Mulberry 1 year season not enough?

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rippinryno

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2015
261
united states
I've got about 3 chords of mulberry that was split and stacked 1 year ago. It's outside uncovered. I attempted to burn some in the outdoor fire pit to see if she's ready for winter and noticed it's a bit of a slow burn and not quite as seasoned as i like.

I'm going to move a chord into my covered barn today in hopes that i can speed up the process and keep this dry until november hits.

Any ideas if I'm trying to burn too early on this type of wood after only 1 year of season? I've got plenty of other wood stacked but it's all been done this summer so it needs time yet and I'm planning and hoping to be able to burn this mulberry for winter heat.
 
Dec 2, 2018
49
Maine
I've got about 3 chords of mulberry that was split and stacked 1 year ago. It's outside uncovered. I attempted to burn some in the outdoor fire pit to see if she's ready for winter and noticed it's a bit of a slow burn and not quite as seasoned as i like.

I'm going to move a chord into my covered barn today in hopes that i can speed up the process and keep this dry until november hits.

Any ideas if I'm trying to burn too early on this type of wood after only 1 year of season? I've got plenty of other wood stacked but it's all been done this summer so it needs time yet and I'm planning and hoping to be able to burn this mulberry for winter heat.
Haven't ever burned Mulberry wood, but I don't trust wood in the stove that hasn't been stored under cover unless it is several years old 2-3 years. Still even then you could have a wet season before you intend to use it and it will make for a hard winter.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,932
Long Island NY
what is your location in the US of A?

Most wood and most places need two years, split, stacked, covered to reach proper moisture content *for modern stoves*. (Or for not smoking up the neighborhood, or for not losing most of the heat content in evaporating the water in the wood and maintaining a high flue temp so as not to creosote-up the piping...).

Here (Long Island, NY), I just measured the moisture content of red oak, that was split, stacked, covered in Feb. '19 (i.e. 3 summers!) from dead-standing trees - it was 22%. I prefer my wood <20%. After three years out of the rain, I still was not there. (Granted, Oak sucks for this, but once it's dry, it's great firewood.)
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
214
Wisconsin
I've cut a large, live mulberry and had water running out of it, so I know it can be a very wet wood depending on what time of year it is cut.

I've burned a lot of mulberry, and I like it. It is decent firewood, but not great for fireplaces. Lots of pops and sparks. It is nice in a wood stove.

It should take 2 years to season like most hardwoods.

What kind of stove have you got? With my old stove I could get away with burning wood that wasn't properly seasoned. It won't work in my new EPA stove, though, so I have not tried.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,568
NE Ohio
Any ideas if I'm trying to burn too early on this type of wood after only 1 year of season? I've got plenty of other wood stacked but it's all been done this summer so it needs time yet and I'm planning and hoping to be able to burn this mulberry for winter heat.
Probably won't happen in 1 year...some of your other wood could be ready, depending on what species it is...and putting it in the barn won't speed things up...might slow it down...you need good air flow! If you do anything, just top cover it where its at (leaving the sides open for air flow)
 

Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
716
Southern WI
Drying time can vary depending on location, storage, size of splits. Best way to tell is to check MC of a fresh split. I have burned Mullberry and would say 2 years drying time minimum(for my location anyways).
 

rippinryno

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2015
261
united states
Thanks for the help fellas!
What kind of stove have you got? With my old stove I could get away with burning wood that wasn't properly seasoned. It won't work in my new EPA stove, though, so I have not tried.
I've got an old nashua in my out building/shop. It does pretty much burn anything as it stays very hot and burns efficient.
Probably won't happen in 1 year...some of your other wood could be ready, depending on what species it is...and putting it in the barn won't speed things up...might slow it down...you need good air flow! If you do anything, just top cover it where its at (leaving the sides open for air flow)

I was thinking the same thing. I figured that one year outside with good ventilation and sun that i could put it in the barn . I placed in there after a week of no rain and good temps so it went in dry.

