Dead standing and wind blown trees moisture

ChadMc

New Member
Dec 12, 2019
54
Bucks County PA
Hey guys. I’ve read a lot on here about people seasoning for 2-3 years. I’m wondering how true that really is. At least for what I’m cutting. All my stuff is from dead wind blows and right now there’s ash everywhere you look from the EAB. This is my first winter in a new house with a new stove and I’m working on my next winters supply. The cherry, ash, and maple I’ve already CSS already has moisture in the low 20s some lower (measured room temp fresh split). I do not have much oak around or at least dead or blown to cut. I’m wondering though if I have another 10 months for this stuff to season even more how would letting it season for another year or two help if I’m sure next fall/winter it’ll be in the teens??
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,561
Eastern Ontario
The time needed to season firewood is not set in stone
Once the split wood reaches lower than 20% it is ready to heat your home
So if your wood is below 20% it is ready to burn. Fresh cut live wood could
take up to 3 years to dry below 20%
That's why we use a moisture meter
 

shortys7777

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2017
211
Smithfield, RI
I'm burning wind blown down dead Ash now that I cut 2 weeks ago and split. I let it sit in my basement for 2 days before checking the moisture. Basement temp was probably 55-58. it read 24%. I mix it with a few splits of maple/cherry that are 18-20% and it's burning well. Haven't taken a measurement at 70 degree room temp. There's plenty more ash where I got this tree so I'l' be going back. I have 2 dead standing oak completely stripped of bark half way up. I'll be taking care of that soon. Better the branches up top will be able to burn next winter.
 
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ChadMc

New Member
Dec 12, 2019
54
Bucks County PA
I'm burning wind blown down dead Ash now that I cut 2 weeks ago and split. I let it sit in my basement for 2 days before checking the moisture. Basement temp was probably 55-58. it read 24%. I mix it with a few splits of maple/cherry that are 18-20% and it's burning well. Haven't taken a measurement at 70 degree room temp. There's plenty more ash where I got this tree so I'l' be going back. I have 2 dead standing oak completely stripped of bark half way up. I'll be taking care of that soon. Better the branches up top will be able to burn next winter.
Nice! That ash burns clean? I have so much ash from a dead windblow. Wondering if I can burn it not. Would be nice to use some up. I have 70% ash from the EAB around here.
 

EODMSgt

Member
Dec 11, 2018
180
White Mountain Region, NH
Without a moisture meter, you're not going to get an accurate answer. Everyone's situation is different depending on how long a standing tree has been dead, when it was cut or came down naturally, where you live (affects the humidity, rain/snowfall), etc. I just cut a standing dead ash yesterday afternoon and could probably throw the top part in the woodstove right now. Remember, ash is the 'King's wood' and some people burn it green. Best bet is to cut/split/stack and top cover the sooner the better, check with a moisture meter and separate the lowest moisture content wood.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,625
Downeast Maine
Without a moisture meter, you're not going to get an accurate answer. Everyone's situation is different depending on how long a standing tree has been dead, when it was cut or came down naturally, where you live (affects the humidity, rain/snowfall), etc. I just cut a standing dead ash yesterday afternoon and could probably throw the top part in the woodstove right now. Remember, ash is the 'King's wood' and some people burn it green. Best bet is to cut/split/stack and top cover the sooner the better, check with a moisture meter and separate the lowest moisture content wood.
I thought white oak was the King's wood? Good advice all round.
 

EODMSgt

Member
Dec 11, 2018
180
White Mountain Region, NH
I thought white oak was the King's wood? Good advice all round.
The Firewood Poem

Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year,
Chestnut's only good they say,
If for logs 'tis laid away.
Make a fire of Elder tree,
Death within your house will be;
But ash new or ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold

Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last,
it is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E'en the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke,
Apple wood will scent your room
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom
Oaken logs, if dry and old
keep away the winter's cold
But ash wet or ash dry
a king shall warm his slippers by.
 

