The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Nyle Kiln Dry Systems

Chainsawr, The Worlds Largest Inventory of Chainsaw Parts

Smith Sawmill Service



Author Topic: How to speed up firewood drying  (Read 1395 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bitternut

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 679
  • Age: 81
  • Location: western new york
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
How to speed up firewood drying
« on: June 18, 2022, 10:23:33 PM »
Today I dropped a bunch of black birch polewood for firewood. I plan on leaving them lay till the leaves dry up. Should only take about a week or so. Then I plan on removing the small branches and skid them out for processing into firewood.

My hope is that the leaves will suck a lot of the moisture out and will give me a jump start on the drying. Anyone have any opinions on whether this will result in faster drying time? It seemed to work once in the past when I dropped a bunch of beech and left them lay in the woods for a week. When I returned later the leaves were all brown and dried up. The firewood seemed to season real fast and burned well. Hope it works, I'm a little behind this year. :embarassed:

Online beenthere

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 27897
  • Location: Southern Wisconsin, USA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2022, 10:30:22 PM »
My opinion is it will not have any measurable effect.  But if it feels good, do it.  Be better to use that leaf-drying time for making firewood.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline barbender

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 10110
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Deer River MN
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2022, 10:40:18 PM »
The local paper mill wants summer cut wood delivered as fresh as possible. If you are cutting company land, they will not let bunched wood lay around- they want it limbed immediately to prevent the leaves from sucking additional moisture from the stem. So they think it makes a difference, anyhow.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Ianab

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 15736
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Stratford , New Zealand
  • Gender: Male
  • Marmite on toast is a real breakfast
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2022, 12:07:28 AM »
I imagine it would make "some" difference, especially in sapwood where water can move more freely. With small trees, you have a larger % of sap, so there could be more drying? Water in the heart wood is less mobile, so I don't think it would have a big effect there. 

I don't have any numbers, but from experience with pine and cypress trees, if they have been down for a week or so in summer it's a lot easier to burn the limbs and twigs, vs cut and limb right away. That suggests to me that there is less moisture, at least in the needles and branches.  

I guess the question is, will the tree lose more moisture sitting there with leaves intact, or split and stacked with the air able to circulate? That I don't know. 
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline stavebuyer

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1945
  • Location: KY
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2022, 02:17:03 AM »
One thing it will do is keep the bark from "slipping"; which is a big deal for sawlogs. For firewood I think the wood will dry faster without the bark so personally I wouldn't wait.

Try some of each. 

Offline SwampDonkey

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 42666
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Centreville, NB
  • Gender: Male
  • Large Tooth
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2022, 04:00:21 AM »
I've seen sugar maple firewood logs cut in the winter keep small limbs with leaves alive for 3 months of northern summer. Cut and stalked in the sun and wind will dry much faster, covered under a roof or tin. Mine dries fast under the house porch deck. But it's there almost 6 months before I use it, April-October. Stuff I stack in the basement has a dehumidifier going. Your fastest drying is the free water that the leaves use, the bound water is longer. Sugar maple is green at over 36% I think, I dry my firewood down around 18%, it gets dryer inside when the furnace is going during winter, 12% according to the moisture meter. All I ever use to light the fire is some newspaper (those sales flyers come in handy ;D ) and a match. Just stack on top like a pitched roof, split side down on the paper. Give'r some air and a fire ball in short order. :D  I don't sell wood.
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

2020 Polaris Ranger 570 to forward firewood, Husqvarna 555 XT Pro, Stihl FS560 clearing saw and continuously thinning my ground, on the side. Grow them trees. (((o)))

Offline cutterboy

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1366
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Barre, Ma.
  • Gender: Male
  • Sometimes trees fall where they want to.
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2022, 06:29:13 AM »
bitternut, July, August, September and October are good drying months and four months are all you need to dry firewood. If you get that black birch cut, split and stacked this month it should be ready to burn first of November.

BTW, black birch is a great firewood. I burn a lot of it.

I'm glad to see an old timer still doing firewood. I'm only six years behind you and hope to still be doing it at 80.