I don't cover any of my wood during the first 1 or 2 and I typically put it in my barn after a good dry spell and that way it's dry and ready for winter. I've done this for a decade now and haven't had any issues with it not being seasoned and staying dry for the stove. This year I'm down to the mulberry and wanted to burn it but will likely go with another pile that's been outside longer since it seems this stuff is not seasoned.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,037
Woolwich nj
I've got about 3 chords of mulberry that was split and stacked 1 year ago. It's outside uncovered. I attempted to burn some in the outdoor fire pit to see if she's ready for winter and noticed it's a bit of a slow burn and not quite as seasoned as i like.

I'm going to move a chord into my covered barn today in hopes that i can speed up the process and keep this dry until november hits.

Any ideas if I'm trying to burn too early on this type of wood after only 1 year of season? I've got plenty of other wood stacked but it's all been done this summer so it needs time yet and I'm planning and hoping to be able to burn this mulberry for winter heat.
the Biggest mistake is uncovered... wood cant season if its trying to dry out from the rain hitting it. Summer is the best time to season wood so moving it to the barn now is a little late. Im not saying you shouldn't do it. saying you should have done it in june or July

If you wanted to burn the mulberry this winter it should have been top covered from the beginning. What is the MC of the wood.. Id get a meter and do a test.
 

rippinryno

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2015
261
united states
I'm not here to argue but I can assure you that wood does season when uncovered outside. Top cover helps, but not required.

My wood seasoned all summer, i moved it to the barn just recently. I'm going to MC the stuff in barn and the stuff outside to see what the difference is here in a couple months.

I may have to burn my silver maple and ash mix if the mulb isn't ready yet, may need a whole another year outside.

I cover zero wood and burn seasoned wood every year so the notion that it can't season while sitting outside uncovered is plain wrong.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,568
NE Ohio
I'm not here to argue but I can assure you that wood does season when uncovered outside. Top cover helps, but not required.
Agreed
 

kborndale

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2008
311
LI
My wood stays outside uncovered all summer. Come October when I break down my covered patio of the summer stuff (table chairs flowers etc). The wood for the winter is moved there and ready to burn so it seems like it seasons uncovered over the summer.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,037
Woolwich nj
I'm not here to argue but I can assure you that wood does season when uncovered outside. Top cover helps, but not required.

My wood seasoned all summer, i moved it to the barn just recently. I'm going to MC the stuff in barn and the stuff outside to see what the difference is here in a couple months.

I may have to burn my silver maple and ash mix if the mulb isn't ready yet, may need a whole another year outside.

I cover zero wood and burn seasoned wood every year so the notion that it can't season while sitting outside uncovered is plain wrong.

Im not and didn't say that it will not season. You stated that the mulberry was 1 year seasoned and you wanted to burn it. I was saying if that was the case you made a mistake by not top covering it. any time wood absorbs rainwater it slows the seasoning process, because it has to shed the water it absorbed. The fastest way to season any wood it to keep it dry, in a sunny location and oriented with the prevailing winds. I agree that you could leave the mulberry out to season for 3 years mostly not top covered and it would eventually season, but thats not what was stated.. you wanted to try to burn it in a year. I just said it was a mistake not to top cover.
I have wood right now on a rack. I won't touch that wood for 3 to 4 years.. Its been top covered since day 1. Its the fastest way to season..
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,578
Southeast CT
I'm not here to argue but I can assure you that wood does season when uncovered outside. Top cover helps, but not required.

My wood seasoned all summer, i moved it to the barn just recently. I'm going to MC the stuff in barn and the stuff outside to see what the difference is here in a couple months.

I may have to burn my silver maple and ash mix if the mulb isn't ready yet, may need a whole another year outside.

