2 yr wet wood?

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Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,562
Southeast CT
A little bummed. I’ve had good dry wood for yrs- have really honed in on a good system (C/S/S and top covered. I hauled a bunch of Norway Maple that been 2 yrs in the stacks. It tested 20% in the summer. It felt a bit heavier to me than i expected and it’s behaving like wet wood in the stove. I’d guess it at like 25% given the time it takes to ignite and having to keep the primary air more open. Putting out heat though. Just about 100 or so degrees less than my normal 700 cruise temp.
I let some of it warm for a day in the house. Split it and tested on fresh face...18%. Odd.
I dugdown in the wood box for some of the wood that performed good and put in stove. Presto,normal burn.
Has anyone ever had this situation where the wood seems to have been treated well but still didn’t dry right? The wood is not rotted at all, BTW. That, and had moisture meter ( I used 2 different ones on the wood), sort of “lie” to you?
 
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Alpine1

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2017
390
Eastern Alps, Italy
We have Norway maples here, but I’ve never seen that happen with it. Poplar instead, is well known for its random behavior: some sticks do dry, some mold (or even rot) and they all come from the same plant, stacked together in the same place!
Tradition here wants you to cut the trees when the moon is on the wane, otherwise the sticks will not dry, but mold. I have no scientific evidence or data supporting this, but I’ve seen it happen in my stacks more than once... enough times to convince me to cut trees with a waning moon.
Maybe you are having a similar experience.
As far as moisture meters go, if it reads around 33/35% on the palm of your hand, it is reliable enough for the purpose.
 

ckr74

Burning Hunk
Mar 3, 2006
136
We have Norway maples here, but I’ve never seen that happen with it. Poplar instead, is well known for its random behavior: some sticks do dry, some mold (or even rot) and they all come from the same plant, stacked together in the same place!
Tradition here wants you to cut the trees when the moon is on the wane, otherwise the sticks will not dry, but mold. I have no scientific evidence or data supporting this, but I’ve seen it happen in my stacks more than once... enough times to convince me to cut trees with a waning moon.
Maybe you are having a similar experience.
As far as moisture meters go, if it reads around 33/35% on the palm of your hand, it is reliable enough for the purpose.
I cut some oak one time that turned in to a moldy rotten mess. You could walk on the stack and it was like a sponge. Never heard about the moon thing.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
A little bummed. I’ve had good dry wood for yrs- have really honed in on a good system (C/S/S and top covered. I hauled a bunch of Norway Maple that been 2 yrs in the stacks. It tested 20% in the summer. It felt a bit heavier to me than i expected and it’s behaving like wet wood in the stove. I’d guess it at like 25% given the time it takes to ignite and having to keep the primary air more open. Putting out heat though. Just about 100 or so degrees less than my normal 700 cruise temp.
I let some of it warm for a day in the house. Split it and tested on fresh face...18%. Odd.
I dugdown in the wood box for some of the wood that performed good and put in stove. Presto,normal burn.
Has anyone ever had this situation where the wood seems to have been treated well but still didn’t dry right? The wood is not rotted at all, BTW. That, and had moisture meter ( I used 2 different ones on the wood), sort of “lie” to you?
Yes, all the time.

I have a nice little stash of norway maple that was dry this summer, and is now heavy and only ready to behave appropriately in the stove after a couple of days inside in front of the stove. Poplar that's been cut, split and stacked for five years, that still swells tremendously in the humidity.

I've found a wood shed that is completely open on all sides, with ample overhang, is the only way that I'm sure to have perfectly dry wood.

The folks who say that fully seasoned wood doesn't absorb moisture live in a completely different reality than mine.

I've found firewood to be like everything else organic. Even after it's dead, it responds to it's environment.
 

tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
480
Erin, WI
I had some norway maple that was stacked at least 1.5 years ago. Cut green, same as some black walnut. Cut, split, stacked identical. The walnut is very light and burns great and the norway maple hisses. I'm saving it for bonfire wood. If I get any dropped off for free I may not even cut it up.
 

illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
376
Southeastern CT
I have 3.5 year seasoned oak, stacked on pallets on cinder blocks, that doesn't burn great. I have concluded that I don't have enough sun, and my environment is humid enough that I am always going to have trouble seasoning hardwood. It burns, and puts off good heat, but it takes a while before I can shut it down unless I have really good coals. As a result, I now burn about half softwood half hard. I do softwood in the AM when I am burning on fewer coals from the overnight burn, and then I burn hardwood for my afternoon fire (if I need one) and my overnight fire. I have found that I can easily season softwood in 1 year.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,332
Lackawaxen PA
You can get the stacks and top cover to be an issue. Stacks need to be out in the open. Not in the woods under trees. Oriented to expose it to the afternoon sun. The cover should be lifted off the top of the pile, and not leak. I use a peaked roof frame.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,580
South Puget Sound, WA
Happened to me several years ago with big leaf maple. The tarp had some leaks that allowed water to permeate the stack in some locations. And I chose a lousy location to stack (it was close to where the tree came down). That was my worst burning year in the past 15 yrs.
 

bigealta

Burning Hunk
May 22, 2010
114
Utah, NJ
My stacks are in mostly shade, that's all i have room for. Stacked on 2x sleepers on top of 8" high blocks The pieces on the bottom are usually well behind the top pieces on their journey to dryness. The small area that is covered and out of the rain makes the seasoned wood put there for a few months or more burns much better than "dry" seasoned wood in the open (even with tarp covering the top). Also the wood brought inside after a nice week of no rain plus low humidity burns so much better than wood brought in "dry" but in humid times or a few days after rain. I'm in NJ 1 mile from the coast so we get the moisture here.

I used to burn maple here but it's so inferior to oak, cherry, and even locust that it's my last choice. Burned the last of it years ago. Oak for us is the King.
 
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illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
376
Southeastern CT
You can get the stacks and top cover to be an issue. Stacks need to be out in the open. Not in the woods under trees. Oriented to expose it to the afternoon sun. The cover should be lifted off the top of the pile, and not leak. I use a peaked roof frame.

Yeah, unfortunately just about my whole property is wooded. If you look at our property on google maps satellite view, all you see is trees. Gotta make due with what you have. I also have my tarp lifted in the center so it is off of the wood and so that it sheds water.