Offline B.C.C. Lapp

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 354
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Venango county Pa
  • Gender: Male
  • I'd rather be logging.
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2022, 07:43:47 AM »
I'm sure the leaves do suck some moisture out but I'd just get it cut split and stacked in the sun as quick as possible.    That works best.
Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

Offline maineshops

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Age: 80
  • Location: Ludlow maine
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2022, 09:25:20 AM »
Interesting thread I was working on my fifth cord when my splitter died so while Im repairing that, with great ideas from the group, Ill go up in the woods and clean up some balsam poplar branches that I cut awhile back to run through the mill. It will be interest to see if it has lost moisture. Last time I went by the leaves were still green. Still havin fun. Dan
Phil:4, 13

Offline jimbarry

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 708
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Nova Scotia
  • Work less, make more.
    • Share Post
    • Woodchuck Canuck
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2022, 05:05:06 PM »
I knocked down a fir tree about a month ago. Currently sitting off to the side in a wide open windy area to wait until the needles turn red. Cut off the limbs after that, then block and stack the wood round. It will be dry. Likely will take a couple months before they turn red. Depends on the weather this summer.

Offline hedgerow

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1124
  • Location: Eastern Nebraska
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2022, 05:05:18 PM »
I'm sure the leaves do suck some moisture out but I'd just get it cut split and stacked in the sun as quick as possible.    That works best.
I agreed with this. In the past I have dropped some locust 20 inch to 24 inch dia trees and didn't get them bushed out that day and they laid there a month before we got back to them and the leaves didn't seem to take that much moisture out of the tree. I would get it bucked, split and stacked as quick as your can. If you get a lot of rain this time of the year I would keep it covered. 

Offline Spike60

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1181
  • Location: Ulster County, NY
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2022, 08:48:09 PM »
Been thinking about this since this morning. Makes sense in the context that leaves will continue to draw moisture from the tree as long as they can, which obviously can't be replaced with the tree down. I'd figure that every species will be a little different as far as the time is concerned. But if it's only a week or 2 then it hardly affects the overall timeline for getting your wood in.

My guess is that it doesn't necessarily season the wood any quicker than getting it split and stacked. BUT.......if this works and you are a little behind like the OP is, the advantage would be that you could drop a bunch of trees and the leaves would provide a head start and get the drying process moving along before you actually get back to each tree to finish up.
Husqvarna-Jonsered
Ashokan Turf and Timber
845-657-6395

Offline B.C.C. Lapp

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 354
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Venango county Pa
  • Gender: Male
  • I'd rather be logging.
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2022, 09:24:17 PM »
When you look at it the way spike put it, then yeah, cant argue with that. And just hope it helps till you can get to it.
Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

Online doc henderson

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 9459
  • Age: 61
  • Location: Ks
  • Gender: Male
  • Evil Prevails when Good Men Standby and Do Nothing
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2022, 02:10:28 AM »
I had an elm tree/log lay for 3 months and grew little branched leaves from the "epicormic growth centers" and they grew and stayed green for 3 months, using the sugar and sap in the log.  I agree if the leaves turn brown then no more transpiration and water loss.  Like senescence in the fall when they turn red.
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor

Offline barbender

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 10110
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Deer River MN
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2022, 02:15:52 AM »
I heard a story, maybe a legend🤔 of Canadians to the north of here dropping paper birch, and then running a kerf the length of the tree with a chainsaw. The bark would curl away from the cut and let the wood dry. Never tried it myself, but I've seen the same effect of harvester cut birch logs. The feed rollers can chew the bark up enough that it will split open, the moisture content is noticeably lower on those sticks than with ones that have intact bark.
Too many irons in the fire

Online doc henderson

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 9459
  • Age: 61
  • Location: Ks
  • Gender: Male
  • Evil Prevails when Good Men Standby and Do Nothing
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2022, 02:40:29 AM »
back it and split it into shorter and smaller pieces.  I thought about building a wind tunnel around a row of crates.  you sure do not need to worry about "defects".  thought about a modified solar kiln with plastic.  and a fan in one end, or face to the prevailing wind.  any kind of low humidity, increased air movement, and heat to boil the water.  small chunks let water escape with less material to traverse.
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor

