Would you pay more for this...

michaelthomas Posted By michaelthomas, Feb 20, 2010 at 2:32 AM

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  1. michaelthomas

    New Member

    Feb 10, 2006
    CSD hardwood in Southern Maine is running from $175 - $210 this season. We have a few suppliers who are very well known and have been in business for many years and their prices are about the same. One is $200 a cord and the other is $205. The $205 will deliver a blend of Sugar Maple, Oak, Beech, Ash, and Birch. There is no delivery fee with the $205. The $200 charges a $25 delivery fee per 3 cord load. The $200 also can give me 100% red oak for the entire order. I am looking to get 6 cord delivered for burning season 2011-2012. I am wondering if you think that paying a little extra for all Red Oak is worth it, or do you think that a blend is more valuable than raw BTU's available. The $200 with the delivery only moves the per cord price to $209.
  2. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 26, 2009
    Central PA
    I think I would get a mix, just for the sake of having variety.
  3. devinsdad


    Sep 25, 2009
    northern NY
    I would go for the mix as well. I sorted the oak out of this years wood as I got to it because it wasn't yet ready but the beech and maple and ash burn nicely
  4. Ductape


    Jul 16, 2008
    Central NH
    I love my red oak, but i wouldn't want ALL red oak. I'd also go for the variety.
  5. Shari

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 31, 2008
    Vote for the mix here. If you ordered all oak you might find it not seasoned enough for 2011/12 and then you would be in a fix for wood.

  6. gyrfalcon

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 25, 2007
    Champlain Valley, Vermont
    If you're looking for raw BTUs, go with beech, not red oak. (http://chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm) You'll get more heat and faster seasoning with beech than with either sugar (rock) maple or red oak. With the birch, it depends on what kind it is. Black Birch is like Beech-- lotsa BTUs and fast seasoning. On the other hand, rock maple, ash and white birch light easily and burn pretty fast, whereas the beech and black birch I've found are a little reluctant to get going. I like to have a mix, heavy on the beech and black birch, but enough maple and ash to keep the other two honest in the firebox. Red Oak's main virtue over Rock Maple, which is about the same for BTUs, is how easy it is to split since I always have to split stuff down further because of my small firebox.

    But if you have a good-size stove, unlike mine, the differences in BTU don't matter much.... If I were you, I'd go with a nice mix, learn how to tell them apart and play with them to see what works best for you. It's all good stuff.

    And for whatever it's worth, I'm biased towards the little indepedent guys anyway, so since you're getting your wood this far in advance, I'd go with the lower price, which is probably a guy with a good woodlot for his own use who cuts extra on weekends. A higher price doesn't necessarily mean a better product. Sometimes it just means a larger operation with more awareness of what they can get away with.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 14, 2007
    For what is offered, the red oak sounds fine....except you want to burn it starting the fall of next year. Our experience shows that the red oak would not be ready to burn then. So, I would go for the mix if I were buying it.
  8. firefighterjake

    Minister of Fire

    Jul 22, 2008
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    I'd go for the mix . . . quicker seasoning time with the mixed wood . . . and the wood species mentioned aren't bad wood species to have on hand.
  9. Battenkiller

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 26, 2009
    Just Outside the Blue Line
    I'd go for the mix, but I'd ask to keep the red oak out if possible. Any real or perceived advantage of red oak over the other woods mentioned is very slight, and not worth the extra drying time involved with oak.

    If I'm paying for wood, I always specify no oak or no delivery. A guy with a decent woodlot shouldn't mind pulling a few logs to your specs if it means getting your business. Particularly in the northeast, where loggers are hurting real bad for work.

    If the wood was free (as in it's all I had to cut on my property) and it was all red oak, I'd welcome it with open arms and wait until it was ready. It is a first-rate firewood when it's ready to burn.
  10. annette


    Nov 19, 2005
    the Indiana Riviera
    I don't like using oak when I want the house to heat up quickly. Anything else--but especially my soft maple--throws out heat faster. But oak is such a good overnight wood. I love knowing that I can sleep in and not have a hassle starting up the fire the next morning, because there will still be a lot of coals. You're buying for 2011-12, the oak will be seasoned by then. Get at least a cord of oak, and you won't have to dig through a mixed pile on a Friday because you want those coals Sat morning.
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