Gearhead660

Member
Dec 20, 2018
195
WI
The time needed to season firewood is not set in stone
Once the split wood reaches lower than 20% it is ready to heat your home
So if your wood is below 20% it is ready to burn. Fresh cut live wood could
take up to 3 years to dry below 20%
That's why we use a moisture meter
What @johneh said. Many variables involved. Just check fresh split with moisture meter. I have oak that went right from standing dead to the stove. If the MC is low enough and it burns well, burn it!
 

ChadMc

New Member
Dec 12, 2019
54
Bucks County PA
I do have a meter and that’s what I use to test and Separate and stack. speaking of ash. From what I have experienced so far burns clean and hot but doesn’t leave much in the way of coals. If that what you guys experience?
 

Gearhead660

Member
Dec 20, 2018
195
WI
How long as the load burned when you are not seeing coals?
 

Gearhead660

Member
Dec 20, 2018
195
WI
I dont see many coals in my insert in the morning if any.
 

shortys7777

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2017
211
Smithfield, RI
My ash has been burning pretty well actually. may take an extra 10 minutes to really get going compared to my cherry and maple, but I have no problems keeping the stove at 350-400 for a while. I've been throwing in 4 splits or so in the middle of the night without even adjusting the damper and that's allowed me for a good coal bed in the mornings for re light. 19 degrees last night and I put a few splits in at midnight. 6am raked the coals to the front and had a quick re light. I may do that the rest of the winter as I usually wake up to use the bathroom at some point. I don't have to much time to mess around in the mornings so taking 2 extra minutes when I use the bathroom is not a big deal. My sons room is the complete opposite of the house and I'm maintaining more even heat throughout the house than getting a reload at 6am.
 

ChadMc

New Member
Dec 12, 2019
54
Bucks County PA
My ash has been burning pretty well actually. may take an extra 10 minutes to really get going compared to my cherry and maple, but I have no problems keeping the stove at 350-400 for a while. I've been throwing in 4 splits or so in the middle of the night without even adjusting the damper and that's allowed me for a good coal bed in the mornings for re light. 19 degrees last night and I put a few splits in at midnight. 6am raked the coals to the front and had a quick re light. I may do that the rest of the winter as I usually wake up to use the bathroom at some point. I don't have to much time to mess around in the mornings so taking 2 extra minutes when I use the bathroom is not a big deal. My sons room is the complete opposite of the house and I'm maintaining more even heat throughout the house than getting a reload at 6am.
You have me thinking. May try to do the middle of the night tri
My ash has been burning pretty well actually. may take an extra 10 minutes to really get going compared to my cherry and maple, but I have no problems keeping the stove at 350-400 for a while. I've been throwing in 4 splits or so in the middle of the night without even adjusting the damper and that's allowed me for a good coal bed in the mornings for re light. 19 degrees last night and I put a few splits in at midnight. 6am raked the coals to the front and had a quick re light. I may do that the rest of the winter as I usually wake up to use the bathroom at some point. I don't have to much time to mess around in the mornings so taking 2 extra minutes when I use the bathroom is not a big deal. My sons room is the complete opposite of the house and I'm maintaining more even heat throughout the house than getting a reload at 6am.
You have me thinking....I may try the middle of the night thing on real cold nights. I usually wake up to get a few coals. Still good for a reload but those last few hours of the burn the house temp really drops. I also my burn a load of my ash and see how it does. It was stacked in November and the moisture meter says 18% so well see.
 

hickoryhoarder

Feeling the Heat
Apr 5, 2013
381
Indiana
I would expect the ash and cherry to be ready next November, though better the following year. Red maple might be too. Sugar maple will take longer.

If a rick of red oak comes to me fresh cut, smelling very strong (live tree, I'd guess), it needs 2-3 years, lots of wind and sun on the stack. Though certain pieces will likely be ready in 18 months. So the advice you read about 2 to 3 years is sound, for oak and some other hardwoods. When I had ash it was workable after 9 months, very good after 20 months, great the third year.

