A buddy and I recently scored some dead fall red oak via CL. It was a large tree (nearly 30" at the base) and given the amount of rot and other decay would guess it had been on the ground for two years or more.
As we cut into the trunk and larger limbs there was a very pungent odor. When I got it home and began splitting the odor became more pronounced. I am accustomed to the earthy smell of most woods when split, but this seemed to be even more intense. Even though it has been down for some time it is still quite wet. When I split the large rounds with a wedge, sap / water surfaces.
My wife and neighbor have commented that it smells like dog or horse sh. It is close to the house now as that is where I do my splitting, but will be moved to the far end of my yard to season. As more experienced wood harvesters, processors and burners I have a couple questions.
A. Is this normal with red oak given what I have described?
B. Will the odor dissipate with 2 years of seasoning?
C. Should I leave it uncovered for the first year of seasoning to allow rain and snow to rinse some of the smell away?
D. Will that same odor appear when it is burned?
My wife has already declared if it smells like it does now she will not allow it in the house or in the fireplace. Any insights would be appreciated.