Just bought my first rick. Is this normal?

Ksracer

New Member
Nov 25, 2019
16
Wichita KS
Does this much mold and decay seem normal for what was advertised as "Really nice seasoned Oak"? There's definitely some solid wood in there that measures 16% on a MM after resplitting, but 30% or more of the splits look like the pictures. All decayed, no weight left, soft, and measure 25% moisture. Just curious if I should expect better after paying a premium compared to other sellers in my area.
 

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Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,789
South Jersey
When a load of fire wood arrives at your place, or before you pick up a load, test a few pieces first. If you don't like what you see, walk away or send the delivery person back. Buying seasoned wood is almost impossible. What I see in the pictures looks very old and in rotting stage.
 

Ksracer

New Member
Nov 25, 2019
16
Wichita KS
Jan, I looked the wood in the pile over pretty good when I got there, and it wasn't this bad. The rack in the picture has a solid steel back on it, and I suspect the wood i got spent all summer tightly stacked in it. We had record rainfall this year, and I'm wondering if the rot occured while it was in there.
 

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Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,178
Southeast CT
Well, sadly, you probably did better than most being that most of the wood is good. That said, id call the seller back and ask explain you’d like him to make good on the other 30%. If he does, great. If not I’d just drop it. Buying wood is definitely tough.
 
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toddnic

Minister of Fire
Jul 13, 2013
756
North Carolina
It looks like it is beginning to rot. Buying wood is definitely not easy. If I buy wood, I typically purchase "green" hardwood that I can season for a few years.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,118
Northern Maine
That wood is garbage.
 
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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,554
Marshall NC
You got screwed. What did you pay for the wood? How much wood is it, what is the measurement of the pile.

If it is not too much money I would just forget about it. Next time you buy wood, go to the [new] place where the wood is and inspect it. If the guy is going to deliver it to you, go to his woodyard and look at the wood, before he loads his truck.
If the guy is at your place with a truck load of wood it is a lot harder to turn it down.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,812
NE Ohio
If it looked like that but was still fairly solid, wouldn't bother me...but if it is rotten to the point of being light as you say, then I would feel slighted...
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,727
Central Mass
I assume you're showing us the bad pieces and they're not all punky looking. That's the problem buying seasoned wood at this time of the year. The wood they sell has probably been sitting for awhile. If most of the wood looks like the last pic I guess you could say you did ok considering.
 

blacktail

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2011
1,414
Western WA
Looks like punky wood that was dead and rotting long before it was cut.
 
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hickoryhoarder

Feeling the Heat
Apr 5, 2013
410
Indiana
The pieces shown should never be loaded into a rick. Sounds like you at least have some workable stuff.

No good seller includes stuff like that. They will include some small rounds, a few chunky pieces -- that's kind of normal.

"Seasoned" is sort of a useless term. I prefer to buy stuff that's freshly cut, and season it in my own stacks. I don't know anyone who sells firewood in bulk that is ready to burn. (Menards actually has some decent little bundles of kiln-dried firewood for $3.99. The shapes and sizes are good. The wood is mainly oak, maple, yellow birch in bundles I saw. I burned two bundles just to make sure they're truly dry. They are. So that's my new backup if I don't have wood ready in the future.)
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,118
Northern Maine
The pieces shown should never be loaded into a rick. Sounds like you at least have some workable stuff.

No good seller includes stuff like that. They will include some small rounds, a few chunky pieces -- that's kind of normal.

"Seasoned" is sort of a useless term. I prefer to buy stuff that's freshly cut, and season it in my own stacks. I don't know anyone who sells firewood in bulk that is ready to burn. (Menards actually has some decent little bundles of kiln-dried firewood for $3.99. The shapes and sizes are good. The wood is mainly oak, maple, yellow birch in bundles I saw. I burned two bundles just to make sure they're truly dry. They are. So that's my new backup if I don't have wood ready in the future.)
I can get local (MA) kiln dried wood no problem but it might be cheaper to run electric baseboard.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,121
Southern IN
First pic, those three look pretty shot. Second pic, may just be rotted sapwood, solid middle, but I can't tell.
Third pic looks pretty much like the stuff I'm burning right now, after picking up a Red Oak stack crash that got rained on for a couple months before I picked it up. A little mold or whatever on the ends of the splits, no big deal. Some of the sapwood on it might be a little soft, but a lot looks OK. It looks pretty dry as well.
Anyone who says this load is all trash doesn't know wood very well. Is it "really nice?" No, not if "30% ....no weight left, soft"
What did you pay? If your back was against the wall, you gotta do what you gotta do, and you were lucky to find anything that was even that dry.
When they heap wood in a pile, the inner stuff on the bottom is going to be like that..It's not their fault you didn't know that. That top stuff is "really nice" though. ;)
Next time, say you want the clean, dry stuff on the top, you are heating with wood and your stove will only work with dry wood, blah, blah, blah, etc, etc..
 