When I cut red oak into small kindling, stack it under a roof but getting hit by sun, it takes 9 months to season, and 18 is better.

It's great when stuff is ready early, but for planning purposes, my new stacks are for 2021 or 2022.
 

ChadMc

New Member
Dec 12, 2019
54
Bucks County PA
I would expect the ash and cherry to be ready next November, though better the following year. Red maple might be too. Sugar maple will take longer.

If a rick of red oak comes to me fresh cut, smelling very strong (live tree, I'd guess), it needs 2-3 years, lots of wind and sun on the stack. Though certain pieces will likely be ready in 18 months. So the advice you read about 2 to 3 years is sound, for oak and some other hardwoods. When I had ash it was workable after 9 months, very good after 20 months, great the third year.

When I cut red oak into small kindling, stack it under a roof but getting hit by sun, it takes 9 months to season, and 18 is better.

It's great when stuff is ready early, but for planning purposes, my new stacks are for 2021 or 2022.
I have heard that about oak. For some reason all the oak around here is alive and well. I havent found one dead or windblown oak tree. Thats why I have mostly ash, cherry, and maple.

Hypothetically if my ash and cherry read 15% next fall what will another year do? Im sure season more, but does, say, 10% if they get that low burn that much different then 15%?

Another question for you all.....I have the room in the yard to hold neatly 3 cords (wife doesnt want anymore in the yard) haha. However the back of our property is woods and backs into a big woodlot. Is stacking my wood supply in the woods a bad idea? I could fit tons back there to increase my supply but worry that in the summer it will be so shaded back there the wood wont season much. Any advice?
 

shortys7777

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2017
211
Smithfield, RI
I'm in the same boat with the minimal stacking area. I'm about to split some dead oak and stack it on the other side of my fence behind my current stack. It'll still be better than leaving it in rounds. Wind will still get to it.
 

Qvist

New Member
Mar 5, 2019
85
WV
I stack mine in a heavy shaded area as well. It dries well but probably takes a bit longer. Tarps on top and keeping it off the ground help a lot.
 

billb3

Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2007
4,668
SE Mass
Oh for crying out loud, water doesn't leave the tree and go into the roots. If it did the tree would desiccate and die. It's a living organism and has to stay hydrated.

Different tree species season at different rates depending on the cellular structure(s) of the wood.
I have mostly red maple and red oak here ( besides a voluminous supply of eastern white pine) and the red maple will be under 20% in a little over a year but the red oak will take three years unless it was dead standing. WHich is why I keep them stacked separate.
 

walhondingnashua

Burning Hunk
Jul 23, 2016
217
ohio
On the topic is coals left for the morning..
I have found similar results that the ash (and walnut as well) do not leave great coals for the morning, but I have found that they both leave a good layer of ashes on top of the coals from whatever other wood I had in the stove. I I put a few pieces of oak/cherry/sassafras/hickory/etc and then place a few pieces of ash or walnut on top. Morning I have a white "blanket" of white ashes on top of some really nice coals.
 
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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,671
Central Mass
On the topic is coals left for the morning..
I have found similar results that the ash (and walnut as well) do not leave great coals for the morning, but I have found that they both leave a good layer of ashes on top of the coals from whatever other wood I had in the stove. I I put a few pieces of oak/cherry/sassafras/hickory/etc and then place a few pieces of ash or walnut on top. Morning I have a white "blanket" of white ashes on top of some really nice coals.
Cherry's good for that too.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
11,797
Southern IN
The Firewood Poem
ash green or ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown

ash wet or ash dry
a king shall warm his slippers by.
Ash Green or Black's all right
But White Ash, sir, is outta sight!

With Ash to warm his slippers by
It's better if the Ash is dry
I thought white oak was the King's wood?
As Howard Stern is the King of All Media, I have dubbed White Oak the King of All Firewoods. ==c