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)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Yellow birch speed at seasoning?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by pybyr, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,301
    Loc:
    Adamant, VT 05640
    Hello all-

    Life once again, due to unanticipated events, finds me less far along in preparing wood than I wish I was. I am not in a total jam but need to be really focused, for safety margin, not only how much I cut and how quickly get it done, but also on what will season quickly.

    Yellow birch has become one of my favorite all around woods to burn- seems to have a heat output, at least in my Econoburn, which surpasses even what the standardized BTU/cord data would suggest. It nets tremendous heat output during the burn, and it coals and burns for a long time.

    Some woods such as Cherry seem to season almost astonishingly fast, whereas others such as Oak seem to be astonishingly slow. Density doesn't seem to be a sole determinant, as Hophornbeam seems to season relatively quickly especially in light of its tremendous density. White Ash is a supposed winner in terms of both initial/ inherent moisture content and its speed of seasoning, but it doesn't coal all that well or last all that long in my Econoburn, so despite some pretty decent BTU data, it's not as much of a clear winner as it looks like on paper, at least in my unit.

    I haven't yet developed as much of an intuitive sense of where yellow birch falls on the spectrum of how well/ quickly it gives off its moisture once it has been cut/ split/ stacked under an overhang, with sun beating on it.

    Thoughts/ suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    591
    Loc:
    rondout valley ny
    i occasionally see yellow birch cutoffs at the logging yard and i ALWAYS scoop them up. like you i find it to be superb firewood. black birch too.

    and while i burn plenty of ash, i find that it doesn't hold the heat very long.
  3. charger4406

    charger4406 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    southern Quebec
    Around here it takes about 10 to 12 months for it
    to get down to around 15%.
  4. zeke

    zeke New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    Messages:
    59
    Loc:
    north wi
    takes a year here in N. WI. Lots of yellow birch tops around after logging...
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I agree. The short 12 hours burns we get with the white ash seem too short.
    firefighterjake likes this.
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    Birch is my primary wood.
    1 year seasoned & it burns well, 2 years & it's noticeably better in my cat stove :)
  7. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,301
    Loc:
    Adamant, VT 05640
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I'm not going to be able to pull off a full year on the Yellow Birch; I have some from 2011 that's part of a mix of 2-3 cords (with some ash and other things) to start winter 2012-13 but that will only get me so far. Econoburn is great but this old house still needs a lot of tightening up, even though it is far better than the "sky heating air strainer" it (literally) was when I started on it. The new stuff I cut and split a month ago (yellow birch cherry and maple) and I am now stacking under cover (sun-beaten and ventilated). Still need to cut and split substantially more for "margin for error" and in effort to work towards eventually getting a year ahead.

    Just trying to get a sense of whether, for the rest of my upcoming felling, cutting and splitting, I would get the most overall "bang for the effort" from focusing my additional cutting and splitting for my tail end 2012-13 on: White Ash (dries quick, decent, doesn't last, doesn't coal); Sugar Maple (seems to season moderately quickly, does last, does coal), Cherry (seems to season very quickly, lots of heat, but burns fast) Hophornbeam (tons of heat, still not entirely clear on how quickly it seasons, although I have never gone very far wrong with it) or additional Yellow Birch.

    I know that what I should aim for and pull off is to get a full year ahead, but other demands on time and stacking/ cover options are making that more of a slow and gradual slog than I would like. By trying to strategically focus on what will season quick and burn well I am hoping to make my finite harvesting time and best seasoning space/cover go further, which will in fact gradually let me get further and further ahead.

    BTW it is interesting that I seem to find that the difference in net heat/ duration of burn between Yellow Birch and White Birch is way greater, for me, than USDA BTU data would suggest. Perhaps it is partly the Econoburn's "taste" (it seems to really thrive on wood that maintains coals) but even though it seems like data would indicate that Yellow would be noticeably but not massively better than White, in my experience it seems like a 2:1
  8. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Loc:
    Broadstone England
    I have sometimes wondered whether some stoves are better for certain woods than others. That comment has set me wondering again..........
  9. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    You burn what you got ;)
    I've burned punky wood to 3 month seasoned wood. May not burn great or efficient, but it puts out heat.
    It's allot of work to get ahead, & it only takes one year if something happens & you can't cut wood to fall behind.
    But it does feel good to be CSS'ing the 14/15 wood supply.

Share This Page