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xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,058
Lackawaxen PA
Thats been bucked and stacked for years in damp place. It was a decaying pile. Hopefully it's not all punkey. It will burn, not the best. But you need to get and keep it dry. The punk will soak up water like a sponge.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,121
Southern IN
Use something like a small hammer to administer a blow to the splits. If they "ring like a bell," they will burn well. If you hear a duller, thud-like sound, dry those by the stove for a while.
 

Stinkpickle

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2015
457
Iowa
Most of it might be OK, but it certainly isn’t premium. Buy some green wood now, so you can season it yourself and have truly good stuff in a couple of years.
 

Hksvr4

Member
Dec 3, 2019
49
NY
This is what "seasoned" oak should look like. The bark is a dark color and once you split them, the bark falls off. Oak is dense and heavy. I found a pile of covered logs by the previous owners of the house. But compared to fresh oak I've split, these were defiantly better to burn.
1578316632163.jpeg
 
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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,382
Nova Scotia
This is what "seasoned" oak should look like. The bark is a dark color and once you split them, the bark falls off. Oak is dense and heavy. I found a pile of covered logs by the previous owners of the house. But compared to fresh oak I've split, these were defiantly better to burn.
View attachment 254812
I don't burn any oak, but that looks like it still should have some seasoning time. Just going by the pic. Usually doesn't dry inside much at all until split, and I don't see any checking. Would be curious on a MM reading.
 
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Hksvr4

Member
Dec 3, 2019
49
NY
I don't burn any oak, but that looks like it still should have some seasoning time. Just going by the pic. Usually doesn't dry inside much at all until split, and I don't see any checking. Would be curious on a MM reading.
Agree on the MM, which I will need to buy.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,121
Southern IN
I don't burn any oak, but that looks like it still should have some seasoning time. Just going by the pic.
Yeah, it looks pretty fresh but depending how it was stored, it could still be very dry. If the sun doesn't hit it, it won't fade or get dark. And Red Oak doesn't always get checking on the ends.
Here's some Red I just brought up, the stuff that fell and went uncovered for a while. It looks about like some of the stuff Ksracer bought. It's giving me great, long burns.
Even if the stack doesn't crash, rain can still blow in on my stacks, and the Red can get sapwood rot to some degree.
I scored a bunch of metal roofing so hopefully my stacks will stay drier than with the mats I'm using now.
20200106_125724.jpg
 
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KC Matt

Burning Hunk
Oct 29, 2016
148
Kansas City
Sure looks like that started out as a dead standing tree that had started to rot. The outer couple inches is like a sponge and as it dries it disintegrates. The rest of the wood is fine. Looks to be seasoned a year or more.

This is what "seasoned" oak should look like. The bark is a dark color and once you split them, the bark falls off. Oak is dense and heavy. I found a pile of covered logs by the previous owners of the house. But compared to fresh oak I've split, these were defiantly better to burn.
View attachment 254812
That looks like it was split yesterday. That's "seasoned" as sold by fraudulent firewood mongers. Stack that and leave it for 3 years and it will be seasoned.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,121
Southern IN
That looks like it was split yesterday. That's "seasoned" as sold by fraudulent firewood mongers. Stack that and leave it for 3 years and it will be seasoned.
Hksvr4 may have just split it but he said it was "covered by previous owner." If the rounds have been sitting around, covered, for many years, it could be pretty dry. And it sounds like he's burned some, and it burned well.
 

Hksvr4

Member
Dec 3, 2019
49
NY
Hksvr4 may have just split it but he said it was "covered by previous owner." If the rounds have been sitting around, covered, for many years, it could be pretty dry. And it sounds like he's burned some, and it burned well.
Not sure how long this was covered by the previous owner but it lights up really easy. In the photos, that’s freshly cut red oak from November 2019.

As you can see the outer rings are not white compared to the seasoned one. Seasoned oak is very hard to split bc what I think is so dried and dense. The bark falls off when you split them.

The fresh oak is very very easy to split. Also fresh oak is very heavy compared to the seasoned ones. I will get a side by side picture tonight.
327F0C88-CCA9-4EDD-8E4A-1796C6B64617.jpeg
CE94E8F1-CA55-4834-8125-8C091B22DB42.jpeg
 
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