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Author Topic: Half rotten firewood  (Read 1678 times)

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Offline dirthawger

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Half rotten firewood
« on: November 12, 2017, 03:35:25 PM »
This might been a very dumb question for most of you,  and im pretty sure i know the answer but im hoping im wrong. I cut down a dead oak tree and when i cut into it some of it is half rotten, im assuming thats a no go for firewood?  I did have to throw away another oak as it was infested with termites. It seems a lot of my oak trees on my property are dying,  like half a side of it looks rotten and has big holes in it

Offline dirthawger

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 03:51:03 PM »
my bad after i posted this i saw it was already discussed

Offline breederman

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 03:56:24 PM »
If i didn't burn half rotten wood I would freeze to death ! Dry it an burn it.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 06:01:17 PM »
I don't know what kind of oak you have. I only have red oak on my land. Not much of it dies,but when I find something on the ground that is still nice and hard,I know it's an oak. Even the white pine that lays on the ground can be on the hard side. I use to burn all of that dead stuff when I was home. Makes heat!! I work my tractor in the woods,going across a dead tree a foot across is hard on equipment and that is without a full twitch on the 3 point winch. I use to push that stuff a side. A person can only burn so much dead wood. Than it would be in the way again. I bought a OWB and now I can burn all that dead wood all the time.
I say burn whatever makes heat. Why walk by a dead tree on the ground and cut a live one?  ??? Just be home when you burning it.
I do not have the termite problem either. Maybe keep the top of the pile covered in the woods until you need it?
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Offline TimRB

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 09:11:52 PM »
I have a lot of standing dead oaks, killed by sudden oak death.  I cut it up and sort it out when I'm splitting it.  If a piece is heavy and solid, it goes in the regular firewood pile.  If it's lightweight with rot, it goes into the firepit wood pile.

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Offline TKehl

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 09:45:52 PM »
I burn lots of half rotten firewood.  If it will hold together as a stick, I burn it.  It just burns faster and I'll mix it with better stuff or use it to restart coals.

I have an outdoor furnace.  I would not bring termite or ant infested wood inside the house, but I burn it all the time in the outdoor unit. 

On the flip side, I would not sell any that wasn't solid, but set it aside for family or myself.

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Offline Corley5

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 11:34:55 PM »
I burn it myself.  When a stick comes up on the machine I'll process it and throw it off to the side for our own use.
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Offline Klunker

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 12:47:26 AM »
I never cut wood thats down or dead stuff thats standing.
I leave it for the bugs and woodpeckers.
dead stuff thats standing gets beat up by the woodpeckers and most of the time it ends up as a den tree.
lots of wildlife depends upon it.

I have lots of standing trees that I can cut to thin for more desirable species.

rotten wood is not worth the effort for me, I want good quality dense hardwood, hickory, sugar maple and iron wood. most heat with least amount of work in the smallest package.

I have cut large aspen to clear for other species and I leave it lie.

If you can't be as selective or don't want to be thats fine. just one old mans .02


Online Al_Smith

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 05:55:39 AM »
If it's real rotten I just mound it up on my brush pile .It will burn for days .
Then comes oak .If it's white oak it can lay chunked up on the ground for some time before the rot gets it .However red oak will turn into a sponge in just a few years .It's not worth the time to sort it out and only get about half of what you split into to good wood .
Some species,white oak,osage orange,ash,black locust can take a lot of weather .Some like maple,red oak,hickory cannot .

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 06:14:46 AM »
Klunker,Yes,wildlife trees are important. I don't cut the ones that animals are living in. I don't have many that I leave standing. Maybe they don't like white pine? That is what mostly dies standing on my land,of any size. I let the bugs and wood peckers go at for years. Than when no new wood is exposed I cut it down. This way it is drying too. :D

Al,the red oak I have,the sap wood will rot off and the other wood will be nice and hard.Most times it is up in the air too. I have a friend that laughs at my wood pile. But he knows it works.
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Offline hedgerow

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 10:02:38 AM »
Klunker
I am with you half rotten trees are not worth the time and energy that it takes to make them into firewood for the heat I will get out of them, but I have a lot of hedge and locust on one of our farms so making good btu firewood is no problem. 

Online Al_Smith

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 03:46:16 PM »
Well now that red oak.If it's up in the dry it will last longer than flat on the ground I will say .Red is open grained .Soaks up water like a sponge .White is closed grain,makes a darn good whiskey barrel or what every else a person wants to fill it with short of gasoline .< not a good idea .Then again it probably wouldn't be a good idea to store whiskey in a steel oil drum either .

Online Randy88

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2017, 06:13:47 PM »
I guess I have another opinion, it depends on how much wood you have to choose from, it doesn't make much sense to use rotten wood, and let good wood rot because you can't get it all used up in time, if that makes sense, but if your short and always looking for wood, before I'd cut down a good live tree, even firewood quality, I'd burn the half rotten wood first, live tree's can live for years, why cut them down for firewood when you have something to burn already laying on the ground.  As for termite infected wood, I'd pile that up right away and burn it in the woods to get rid of it, might even spray it first to try to kill the termites before burning it, but that's my way of doing it.     