I cover zero wood and burn seasoned wood every year so the notion that it can't season while sitting outside uncovered is plain wrong.a
Uncovered hardwoods can season well within a reasonable time. However they can also stall out with extended damp weather. It’s always been a gamble for me personally. I’ve had red maple at 20 percent in the fall turn into wood with over 30 percent moisture content with extended wet weather patterns. It took about 2 months in the basement for it to gradually dry out back to being close to 20.
Uncovered can and usually does work ok. In my experience, top covering is always preferred.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,932
Long Island NY
Given the data of humidity, temperature, and equilibrium moisture content in wood, uncovered seasoning will work. I.e. wood will get drier.. The issue is that it by definition will be slower because wood is hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb moisture when exposed to it. Any time it rains on the wood, you are undoing some of the previous drying.

Does that mean one can't season wood uncovered? No. It will only be slower to reach the moisture content one aims for. (And the latter is also varying a lot from what I see people do here.)
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,568
NE Ohio
Any time it rains on the wood, you are undoing some of the previous drying.
Technically, yes...but it only takes a day or so of warm dry breeze to undo what a good downpour did to your stacks...rain stays pretty "surface" on the wood unless left there for some time...if it didn't then wood boats would sink pretty quick...or that stick you threw in the pond would sink pretty quick.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,932
Long Island NY
Technically, yes...but it only takes a day or so of warm dry breeze to undo what a good downpour did to your stacks...rain stays pretty "surface" on the wood unless left there for some time...if it didn't then wood boats would sink pretty quick...or that stick you threw in the pond would sink pretty quick.

So, if you have 30 days of rain in a summer, and then 30 days to undo that added wetness, you lost 60 days of drying time as compared to what it would be without getting the wood wet. (Ok, maybe less because on a rainy day, covered wood won't dry much either. But still, 30 lost days.)

Anyway, a "pretty quick" recovery is still lost time, or wetter wood in the same time - was what I tried to say.
 

rippinryno

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2015
261
united states
I think i was just expecting to have the mulberry dry after a year outside like most of my other woods. I've burned ash and red maple the past 2 seasons after only a year of uncovered seasoning. Granted, they are exposed to a great deal of air flow and sun and they all go into the barn in late october and stay dry until burned.

I think I will try the mulberry that I've moved to the barn this season, it's only a chord and that's all the mulb i'm going to put in there since I'll be burning my red maple and ash and silver maple that's had more time.

I appreciate the help here. It seems mulberry, uncovered outside will need 2 years or possibly more.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,037
Woolwich nj
Technically, yes...but it only takes a day or so of warm dry breeze to undo what a good downpour did to your stacks...rain stays pretty "surface" on the wood unless left there for some time...if it didn't then wood boats would sink pretty quick...or that stick you threw in the pond would sink pretty quick.

Stuff like this is so funny.. your analogy is completely wrong.. Wood absorbs water. If a wooden boat sat in the water for 2 weeks the wood would be saturated, as a matter of fact they rely on the wood to absorb the water and wanted the wood to swell so it would tighten up in between each piece. A wooden ship dose not float because of the buoyancy of the wood. Wood weights roughly 65lbe per cuft.. Steel weights roughly 480lbs per cuft and has no buoyancy at all but yet you can build an aircraft carrier out of steel and it will float.. Both ships wood and steel float due to displacement. Ships sink due to lack of displacement, and not to the absorption water of water into the material.

If you wanted the mulberry in a year , a hardwood with alot of BTUs you need to do either a Kiln wich your wood would have been around 15%MC or so or top cover and have it alot lower than it is now. Some woods season faster then others typically woods with high BTUs are more dense and will lose its water slower.. wood will shed the first 10/12% mc the quickest the last 5/8% or so is the hardest for the moisture to work out.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,568
NE Ohio
Stuff like this is so funny.. your analogy is completely wrong.. Wood absorbs water. If a wooden boat sat in the water for 2 weeks the wood would be saturated, as a matter of fact they rely on the wood to absorb the water and wanted the wood to swell so it would tighten up in between each piece. A wooden ship dose not float because of the buoyancy of the wood. Wood weights roughly 65lbe per cuft.. Steel weights roughly 480lbs per cuft and has no buoyancy at all but yet you can build an aircraft carrier out of steel and it will float.. Both ships wood and steel float due to displacement. Ships sink due to lack of displacement, and not to the absorption water of water into the material.

