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Author Topic: Drying Time  (Read 693 times)

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Offline Hoosier_1963

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Drying Time
« on: September 17, 2017, 11:49:06 am »
I know this will be a hard question to answer but I would love some opinions.

I live in northern Indiana and as you already know a few years ago the ash bore's came through and killed most of the ash trees. The trees are dead. Some are starting to get blown over and others are still standing. I have been cutting, splitting and stacking these all summer long.

My question is... because these trees are already dead, will the drying time be a lot faster for them since they aren't technically "green". I have about 7-8 cords cut, split and stacked at this point. I was wondering if this wood might be ready to burn this winter.

I have stacked most of it under partial roof on sloped concrete. I don't think that will wick up moisture.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Drying Time
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2017, 12:46:28 pm »
I'll go with probably yes.

We will cut standing dead Oak in the middle of winter and we generally let it dry a couple weeks, but will put it straight in the stove if needed. 

If we can do this where it is only marginally warmer, then standing dead trees cut and split to dry over the summer should be awesome.

My only concern is if you have one of those new electric gassifier things, just because I have no experience but know they are finicky.
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Drying Time
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2017, 01:16:18 pm »
If you have to burn green, Ash is one of the better species to burn. I don't burn green wood, but if I had to, White Ash would be my first choice.

As far as drying goes: it helps that it was standing dead. Dead wood in contact with the ground would not be good. Wood generally dries through the end grain, tough, so don;t con;t on a lot of drying while it's in tree length.

To maximize your drying: stack the wood in single rows (with a good bit of space between the rows) and exposed to the sun and wind. Warmth helps dry it, but I've found that a breeze has a much larger effect - you need something to carry away the moisture that has been driven out of the wood, otherwise, the relative humidity aroudn the stacks goes up, greatly slowing the drying process.

If you want the fastest drying, a single row out in the open, uncovered will dry much faster than densely stacked rows under a roof or inside a building. (I actually did comparison drying of various methods 10 or 15 years ago, when I was behind in my firewood cutting.) The fastest drying was single rows out in the sun & wind, and up on pallets or poles to keep the wood off the ground. I left it uncovered until shortly before the heating season - when I just threw scrap plywood or metal roofing on top of the stacks (a tarp also works, but cover just the top of the stack). You might get slightly faster drying if you left it uncovered, then covered it when you expected rain, but the effect was so slight that I don't bother unless I'm really getting desperate.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline OH logger

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Re: Drying Time
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2017, 02:52:36 pm »
the only wood you can get by burning green is ash. even when they were alive I would cut split and sell it right away. never had ANY complaints. years ago I sold wood to a lady that had a fireplace in her house trailer. she kept it about 90 degrrees in there and never ordered wood till I was out of dry wood. all I ever sold her was green ash (they were alive). she had no problem. she actually had the chimney cleaner ask her what kind of wood she burnt and were she got it from cause he was so impressed that there was such little creoaote built up  ;)  if you cut it split it and let it dry for anytime at all you will be ok. the ash have prolly been dead here about as long the way it sounds and it wouldn't scare me one bit
john

Offline overclocking

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Re: Drying Time
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2017, 09:20:32 pm »
I can tell you from experience standing dead ash is one of the best burning woods there is. The ash borrer came through here as well and we have so many standing dead trees it's not funny. They come down and go straight to the ready to burn pile. The bugs cut the trees water supply off and the trees literally use every vacuole to survive before they die. It's a shame the bugs did that to them but the wood is standing gold. Don't let them go to waste.

Offline Hoosier_1963

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Re: Drying Time
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 08:03:44 am »
Thanks for all the replies! I thought it would be okay but I wanted to make sure.

I don't burn wood but I've always cut, split and stacked it for my parents who enjoy their fireplace. I hated to see any of these ash trees (which I knew was great wood) go to waste so I started cutting and splitting. I have 6 + cords of it already done. I have given this to my niece and her family who just purchased a new home with 2 fireplaces in it. It was literally a "house warming" gift!  :D

I love spending time in the woods and working with the saw, tractor and splitter. It's also a great workout for me. I'd much rather work in the woods for 2-3 hours than walk 4-5 miles!

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Drying Time
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 03:29:39 pm »
Back in the 80's and 90's when we sold firewood it seemed like we would always sell our dry firewood and we be out in the timber cutting dead ash trees so we would have wood to stay warm our self's . We never had any problem burning ash right away.

Offline Blue Noser

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Re: Drying Time
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2017, 05:28:48 am »
Some of the best firewood I have ever burnt has come from dead standing trees that have dried out! To answer your question, yes these trees will not require as long a drying period as they will not contain sap (or as much sap), however they may still be holding onto moisture.