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Minister of Fire
Aug 25, 2022
I had a dead pine come down last year. I CSS hoping I could burn it this fall.I put a fresh split on three of the pieces. All measured between 14 and 18%. I've been mixing this in with some ash for the past few weeks. Today, I pulled a piece that seemed damp. I put a fresh split on it and it measured over 40%. A check on a second piece came in at 27%. Most of the stack has been burned already, but since I had to move more up to the house, I checked every remaining piece. 80+ % of the pieces checked between 14 and 18% . But other 20% came in between 27 and 40%. Why would there be such a difference when the same tree, CSS at the same time and stacked in the same place. These were top covered a year ago. All I can think of is the pieces on the bottom of the pile did not get as much wind/sun as the other pieces.

Did the wood sit on the ground for a while, either in log form or after splitting but before stacking?
Yeah, After I cut, the logs were in a pile before I split and Stacked. No more than a few weeks.
That would be my guess for the dampness. The splits will soak up moisture when on the ground, especially in wet weather.
I am just surprised that after a year of being CSS, that moisture did not dry out. Well it is water under the bridge at this point, have as small stack of pine that will sit a while longer.
Is it getting punkey? I've never used a moisture meter. But I can tell when it's good..
The splits closer to the ground can absorb moisture from the ground when stacked. Even if you put it up on pallets. I always lay a plastic sheet under my stacks and make sure it's pitched to prevent puddles. No ground moisture that way.
These were stacked on some Tree limbs I used as pole and between 2 trees, So that might be a cause. Especially water running down the trunk
That would do it. Do you know if these particular pieces were the ones up against the tree?
At least one of them yes, but the others I tested were not. However they were closer to the bottom of the stack where ground moisture may have come into play.
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