Thursday, May 23, 2019

Dead Wood Paradox

We have been heating with wood for many years, and it took me a while to figure out this problem.  Downed wood that is horizontal does not make good firewood unless you split it and stack it under cover with time to dry it.  Vertical dead wood is often ready to burn, except for the lower portion of the stem, which will dry rapidly if split and stacked with good ventilation.  Treetops down on the ground must be cut well in advance of going in your stove.  I think what happens is the sapwood rots quickly and acts like a sponge, holding water that soaks the heartwood.  Water runs down off of vertical stems so the wood has a chance to dry and stay that way.  It's one of those things they don't teach you in school.

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