Softwood MC vs. Hardwood MC

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mrd1995

Member
Feb 21, 2020
199
North East, Pa
I did look for some info first but didn't come up with a definite answer. Being from the East, Conifers are scary chimney fire instigators, haha. That being said I can't wait to burn the cord of Norway Spruce and Red Pine that I have css. We have been burning some uglies in firepit and they are not sizzling or hissing, but last I checked with a moisture meter they were in the low to mid 20s.

My question, does the wood mc of below 20% apply to both hard and soft wood? I have had the conifer css for about 4 months and it seems really dry. I have it stacked on a knoll that gets both sun and lakeshore wind. So I don't think it is out of the question but I also don't want someone saying I told you so if we ever have a chimney fire.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,541
07462
Water is water, if its in the wood then your trying to burn water first.
The soft wood saga starts like this, many people on the EC burn wood, obviously hardwoods are better then soft wood, hardwoods are also plentiful here so its easy to access it, unfortunately many wood burners who source hardwoods for the winter usage wait till September / October before getting to work, so generally speaking when the burning season starts, there wood is sub-par at a minimum.
The winter is a rough one, much colder then winters before, the ritual of loading the stove 3 times a day has turned to 5 times a day, its now February or March, still cold out, but the good oak wood is almost gone, there's to much snow in the woods to go out and try to find a dead tree, light bulb moment, remember that eastern white pine tree in the back that fell two years ago? lets burn that. That pine tree has a moisture content of 18% by now, split it, burn it, the pine provides a short but hot fire, again the burner operator forgets to re-adjust there stove air settings, since they've kept them wide open all season from burning sub-par hardwoods, so the hot pine fire ignites all the creosote that accumulated in the chimney from burning months of unseasoned hard wood. Neighbor comes over when they see the firetrucks, "hey what happened?" reply: chimney fire, ran out of my good oak wood and thought that old fallen pine tree out back would get me by for a couple weeks.
 

mrd1995

Member
Feb 21, 2020
199
North East, Pa
Water is water, if its in the wood then your trying to burn water first.
The soft wood saga starts like this, many people on the EC burn wood, obviously hardwoods are better then soft wood, hardwoods are also plentiful here so its easy to access it, unfortunately many wood burners who source hardwoods for the winter usage wait till September / October before getting to work, so generally speaking when the burning season starts, there wood is sub-par at a minimum.
The winter is a rough one, much colder then winters before, the ritual of loading the stove 3 times a day has turned to 5 times a day, its now February or March, still cold out, but the good oak wood is almost gone, there's to much snow in the woods to go out and try to find a dead tree, light bulb moment, remember that eastern white pine tree in the back that fell two years ago? lets burn that. That pine tree has a moisture content of 18% by now, split it, burn it, the pine provides a short but hot fire, again the burner operator forgets to re-adjust there stove air settings, since they've kept them wide open all season from burning sub-par hardwoods, so the hot pine fire ignites all the creosote that accumulated in the chimney from burning months of unseasoned hard wood. Neighbor comes over when they see the firetrucks, "hey what happened?" reply: chimney fire, ran out of my good oak wood and thought that old fallen pine tree out back would get me by for a couple weeks.
Fully understand the standard scenario, so I am reading this and you're saying 18% on White Oak or White Pine means it is ready to burn.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,541
07462
More or less anything under 20% is ideal, you can do up to 22% but your diminishing the appreciable heat value at that point
 

mrd1995

Member
Feb 21, 2020
199
North East, Pa
More or less anything under 20% is ideal, you can do up to 22% but your diminishing the appreciable heat value at that point
Perfect, that makes me a little more comfortable about our wood supply for this year.
Appreciate the advice @kennyp2339 !