What wood to cut

Indiana wood

Member
Nov 30, 2019
131
Warsaw Indiana
Hi everyone newbie here.
history, my first wood burning experience was about10 years ago with a woodchuck 2900. It absolutely ate wood 3 fills a day. I grew tired and gave up. Haven’t burned wood in 5 years. Recently getting the bug again and started debating with wife about a fireplace. She couldn’t wrap her head around bringing wood into our living room. She has nightmares about wood burning from wood chuck experience, lots of creosote, chimney back ups etc. comprisedwith her on wood burner in basement and creating a living space down there.I did a lot of research and got lucky and found blaze king. found a 3 year old blaze king king ultra demo unit.Just fired it up today. WOW!! What a difference from the wood chuck. Loving it. Heres my question. This was spur of the moment decision so I don’t have much wood cut and seasoned. We live on wooded property so finding wood to cut is not a problem. What is the driest wood i can cut in the woods? We have quite a bit of standing dead ash from ash borer.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,948
central pa
Yeah the upper branches on standing dead Ash might be dry enough. Soft woods also dry really fast if you can find any standing dead softwoods they may be ok as well
 
  • Like
Reactions: hickoryhoarder

hickoryhoarder

Feeling the Heat
Apr 5, 2013
480
Indiana
Standing dead ash, standing dead tulip polar, and standing dead red maple have worked well for me. Even if they fell while live, they season relatively fast.

Black cherry seasons relatively fast, as short as 6 months if you stack it in the right place. White pine is about that fast too.
 

ABMax24

Feeling the Heat
Dry standing softwoods are probably the ticket, about a month ago i cut down a spruce that was 12% and a pine that was 17%. Cut them down at 10:00am, they were heating the house just after lunch.
 

Medic21

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2017
1,028
Northern Indiana
Standing dead ash, standing dead tulip polar, and standing dead red maple have worked well for me. Even if they fell while live, they season relatively fast.

Black cherry seasons relatively fast, as short as 6 months if you stack it in the right place. White pine is about that fast too.
I love cherry except for stacking it and it doesn’t leave much for coals. Great to mix in with oak.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,715
Marshall NC
You might not have any wood on hand that will be suitable to burn this winter. You are going to get in to trouble if you burn wood that is too moist.
 

Kevin Weis

Minister of Fire
Mar 3, 2018
932
Union Bridge, Md
Yes, if the bark has been shed for a few years or more standing, that lull be your best bet. Usually that will be Elm or Ash.
 

ZZ Tom

Burning Hunk
Feb 3, 2014
107
SL,UT
www.garnerfoto.com
Like medic said, get a moisture meter.
I split some unknown species of wood this past month. 30+" diameter. Tree was standing dead for 10+ years, no bark for more than 5 of them. The outside splits read ~15%. Another 4" inside were reading low 20%, the very center pegged my meter at 50%.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,715
Marshall NC
Moist wood is a nightmare. Hard to light and it will smoke up the glass. More creosote in the pipe.
And, it will not burn up well, you will have a big pile of hot coals filling up the fire box.
Us hard core guys cut and stack wood this winter, that will be burned 2 or 3 years from now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ZZ Tom

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,207
Iowa
Wet wood and BK's are not a happy mix. They really perform on dry wood. I've dropped two standing dead Elm in my back yard recently. One had been without bark for several years. Only the very small branch wood was dry enough to burn. Much of the rest pegged the meter.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
Go out and look for small dead-standers, <8", with the bark falling off. Those should be pretty dry.
What happens if its too moist?
Keep an eye on your chimney, inspecting it every few weeks until you get a handle on how fast creosote is building up.
Wet wood might make it hard to get your cat burning well, so more unburned stuff might get through, gunking your chimney faster.