If you wanted the mulberry in a year , a hardwood with alot of BTUs you need to do either a Kiln wich your wood would have been around 15%MC or so or top cover and have it alot lower than it is now. Some woods season faster then others typically woods with high BTUs are more dense and will lose its water slower.. wood will shed the first 10/12% mc the quickest the last 5/8% or so is the hardest for the moisture to work out.
OK, you're right, the boat one was a bad example...but wood (stick/branch/log) will float quite a while before sinking...and most peoples wood stacks aren't subject to "floating", so its not gonna "absorb" that much water from a rainy day or two...but I do think that the best SOP is to top cover the stacks....that's how mine are right from the get go...mainly to keep leaves and pine needles from settling down in the stacks the first year or two, then to keep everything dry as much as possible the last year.
I disagree that top covering makes a HUGE difference in drying time though...probably the biggest difference is KEEPING it dry once you are actually using the wood off that stack (if you don't take it in for the winter) nothing worse than chipping ice n snow off the wood you are about to burn...BTDT...o_O
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,103
07462
I may have to burn my silver maple and ash mix if the mulb isn't ready yet, may need a whole another year outside.
I love silver maple and ash for this reason, there decent species and dry quicker then the more heavier btu stuff, I mean nothing is better then the higher btu wood when its dry, but having options at your finger tips is great to. Over by me, lots and lots of ash, ash will be my primary go to wood for the next 10 years or so.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,218
Palmyra, WI
Silver maple is good wood. It puts out a decent amount of heat and burns nice and clean. It dries quickly. It does leave a little bit of an ash, kind of fluffy stuff, but just put more wood on top of it and the fluff compresses down. I just cut up a nice mulberry. Cuts real easy and smooth. It seems like really heavy wood. And I know it's wet. But I also know when it dries down it doesn't get very light, but stays heavy like black locust and Hickory. Sometimes it looks similar to box elder or other rough insignificant trees, knocked over when an oak goes over, but if I recognize it, and it's down, it's coming with.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,037
Woolwich nj
I have a mulberry at the back of the property. I've burned it in years past and it is a good wood. Doesn't give up its moisture easily. Puts out quality heat. Ill be loaded up the fall and winter with oak.. That tornado did some serious damage and trees down all over. My friend has 26 acres that the tornado passed through and has alot of treed down
 

Vikestand

Feeling the Heat
Oct 29, 2014
292
Missurah
It'll be fine, but not at it's potential yet. I love Mulberry for making turkey calls, and smoking pork butts! Wish I had more of it here.

Burn it if you need to! It won't be the end of the world. Also the only time my stacks get covered are in the fall to avoid leaves building up in-between or snow fall. Other than that they do fine sitting out in ol'mother nature.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,218
Palmyra, WI
It'll be fine, but not at it's potential yet. I love Mulberry for making turkey calls, and smoking pork butts! Wish I had more of it here.

Burn it if you need to! It won't be the end of the world. Also the only time my stacks get covered are in the fall to avoid leaves building up in-between or snow fall. Other than that they do fine sitting out in ol'mother nature.
The climate here is "dry enough" to leave stacks uncovered also, but brought in for winter to keep this years supply dry. The first year here everything I had was wet, outside, uncovered, dripped on, snowed on. Get a stack thermometer, get that above 300 or more, expect a hassle getting and keeping it going, but if the temps are kept up the chimney should stay clean. You can burn wet wood, but dry is so much nicer and easier.
 

rippinryno

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2015
261
united states
Sounds like I will have to see how it goes. I've go the 2 cords that i will be burning this winter in the barn. covered and with a bit of air flow since the doors are always open. 1 cord is mulb 1 year season. The other is a mix of maple/ash.

I could have waited a bit longer before putting the wood under cover, but we had a nice dry heat streak for a couple weeks and so it was time to get it in there.