Offline jimbarry

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 708
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Nova Scotia
  • Work less, make more.
    • Share Post
    • Woodchuck Canuck
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2022, 06:08:03 AM »
I heard a story, maybe a legend🤔 of Canadians to the north of here dropping paper birch, and then running a kerf the length of the tree with a chainsaw. The bark would curl away from the cut and let the wood dry. Never tried it myself, but I've seen the same effect of harvester cut birch logs. The feed rollers can chew the bark up enough that it will split open, the moisture content is noticeably lower on those sticks than with ones that have intact bark.
Those that know it will advertise their firewood logs as 'harvester cut logs'. 


 

Offline peakbagger

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 246
  • Location: Northern NH
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2022, 07:46:04 AM »
There is a pretty well proven method of making a "solar kiln" out of stack of firewood that will dry the wood to ready to burn in 3 to 4 months if you have sunny spot. Some folks on the Hearth forum have been testing it and have good results. The basics are pile up a cord on pallets and build an " A frame" type roof of an angled shed roof frame out of scrap wood to create a high point. Then wrap the sides and over the top with clear plastic down to the ground leaving an air gap so that air can flow up through the pallets. The trick is to cut a vent hole at the high point in the plastic and measure the temps at the top of the "kiln", the opening is adjusted to get the maximum outlet temp without building up condensation. Initially the opening is large but as the wood dries out the openings are made smaller. Many folks get about 135 degrees F out the vent. 

Some people use shrink wrap, some use plastic sheets. I have slightly different approach using a steel conduit frame and black plastic as that is what I had around. The claim is clear plastic is better but I used what I had around and saw similar results.  

Offline sprucebunny

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 4175
  • Age: 68
  • Location: Northern NH
  • Gender: Female
    • Share Post
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2022, 08:09:46 AM »
One year I spray painted some of the beech chunks with black paint. Just whatever was easy to get to. Mostly just the bark.

It was about 15 degrees hotter in the sun the once or twice I took the IR thermometer to it.

White birch almost requires splitting the bark if you want it to dry before it rots. Smooth barked oak and beech too small to split also seems to hold moisture well but I've never been sure about that since it's so hard to measure volume compared to split wood.
MS193, MS192 and an 026  Weeding and Thinning. Gilbert Champion sawmill

Offline woodrat

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 167
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Skamokawa, WA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • Red Alder Ranch
Re: How to speed up firewood drying
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2022, 01:36:20 AM »
I've done that with trees that I take down in the summer. Haul them out in the sun and wait for the leaves to dry up, and then cut and stack. Not sure if it made any big difference or not. Smallish alder where I'm at, and soaking winters and hot dry summers, so it might have helped a little. Not sure how much help it would be on larger, harder woods.

I've done the lengthwise saw kerf on the wild cherry here so I could split it with a maul... works good for that.
1996 Woodmizer LT40HD
Yanmar 3220D
Wallenstein FX 65 logging winch
Husky 61, 372XP, 346XP, 353
Stihl 036, 046 with Lewis Winch
78 Chevy C30 dump truck
35 ton firewood splitter
and lots of other junk...


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
Speed drying options

Started by PAmizerman on Drying and Processing

6 Replies
497 Views
Last post January 21, 2021, 06:58:20 AM
by petefrom bearswamp
xx
How to Speed up 8/4 Drying Time

Started by Sawdust Lover on Drying and Processing

20 Replies
2136 Views
Last post January 13, 2014, 08:42:41 PM
by Too Big To Fail
xx
Speed drying/seasoning American Hornbeam?

Started by malignity on Drying and Processing

42 Replies
7384 Views
Last post January 29, 2016, 06:55:08 PM
by Clark
xx
Using OWB for drying firewood?

Started by DaleK on Firewood and Wood Heating

8 Replies
1363 Views
Last post February 25, 2014, 07:29:48 PM
by NWP
 


Powered by EzPortal