . .

    Don't worry about covering the tops . . . as Jeff mentioned it usually isn't that big a deal . . . until the snow flies.

    And finally . . . as Jeff mentioned . . . now is the time to work on next year's wood supply.
  7. Bspring

    Bspring Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
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    300
    Loc:
    Greenville, SC
    There appears to be some debate on the covering issue. I think it has to do with your circumstances. Some peps on here told me that I didn't need to cover mine and it went punk in one year. It was in the shade, it was softer wood like 2lip poplar, I have very high humidity and a lot of rain. There was a good bit of Cherry in there and it was too wet to burn. Lesson learned.
  8. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    I am a fan of covering wood. But it's best to cover it with something that still allows air movement . . . not a tarp.

    It also depends what you are storing. Hard Maple and Beech are both excellent firewood. But if you let either of them get wet, they tend to rot quickly. Oak on the other hand, doesn't rot much even if left submerged.
  9. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    3,898
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA

    Yes.

    Without hesitation.
  10. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    863
    Loc:
    Central Ohio
    Wow lots of responses, thanks!

    Well I just wanted to check again before I really developed a game plan, so I grabbed an average sized split from the neighbor and one from my pile of cherry and split em. Mine, 30%. His, 18%.

    So I think I'll get as much from him as I can and hopefully that will get me into January atleast, and then I hope my cherry is dry enough.

    As far as covering, I'd like to make a wood shed but that wont happen until next year. Even still I would plan on having the freshly split stuff stacked in the open and then late summer/fall to load up the woodshed with stuff thats already dry. Even still I plan on keeping the overhang fairly short and have the wider open side of the shed facing south, so that atleast the outside row has good sun exposure. It had been a pretty dry summer, I could probably count the good rainstorms on one hand I think. The wood stack from the neighbors is all faded nice and grey on the ends (except the few rounds of mine that got thrown in the mix). I'm all about pics so here are a few... 1 of the stack of wood I already bought from the neighbor (stacked already in the house by the stove), 1 of my cherry splits and one of the neighbors spits. (sorry I didnt flip the pics, the MM is upside down).

    And dont worry, been hard at work on next years wood. Got probably half of it already split and in process of stacking it now.

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