Can Ash and Pine be seasoned together?

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Garbanzo62

Minister of Fire
Aug 25, 2022
629
Connecticut
I have some pine and Ash that are from dead trees that came down. Both species vary in the quality of the rounds. Some looks really good and some has a punky aspect to it. My questions is can these be seasoned in the same pile, or should I plan on keeping the Ash and Pine separated?
 
Do you plan on burning separately, say ash on the colder days vs. pine on the warmer days? Do you have enough room to make a separate pile? I often mix green pine with standing dead poplar that has dried a bit on its own to burn the following year. Makes it handy when I want to load the stove at night for a long burn, during the day I’ll often use pine then load up the stove with poplar for the night. IMHO it’s more important to have the different species ready to burn at the same time if they are mixed together.
 
I would season them together if it is easier and I already had dry wood. But if you need wood to burn ASAP, the pine will dry faster so separate it from the Ash. Knowing your wood species is important for drying especially if you live where you don't have much room to store firewood. Or you need dry wood right now.

Mix Oak with a light wood, like pine, and now you have a problem. You will have to hand sort out the pine and restack the Oak (double work), or just wait 3 years for everything to dry. And if your storage space is small or you need dry wood right away it is better to separate so you can burn that pine when it is dry (1-2 yrs).

While splitting with a hydro splitter, I throw the hard woods (in my case - Sugar Maple, fruit wood, & both locusts) in one direction and the lower btu woods (pine, Russian Olive, Poplar, and Elm) in another direction. I sort by wood density not species. So it helps to know what the species are so that you know its btu rating (its density).
 
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I have plenty of seasoned ash to get me through this winter. I also have some slabwood ready if I need it. I already have some ash CSS that will be used next year. I have about 2 cords of Oak that will be 2 years + next fall and about 1.5 cords of Beech that I CSS this past July, that I am hoping will be ready. So I should be good for hardwoods. I am also planning on dropping a couple of dead standing ash's before they get too compromised. So I am more worried about them both being dry enough next fall. If the pine will be dry and the Ash needs more time, separate would be good, but if they will both be good enough to burn, then it is easier for me to combine. Right now both are just bucked up rounds.
 
It sounds like a moisture meter will tell you what you need to know (moisture-wise) from these two woods. Maybe they are already dry. If so, you could use this punky stuff early and late season so as to save your other hardwoods for the winter.
 
I keep my pine and hemlock in a separate stack for shoulder season and quick hot fires. And when cold starting I put 2 in the first fire.
Hard ash I just combine with my hardwood.
This year I cut up a standing dead ash that was slightly punky. Made a separate stack of it, and it burns like the softwood, been using it for afternoon small hot fires all winter. 2 pieces of it and 2 of hardwood make a fast hot little fire. Keeping them stacked separately ads options
 
Keep in mind with the ash if it was standing dead for quite a while or already exciting signs of punk you'll want to burn it sooner than later. It'll keep degrading in the stack, especially when the rain it's the sides, and you'll lose BTUs. I'm burning some 5 year old ash that was long standing dead now and it's a bit disappointing. Still burnable but would have been better 2 years ago.