As for the wildlife, seeing how I've fed thousands of deer over the years from my corn fields, this might sound harsh to some, but the wildlife can go fend for themselves elsewhere and someone else can feed them for a while out of their back pocket, and that opinion will stand until the DNR comes to repay me for all the years I've fed their deer, put up with their skunks, possum's and dealt with their raccoons, even the one that went after one of my son's when he was younger resulting in him at the time having to undergo rabies shots while myself and my wife had to drag him to the doctor, and literally hold him down to have the series of shots done to him for his own health, while the DNR did nothing about their rabid raccoon, deer, and skunk issue at the time, but they did come and tell me, they were very sorry about the attack, but nothing they could do about it just the same and they were not at fault in way shape or form, just for the record.           

Offline bluthum

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2017, 06:29:15 PM »
For the record there is no need to fear bringing termite infested wood indoors. They have to be able to return to the colony [nest] or perish. Wood has to be in contact with the nest. Typically termites eating up a structure go home daily [I think] to the nest underground. Even a termite needs a little moisture. 

Online Al_Smith

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2017, 08:42:49 PM »
Everybody has an opinion on things .I for one will not cut a live tree unless it's either a nuisance or a hazard especially just for firewood .Standing dead or wind blown there isn't anything wrong with them for firewood or salvaged lumber .Besides that it's usually  pretty dry .There's enough dropped limbs and decaying leaves to sustain the woods top soil without leaving all the dead and wind blown to litter up every thing .Besides why would you want to feed the carpenter ants ? Sometimes I think I need a pet aardvark .

Offline Don P

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2017, 09:25:09 PM »
bluthum is right about termites. You can release subterranean termites in your house and they will die within a day. They need a pathway back to earth and they can't build mud tunnels from this side. There is an invasive formosan drywood termite in the very deep south and HI that can hit the side of a building and begin eating it but for most of us this guy isn't in the neighborhood. Carpenter ants need wet wood. That wood isn't firewood, it isn't dry enough to burn properly.

One thought, all wood has roughly the same btu's per pound, rotten wood weighs less but if dry produces the same heat per pound as dense wood. I'f I were buying by volume, the cord, I would want the densest wood available but since I don't buy firewood it just takes more of it if the wood is a little doty.

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2017, 09:38:38 PM »
Half of what I burn in the OWB is rotten wood, all of the junk that is dying, dead or laying on the ground that I would otherwise have to trip/walk over gets cut up and used for heat. The cattle are hard on trees so every year they seem to strip the bark off of something which ends up blowing over and thus get burned up. Sure I burn more of it and sure it takes more effort to make it but I figure burn up the junk and let the "good" trees live to heat the house some other year.

If I leave the dead stuff to rot and harvest all the good trees for firewood now then in a few years I won't have nothing as the dead trees got wasted and the good trees are now all gone.

Online Randy88

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2017, 03:20:46 AM »
On years we're short on firewood, we've done extensive culling of tree's, meaning anything that will never make a good quality saw log got cut down and cut up for firewood.     

We burn roughly 50 cords of wood a year and only own 20 acres of timber, so we pull material from many sources to burn and from many timbers.     

We also cull by species, and cut out and eliminate what many call junk tree species in our area, starting with anything you can't give away, like for example box elder's and the several million elm's nobody wants.     Then move onto lesser value tree's, that have a history of not much value in hopes of more valuable tree's replacing them in the timber.

Why leave a tie log tree or low value or no value tree stand when a smaller more valuable tree species is nearby waiting for some sunlight so it can grow??   Why leave any boxelder stand taking up space when basically anything could grow in its place??    Why leave any elm stand when it'll never make it large enough to ever make any log before it dies?? 

 



     

Offline Logging logginglogging

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2017, 09:11:39 AM »
i sometimes get wood rotten in the middle pretty bad, when its split ill basically slam it down and let all the wet stuff and mush fall out... they stack whats solid. once its dry it burns..

also in the past i have burned dead standing rotten punky wood as long as its is dry and burns....

Offline Magicman

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2017, 10:24:23 AM »
Of course my volume of firewood is low and my source is high but I have no memory recollection of the last live healthy tree that I felled for firewood.  And yes, I will sometimes burn firewood with some dote.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2017, 05:27:06 PM »
My half rotten fir,cedar,maple,oak,white pine,white birch,yellow birch is keeping the house mighty warm.  ;D
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Offline Klunker

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2017, 11:43:03 PM »


We burn roughly 50 cords of wood a year
   

wow 50 cords/yr?
you should try closing the doors and windows  ;D

how big of an area are you heating?

