Hickory or White Oak?

MoDoug

Burning Hunk
Feb 3, 2018
136
NE Missouri
I've hit pay dirt for fire wood! I live near a Corp of Engineers flood control lake, and every year they have a firewood cutting season and issue permits for $10. They're getting ready to run a water line through one of the camp grounds and there is a lot of white and red oak they need to clear out. So far I've gotten about 3 cords, that's a bang for the buck! Today I noticed some hickory available also and I'm doing one more outing tomorrow and was wondering what the consensus is as far as hickory vs. oak? What is better for burning?
 
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Lakeside

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
556
Mike's World
The hickory I have gotten , the bugs got to and made lots of saw dust. So I would go with the oak.
 
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MoDoug

Burning Hunk
Feb 3, 2018
136
NE Missouri
Hickory is a bit higher in BTUs and will season a little quicker than oak, but it is a pain to split by hand. I wouldn't pass either up though.
Higher BTU's and faster seasoning are big pluses. These trees are about 12" in diameter, so I won't need to split by hand on site.
 
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MoDoug

Burning Hunk
Feb 3, 2018
136
NE Missouri
The hickory I have gotten , the bugs got to and made lots of saw dust. So I would go with the oak.
These hickories look healthy, but I've made some poor judgements on trees during this project. I've learned is to pay closer attention to lichen on trees, and wood pecker holes, LOL.... Sometimes a tree is like a box of chocolates.. I feel like I've spent good time and effort on a couple trees. I left some of my cuts in fire pits for future campers, they'll appreciate it.
 
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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,798
Marshall NC
I will never burn hickory again. I got a dump truck load of cut and split hickory delivered, there were beetles in the wood. I had it in the wood pile drying for 2 years.
After two years of drying the entire pile was infested with bark bugs. I would pick up a piece to bring in the house, it looked like someone had dumped a quarter cup of flour on it. Fine, fine sawdust from the bark beetles. I had to knock each piece against a post to knock most of the sawdust off.
I live in a log cabin I was scared those bugs would infest my house, although, they probably don't want to mess with logs in a cabin they probably want bark of hickory.
I would not pile up that wood in the house; I piled it up out on the deck which is pressure treated. I brought it inside piece by piece and put it right in the wood stove.
 

PA. Woodsman

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2007
2,098
Emmaus, Pennsylvania
Both are great, it's like asking "do you want steak or lobster?", neither one of those are bologna or hot dogs lol! Like was said the Oak will take longer to season. And if you are wondering about if the Hickory is good inside or infested take a wedge and sledge or a splitting maul along so you can split a round right off the bat to see if it is good or not worth investing the time to process it only to find out it is starting to get "funky".
 
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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
697
SW Missoura
I get a lot of hickory here. Seems to uproot from high winds more readily than oaks on my place. It tends to be buggy but after being stacked for a year to year and a half I have good luck with it being ready to go and the sawdust from the bugs isnt that big of a deal to me. Just knock two pieces together and toss it in stove. Great firewood. Kinda like comparing apples to oranges though.
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,621
Indiana
Nothing but bark beetles with the Hickory...it will move to any other wood stacks you have ...PIA...I would pass on it and take the White Oak..
 
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hickoryhoarder

Minister of Fire
Apr 5, 2013
509
Indiana
I prefer to have a mixture on hand. So the best is a combo. Hickory seasons a little faster, throws out even a little more heat. Oak has a lower kindling temperature, so it makes good kindling. Hickory has a high kindling temperature -- it never works well as kindling in my experience.

Together they make more interesting flames. And a lot of heat -- they sort of seem to feed each other.

My ideal cord looks something like this: 50% red oak, 10% white oak, 20% hickory, 10% cherry, 10% red maple. Of course that never happens, but I do try and keep a lot of oak and hickory on hand.
 

MoDoug

Burning Hunk
Feb 3, 2018
136
NE Missouri
Well, I went fire wood cutting again today, started off with the hickory, and spent almost 6 hours working on 2 trees. Really glad I did, the trees were right at my limit for being by myself, and fortunately the wood was in great shape. No signs of bugs, there were a few rough spots that I think were done by sap suckers, it was really good solid wood. It filled by 6 foot truck bed, and I put some overflow in the cab. Hopefully, as it seasons over the next year or so, I will have minimal bug issues with it.

It's a challenge dropping these trees in a campground, being mindful of things like picnic tables, electrical pedestals and camp site markers.. Somehow I've managed to not hit any of them. Not sure how the Corp would react to that, we all know how the Corp can be. For some reason they cannot sell the firewood to campers, I'm guessing it's because our tax dollars have already paid for it.
 

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Lakeside

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
556
Mike's World
looks like a good score -- right size , very good BTU's and easy to access ( pull your truck very close ).

You have done well.
 

MoDoug

Burning Hunk
Feb 3, 2018
136
NE Missouri
looks like a good score -- right size , very good BTU's and easy to access ( pull your truck very close ).

You have done well.
Thank you, I did well, and I also appreciate the luck behind it, I've gotten about 8 truck loads, which I'm guessing is about 4 cords? The timing was good also, before deer season started, there were several people in there cutting, once it started I had the place to myself for days. I guess most people didn't realize it is deep in a no hunting zone.
 
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MoDoug

Burning Hunk
Feb 3, 2018
136
NE Missouri
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