Dead ash

Welderman85

New Member
Nov 1, 2017
74
Chesaning MI
I have a bunch of dead ash smoe standing some that just recently blown down. It has rained alot here lately. If I cut this up how long till I can burn it ? I know there's a ton of variables but just a guess on how long it will take to dry out
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,227
Ottawa, ON
Buy a MC meter, test the freshly split split every three months and you will know. All the variables aside. The sooner you buck/split/stack the sooner it will be ready.
 

TedyOH

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2015
542
NE Ohio
I have a bunch of dead ash smoe standing some that just recently blown down. It has rained alot here lately. If I cut this up how long till I can burn it ? I know there's a ton of variables but just a guess on how long it will take to dry out
If the bark is still on, 1 summer / year.....bark off....1 week....this is what ive found for standing dead of many species

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TreePointer

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2010
3,086
PA
If it's down form EAB (as opposed to a strong wind storm), it's very likely that parts of it will be punky already. Do not delay.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,133
Michigan
I'd get it bucked right away, and then split and stacked ASAP. If you do that it might be able to be burned near the end of winter. BTW, I've had Ash with the bark off measure 35% at the base and drying as it goes up. Like others have said, drop $30 on a moisture meter.
 

TedyOH

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2015
542
NE Ohio
I'd get it bucked right away, and then split and stacked ASAP. If you do that it might be able to be burned near the end of winter. BTW, I've had Ash with the bark off measure 35% at the base and drying as it goes up. Like others have said, drop $30 on a moisture meter.
Yes good point ....always more moisture towards the base ....but its not like "green wood" moisture.....it'll burn just fine in a week after its split


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Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,133
Michigan
Yes good point ....always more moisture towards the base ....but its not like "green wood" moisture.....it'll burn just fine in a week after its split


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YMMV
 

TedyOH

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2015
542
NE Ohio
Indeed....let me elaborate on ny milage....dead wood cells, in standing dead trees, in my area, climate and forrest where i scrounge, do not " hold on" to moisture as say a freshly split piece of maple (or whatever) would.....will it sizzle and bubble a bit....sure....but only for a few minutes.

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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,781
Southern IN
Yes good point ....always more moisture towards the base ....but its not like "green wood" moisture.....it'll burn just fine in a week after its split
I was wondering about this, after I recently dropped a White Ash that stood dead for several years. I was expecting the upper branches to be pretty dry, but I only got maybe 20 small rounds that were around 20%, and soon I was up into the 30s. I was thinking "Maybe this will dry faster than green wood." I split it big for my SIL's secondary stove, it would be nice if it could dry over the summer.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,050
central pa
Yes good point ....always more moisture towards the base ....but its not like "green wood" moisture.....it'll burn just fine in a week after its split


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Moisture content is moisture content. Dead ash will dry pretty fast but at 30% it will take a summer to dry not a week.
 

robj80

New Member
Oct 5, 2018
86
Oxford, CT
I had an ash fall over on May 18th, 2018. It was starting to die before that from EAB but was alive. I cut most of it up except about 5 feet from the stump. It was totally uprooted and no longer growing. Just last week I got a chance to cut the last 5 feet. Just for the heck of it I tested the fresh cut with my moisture meter. It was 45%! I thought for sure it would have been much less than that. Even some pieces that I had split and stacked from last year still sizzle and spit in the fire. I stack my wood on a stone wall and top cover with a tarp. It doesn't get a full day of sun but I'd say half day or more.

My point is I been reading about how fast Ash dries and can be used. This has not been the case for me.
 

JohnDolz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 29, 2015
497
Burlington, CT
I had an ash fall over on May 18th, 2018. It was starting to die before that from EAB but was alive. I cut most of it up except about 5 feet from the stump. It was totally uprooted and no longer growing. Just last week I got a chance to cut the last 5 feet. Just for the heck of it I tested the fresh cut with my moisture meter. It was 45%! I thought for sure it would have been much less than that. Even some pieces that I had split and stacked from last year still sizzle and spit in the fire. I stack my wood on a stone wall and top cover with a tarp. It doesn't get a full day of sun but I'd say half day or more.

