ArboristSite.com Sponsors
 
 


How long will firewood store?

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by sredlin, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. sredlin

    sredlin ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Vermillion SD
    I was wondering if anyone has much experience on storing firewood for long periods of time. I have mostly elm and ash here in South Dakota. I was wondering how far ahead I could cut wood for future winters. I have a building to keep the rain and snow off of it.
     
  2. JUDGE1162

    JUDGE1162 ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Catskills, NY
    Great thread I was just wondering the same thing, I need to clear an area for the garege I plan to build, I figure there is 3 to 4 seasons of wood there, what is the best way to store the wood (large logs, rounds, split?) It is all hardwood a mix of Oak, maple, birch, aspen,cherry, elm and a few others. NO PINE.


    I would keep it covered and raised off the ground but I heard that wood will get too dry or just dry rot with age. Once the grage is build there will be a wood shed to store the wood in.
     
  3. Doctor Dave

    Doctor Dave ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Hood River, Oregon

    Too dry? I don't think so! One thing that can happen is a few species of beetle might take up residence in the wood and bore little holes through it and leave fine dust everywhere (powder post beetles). It isn't likely that they will eat that much in a few years, though. "Dry rot" is actually decay like any other, that requires some moisture occasionally; gotta keep it dry.

    Sound wood has been found framing doorways in cliff dwellings in AZ---700 years old! One way that they dated the ruins was to cross-date the wood with surrounding trees and snags.
     
  4. JUDGE1162

    JUDGE1162 ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Catskills, NY
    Yeah I was told that if the moisture content drops too much that it burns to fast and is not good for heating, could be wrong, it happens a lot :mad: .

    That for the fire to burn right it should hae between 10 and 20% water by weight and if it drops below !0% it burns too fast and turns to coals (this is the reason why kiln dried wood (construction lumber) is not good as fuel for a wood stove other than to get the fire started. Again I maybe misimformed

    I guess my question is how long does that take?
     
  5. BlueRidgeMark

    BlueRidgeMark Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    7,839
    Likes Received:
    691
    Location:
    Virginia
    How long is going to depend heavily on your environment. For decades archaeologists puzzled about how the Egyptians preserved mummies so that the bodies didn't decay for centuries. What secret formula did they use?

    Turned out it was just the dry desert air. Nothing but dry air.


    In Arizona, that 700 year old wood isn't hard to do. In Florida? Good luck!

    In the Catskills? I have no clue!
     
  6. Ianab

    Ianab ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Unless you live in a desert, wood in an unheated woodshed wont dry below 10% moisture. Yes, very dry wood will burn hotter / faster, but that can be controlled by damper etc on most fires.. or mix it with a bit of green wood to slow the fire down. It's more of a fireplace problem than a wood problem.

    As to how long it will last, if it's kept dry, many many years. If it's outside on the ground, it will wick up moisture from the ground, and wont be truely dry, and it will rot pretty quick.

    There is really no difference between a stack of dry firewood, and the wooden shed it's in. Eventually the borer beetles might eat them both away, but you might not live long enough to see that :laugh:

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  7. ciscoguy01

    ciscoguy01 Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    345
    Location:
    'daks
    Kiln dried

    Actually some of that is true. You wouldn't want to burn construction lumber because it's mostly softwood. Now were that hardwood, that'd be a different story. You keep a dry environment, it should last almost indefinitely. My grandfather died about 15yrs ago, he had wood stacked in the basement, which is dry and cool, about 4 or 5 cord or hard maple, birch, oak, and some beech. I burned it last winter, it burned like a champ. I just discussed this with a guy I was delivering wood to a couple weeks ago. He said that it's more important for it to be very dry as it expends a ton of energy to burn out the water. Make sense? It did to me. The more water in the wood, the more energy lost during the combustion process. I'd say as long as wood is kept dry it's pretty safe for at least 10-15yrs. Just my .02
     
  8. alderman

    alderman Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,029
    Likes Received:
    493
    Location:
    Western Oregon
    My two cents

    Just this evening I put some wood on the porch that has been in an open sided shed for at least 6 years. This was Alder which is notorious for rotting if exposed to moisture. There was no indication of rot on this wood, even the pieces that were on the bottom supported by a couple of limbs. I've found this type of wood stacked and covered on top with plastic but exposed to moisture on the sides will last three years, but not much longer.
    Wood on moist ground will rot within a year. Of course, out here in the rain forest it rains 90 days out of 100.
     

Share This Page