Online Randy88

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2017, 06:09:07 AM »
An old large two story farmhouse, that's been redone several times  since it was originally built in the late 1890's and a large shop with 20 foot ceilings that has a loft built into it, and an attached office area as well.     All hot water is heated off the owb.   

The shop has a large well insulated door on one end that measures 34 feet wide by 20 feet tall and open it several times a week to bring equipment in and take equipment out as repairs are done, the walls are blow in fiberglass that average 10 inches thick of insulation and have two feet thick blow in fiberglass in the ceiling, with in floor heat, the cement slab is nearly 10 inches thick to hold up heavy equipment, which sucks an incredible amount of heat to maintain it to temp.   

We have an owb that's commercial size and is roughly 600,000 btu that does all the heating, and yes we fill it three times a day when its cold out, in bitter cold temps with a howling wind, four times a day, which translates into slightly more than one skid steer bucket load of wood each filling.   

So depending on which heating expert you want to listen to  determine square footage of heating, ranges from 5000 to slightly over 9000 square feet, however you want calculate it, then toss in a term they call heat recovery for the shop door being opened so much, which no heating expert can give a real number for, don't forget we bring in machines weighing up to 75,000 lbs in frigid temps that need to be warmed up to shop temp, but in summary, we heat a large area and a lot of stuff to warm working and living temps and keep shoving wood into the owb.   

But your right, we should should close the doors and windows more often and heat a smaller area, just haven't figured out how to achieve it.       

So with the volume I got through, partially rotten wood burns just fine, that and it won't last long enough around here to rot much more than the day I cut it in the woods.   

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2017, 09:27:07 AM »
I was out last night filling the OWB. I walked by the wife and she could feel the cold coming off me. And I don't weight no 75,000 pounds.

Randy88,whatcha got for a OWB?
I have a Heatmor,the older style,blower front and back. I can put a 54 inch stick in it, and have no idea the BTU's. I really don't fill it. I have alot of odd shaped pieces and than I will throw in some big pieces that are 2 feet long,18 inches,30 inches and whatever length. Than I throw in some 4 foot pieces that maybe be only 2 inches across,limb wood and so on. Lots of air space sometimes. But so what,I don't need the heat that you do.
I have burned wood in all state of dryness,from stump to OWB,won't do that again,from wood that was dry a year and wood that is picked up from the forest floor too. That is why I bought a OWB,to get rid of my dead wood. I will never get it all.
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Offline Klunker

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2017, 11:30:54 AM »
Thanks for the reply Randy.
I was hoping it was for more than just a house.

After using my masonry heater for a couple of months I now more than ever am convinced that burning rotten wood makes no sense if you have "good" wood available.

I burn only what I can fill the firebox with at one shot. If its filled with less dense wood I get less heat.
So to get the most heat of out least amount of wood (area wise) I'm going to stick with cutting only healthy living trees that are either sugar maple, shagbark hickory or ironwood. I can make this choice as I have approx. 25 acres of woods and I only need about 2 cords to heat my house for a winter. That's the firewood/heat equation of it for me.

I'll match my firewood needs with my managing for wildlife. By wildlife I mean all wildlife, not game animals. Unfortunatly my management in many ways aids deer. The one wildlife I'd like to see/have less of.
So to the wildlife management end I leave all dead standing dying trees and all fallen trees. I am currently working on killing and leaving standing large aspen/popular trees and cutting and leaving on the ground smaller ones. This is all due to in about less than 1/2 half of my woods is relatively young (100 yrs) and its mostly large aspen, tons of smaller hickory and a few oaks and maples. The aspen needs to go to allow the hickories and oaks mature. I also have very few beech that I'd like to see increase in number.

So amount of wood needed, amount available and management desires of my woodlot all equal out nicely.
Others have different needs, different amount and species available and management results. And thats all OK, to each his own.

Online Randy88

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Re: Half rotten firewood
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2017, 04:05:36 PM »
I used to have a wood doctor, which I bought new, was supposed to about a half million btu's which wasn't big enough, finally got tired of the run around from the so called company, who's warranty wasn't worth the paper it was written on, and the leaks I had to fix, so I updated to a Royal owb, make by Arc Alloy in Wisconsin, its the largest one they make, pressurized and only have had it a few months, so can't common much on it one way or another yet.   

We burn anything, always have, from green live cut tree's, to dead wood to dried wood, both cut and log length that have laid around for a few years, to me it really doesn't matter, it all gives off heat to a certain extent.     We handle in bulk you might say and for the most part I really do like cutting and splitting firewood, in the winter it gives a break of doing nothing but fixing and working on servicing equipment.     

We built a so called processor we've been working on for about five years and finally got it up and going last winter, now blocking up firewood is a simple job, the only complaints so far is the cab never got done and it gets cold doing nothing but sitting on the processor cutting up firewood.      As they say its a work in progress, but its usable.    I prefer to run the skid steer feeding logs and taking cut blocks away from the processor [that has a cab and heat].     

 


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