My point is I been reading about how fast Ash dries and can be used. This has not been the case for me.
As they say, everyone's experience may vary. I am not far from you in CT and had 2 come down in the last windstorm. One dropped to the ground, the other cracked apart at the base but was hung up in a tree at the top and the outer part of the trunk was hanging on (the inside was rotten) - point being that I would consider 1 deader than the other. I figured I would use the one that was on the ground at the end of this season and put the other in the woodshed for following year or two. Just after 2 days of being cut into rounds I could tell how much lighter/dryer they had gotten. I split the next day and the one on the ground was already sub 20% and the other was around 21%. The sub 20% is already going in the boiler, mixed with other wood. I did put the other one in the woodshed because of where I moved the rounds but I took a piece inside the house out of curiosity, it was sub 20% after just 1 day inside. Interestingly both trees had leaves on them, I have been marking trees (Ash specifically) that I see dead or dying so I can get them down before they hit the house neither of these were marked.

Photos below of the one that was hung up. estimate that it was 75 - 90' with 15+' hung up above the branch, heading right for the kids toy shed. Luckily I have a friend that knows a lot more about trees than me and the shed survived.
 

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TedyOH

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2015
542
NE Ohio
Moisture content is moisture content. Dead ash will dry pretty fast but at 30% it will take a summer to dry not a week.
I said nothing about how long a 30% reading will take to dry out....yes moisture is moisture but how quickly it leaves in 5 year old standing dead and just dropped live is nowhere near similar or close in time

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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,781
Southern IN
moisture is moisture but how quickly it leaves in 5 year old standing dead and just dropped live is nowhere near similar or close in time
I like what I'm hearing. ;)
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,050
central pa
I said nothing about how long a 30% reading will take to dry out....yes moisture is moisture but how quickly it leaves in 5 year old standing dead and just dropped live is nowhere near similar or close in time

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That is not at all what I have experienced.
 

Medic21

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2017
521
Northern Indiana
Indeed....let me elaborate on ny milage....dead wood cells, in standing dead trees, in my area, climate and forrest where i scrounge, do not " hold on" to moisture as say a freshly split piece of maple (or whatever) would.....will it sizzle and bubble a bit....sure....but only for a few minutes.

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I just checked one Today. Cut and split this in July. Still at 30% on moisture.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,781
Southern IN

TedyOH

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2015
542
NE Ohio
tree service dropped this ash. Dead standing two years no bark. 42% moisture.
View attachment 250976View attachment 250977
That's not how you use a moisture meter and that round does not look like ash to me......also let me say when im talking about dead standing trees....im processing 8 - 12" telephone polls because I need the wood sooner than later....split the round once and done, start stacking with base / trunk pieces first....top of the tree on top of the stack.....obviously the longer you can let it sit / "season" the better...if i needed to i know I could go out right now in my woods, cut a dead standing maple or ash and burn it today with no issues..(black glass, sizzling end grain)

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yinpin

Burning Hunk
Jul 25, 2016
106
Kingsville, MD
The ash I picked up two weeks ago in rounds was cut over the summer. Pretty good size rounds and I split them all yesterday afternoon. I measured about a doz different splits and the highest was 21% and the lowest was 18%


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Medic21

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2017
521
Northern Indiana
That's not how you use a moisture meter and that round does not look like ash to me......also let me say when im talking about dead standing trees....im processing 8 - 12" telephone polls because I need the wood sooner than later....split the round once and done, start stacking with base / trunk pieces first....top of the tree on top of the stack.....obviously the longer you can let it sit / "season" the better...if i needed to i know I could go out right now in my woods, cut a dead standing maple or ash and burn it today with no issues..(black glass, sizzling end grain)

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mare you saying that a fresh cut is not accurate on a moisture meter?
Sorry but the moisture will be the same there or on a split since I cut that and stood it up.
 

TedyOH

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2015
542
NE Ohio
mare you saying that a fresh cut is not accurate on a moisture meter?
Sorry but the moisture will be the same there or on a split since I cut that and stood it up.
There's plenty of threads here on how to measure cord wood for moisture....none will show sticking the pins in the end grain.

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TedyOH

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2015
542
NE Ohio
like I said. Freshly cut will be the same as freshly split.
Of course it will be the same....its the same log....my point is if you use the meter correctly on a split measuring with the grain my guess is, on your log, the reading / average would be in the mid 30's...unless the tree has been sitting on the ground for months.

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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,227
Ottawa, ON
like I said. Freshly cut will be the same as freshly split.
I would agree with that, unless there is more science and physics involved. We have several firewood physicists and firewood engineers here that will soon chime in with a concrete data.