How long to season firewood

Another section by popular demand. If you want to talk about anything else that grows that is not livestock, herbs, fruit or vegetables here it goes.
keliz5000
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:59 am

How long to season firewood

Post: # 130398Post keliz5000 »

How long should you season sweet chesnut firewood, 1, 2, or 3 years? What is best? And what about oak, they say to season it for 1 year, but does it get better if you season it for 2 or more? I've been looking for a website that might have all this information, but I can't find anything.

User avatar
Millymollymandy
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 17637
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 6:09 am
Location: Brittany, France

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 130409Post Millymollymandy »

2 years is best and 3 is even better. One year is not a lot but I suppose it depends on how it is stacked and aired and the size of the chopped logs, and how hot and dry a summer you had.
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Annpan
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5464
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:43 pm
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 130429Post Annpan »

Someone on here recommended 1 month per inch (diameter) of firewood, I'd go for twice that long, and only count summer months.

I am currently burning oak which has been drying for 4 years(ish) and it is fantastic.

If you have the time and the space I would agree with MMM 2 or 3 years is great.
Ann Pan

"Some days you're the dog,
some days you're the lamp-post"

My blog
My Tea Cosy Shop
Some photos
My eBay

richyboy
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:42 am
Location: Berkeley, Glos

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 130469Post richyboy »

I'm sure this has been posted before, but:
The Firewood Poem
Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year,
Chestnut's only good they say,
If for logs 'tis laid away.
Make a fire of Elder tree,
Death within your house will be;
But ash new or ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold

Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last,
it is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E'en the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke,
Apple wood will scent your room
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom
Oaken logs, if dry and old
keep away the winter's cold
But ash wet or ash dry
a king shall warm his slippers by.

There is another poem as well, but it is twice the length and the english is even more difficult to understand. I think the jist is that you should leave it as long as physically possible and don't forget that split logs will dry much faster than those still in the round.
Growing our own & foraging in our own little Eden.

User avatar
wulf
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1184
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:41 am
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 130540Post wulf »

It sounds, from the poem, like ash is the wonder wood - wet or dry, old or new. Does that folklore bear out with people's experiences?

Wulf
:read2: Read my blog and check out my music

Shirley
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 7025
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:05 am
Location: Manchester
Contact:

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 130546Post Shirley »

http://www.stovesonline.co.uk/woodburning_chart.html

It seems that ash is very good, but it's not the only one, and sweet chestnut spits a lot and the above site only recommends it for a wood burning stove.
Shirley
NEEPS! North East Eco People's Site

My photos on Flickr

Don't forget to check out the Ish gallery on Flickr - and add your own photos there too. http://www.flickr.com/groups/selfsufficientish/

User avatar
Millymollymandy
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 17637
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 6:09 am
Location: Brittany, France

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 130552Post Millymollymandy »

Yes I absolutely don't recommend it for an open fire as my cat got set on fire! :lol: No actually it wasn't as bad as that but still worrying - a burning cinder spitted out at him and I eventually found him up on the 2nd floor with a singed bit on his tail looking a bit confused and some burn marks on my rug. Now I have a wood burner and no more potentially dangerous accidents - and we can burn all sorts of different woods in it - no probs with spitting or acrid smoke or whatever.

Some woods that people say are not very good seem to burn fine to us. I wouldn't pay for it but if you are cutting down some of your own trees I wouldn't worry if it was poplar or elm because we've burnt both and they burn very well.
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

User avatar
gdb
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 192
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:08 pm
Location: Kristianstad, Sweden AND Limousin, France
Contact:

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 130894Post gdb »

I'd give Sweet Chestnut and Oak 3 years for the best results.

If you burn them before, you're kind of losing out.

Oh, yes, Ash. Best firewood of the lot. If you have land and a stove, or open fire, plant and coppice Ash. Better than all the rest.
http://www.geoffbunn.com geoff bunn art and artist

User avatar
The Riff-Raff Element
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1650
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:27 pm
Location: South Vendée, France
Contact:

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 132935Post The Riff-Raff Element »

I confess I only season for a year, but I use an outbuilding with an excellent East / West through draft that reaches temperatures in excess of 30° during the summer and that works!

Otherwise I buy from a supplier who guarantees two years seasoning.

User avatar
Thomzo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 4307
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Swindon, South West England

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 132987Post Thomzo »

Millymollymandy wrote:Yes I absolutely don't recommend it for an open fire as my cat got set on fire!
My old cat insisted on curling up right next to the fire. One day a large ember spat out onto her and started burning her fur. She just carried on sleeping. She only woke up when I dashed over and tried to move it off her. The smell of burnt fur was horrendous. I have no idea what wood it was but possibly skip wood; old pallets or fence post.

I'd agree with the general sentiment to season as long as possible. Even leylandii will dry enough to burn, if you leave it long enough. I am currently burning 6 year old leylandii and it seems to be OKish.

Zoe
Think globally, shop locally
Check out my blog at http://designedbyzoe.blogspot.com/
http://www.thomzo.co.uk

MikeM
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:41 pm
Location: St Albans, Herts

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 133002Post MikeM »

Millymollymandy wrote: Some woods that people say are not very good seem to burn fine to us. I wouldn't pay for it but if you are cutting down some of your own trees I wouldn't worry if it was poplar or elm because we've burnt both and they burn very well.
same here. We burn elm and, it being all dead and all, it burns fine. but the poem says it doesn't.
Hypocrite slayer for hire. So many hypocrites, so little time.

User avatar
Annpan
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5464
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:43 pm
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 133015Post Annpan »

Maybe the poem is more true of open fires?
I burn all kinds of everything in our fire and because you can control the air intake you can make anything last and give decent heat....
Ann Pan

"Some days you're the dog,
some days you're the lamp-post"

My blog
My Tea Cosy Shop
Some photos
My eBay

User avatar
red
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 6513
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:59 pm
Location: Devon UK
Contact:

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 133093Post red »

I burn all sorts too.. but thats teh advantage of a woodburner.. doors...
we burn pallet wood, etc
Red

I like like minded people... a bit like minded anyway.. well people with bits of their minds that are like the bits of my mind that I like...

my website: colour it green

etsy shop

blog

starchild
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 5:27 pm

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 133111Post starchild »

We've had the cat on fire twice infront of the woodburner too - funny how they just lie their oblivious to what is going on and then get huffy with you when you wake them to put them out !

I'm so annoyed. Last weekend we ended up with two spark holes in our sofa due to chestnut wood spitting. I'm gutted, but there we are - we live and learn. We bought it in, and I'm guessing it was only a year or so old :(

An expensive mistake so it would seem...........

I can vouch, from experience for ash being wonderful regardless of how seasoned or not it is. We always try and get a small amount of ash in as our Christmas treat :)
Follow our family's progress as we work through our zero waste challenge:
http://myzerowaste.com/

For all aspects of greener living
http://littlegreenblog.com/

User avatar
Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2051
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northumberland

Re: How long to season firewood

Post: # 133214Post Flo »

As a child we used all open fires and that poem speaks our experience exactly. I'd follow it again if I had an open fire (hmm and the council is going to take out the gas radiator and let me use the chimney - not as there's a flat with a gas fire using chimney upstairs).

Post Reply