Jump to content
Feargal

Firewood moisture content

Recommended Posts

Hi, I’m new to the forum. Just wondering if anyone can give me some advice?

 

I’ve just got a lorry load (about 20 tonnes) of Sitka Spruce from the Forestry Commission (3m lengths). My plan was to cut and split and season it and hopefully have a few years worth of cheap fuel for my log gasification boiler.

 

I cut a few logs yesterday and split them. I checked them with a moisture meter and the readings were about 19% to 21%.

 

Is it possible that this is correct? I was expecting to start with logs at 50%mc or something and spend ages seasoning them before they could be burnt.

 

The lorry driver did comment that it was good dry stuff but it seems too good to be true. Do you think that the moisture meter is just broken or something??

 

Thank, Feargal 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Feargal said:

Hi, I’m new to the forum. Just wondering if anyone can give me some advice?

 

I’ve just got a lorry load (about 20 tonnes) of Sitka Spruce from the Forestry Commission (3m lengths). My plan was to cut and split and season it and hopefully have a few years worth of cheap fuel for my log gasification boiler.

 

I cut a few logs yesterday and split them. I checked them with a moisture meter and the readings were about 19% to 21%.

 

Is it possible that this is correct? I was expecting to start with logs at 50%mc or something and spend ages seasoning them before they could be burnt.

 

The lorry driver did comment that it was good dry stuff but it seems too good to be true. Do you think that the moisture meter is just broken or something??

 

Thank, Feargal 

With the weather round our way recently this might be possible, especially if they were from a nice high stack and exposed to cross winds.  

 

To check why not cut a piece to an exact cubic foot and weigh it (remember your GCSE maths to calculate the volume of a cylinder?) and compare the weight to figures you find on the internet (about 28lb per cubic foot from memory). 

 

Or even easier chop a small piece - say the size of a brick and weigh it, then dry it in an oven overnight and weigh it again.  In theory there is more maths needed, but the bottom line is if the weight drops a little it was pretty dry; if the weight drops a lot it was pretty wet!

 

Or just have a small fire and see how well it burns...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, I’ll give it a go and see if the moisture meter is right. It’s a real stroke of good luck if it really is that dry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

perfectly possible, and quite probably it's dead standing stuff that has been harvested and set aside as firewood.  I have bought a good few loads of dead spruce from commission sites and it's pretty dry on the whole, although there will be a few bits in it that have higher mc.    20t load of it would be close to the top of the bolsters, whereas fresh stuff would be about 25t and much lower in the bolsters.  

Just watch with the dead spruce that you get it split and under cover quickly, leave it too long, open to the elements  and it rots pretty quickly

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice. I’ll get it cut, split and under cover as quick as possible. The lorry was absolutely fully loaded when it arrived, I got a shock when I saw quite how much there was. It’s my first time getting a delivery this big but at about £23 a tonne (excluding delivery) I think it’s an experiment that will prove worthwhile.....🙂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the advice. I’ll get it cut, split and under cover as quick as possible. The lorry was absolutely fully loaded when it arrived, I got a shock when I saw quite how much there was. It’s my first time getting a delivery this big but at about £23 a tonne (excluding delivery) I think it’s an experiment that will prove worthwhile.....
Jesus!! That's cheap! Softwoods £50+ a ton in South Wales

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was £250 (plus vat) for the delivery on top of the price to buy the logs  so all in all it cost me about £38 a tonne. I don’t know if the Forestry Commission have different prices in different places (I’m in Argyll in Scotland). A private company quoted me £50 a tonne delivered......

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Feargal said:

I don’t know if the Forestry Commission have different prices in different places (I’m in Argyll in Scotland). A private company quoted me £50 a tonne delivered......

Where in Argyll are you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's rare but you can occasionally pick up very dry softwoods. Had some douglas last year that had been cut in the winter and stacked on an exposed south-facing hill in the sun until late summer. None of it was over 25% and plenty of it was below 20%. If you doubt your moisture meter look up oven drying wood moisture content and then you will know for sure how dry it is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Featured Adverts

About

Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.