Desert rat has wood question

I have lived in the Mojave desert for most of my life. All I know of wood is that you buy firewood from another state, popsicle sticks are made of it, and one can make houses out of it.
Last week, my 5'2" wife and I, new Husky chainsaw in hand, felled a 60" diameter base tree at our Utah cabin.
We were overjoyed at the thought of having fresh firewood for free. We cut it up into short pieces.
Then we tried to burn it.
How long does pinyon have to sit before it dries out enough to burn?
How long does most wood have to dry before it is good firewood?
Does it have to be covered from snow and rain?
We can get "fuelwood" permits to go out in National Forest areas, and harvest wood. There is pinyon, quakies, and pine, but pine only at the upper elevations.
Just looking at things, I thought it would be easiest to just go up and harvest the dead wood, as it is already dried out. Also, in quite a few places, there are 12-16" diameter round sections that people either didn't want or didn't load up. They need to be split, but they are already sawn. Why didn't people take these? They appear to be solid wood, no rot.
Give me some pointers about the gathering and care of firewood. I don't really want to get into splitting other than small diameter pieces.
Steve
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First of all, order and watch the Stihl DVD called... "Chain Saw Safety, Maintenance & Operation"
You can get that DVD here... https://www.stihlusa.com/ordervideo /
The DVD includes information on properly felling trees which can be very dangerous. Everyone who operates a chainsaw should watch this video. The safety part is excellent as well as how to properly sharpen a chain and how to safely cut wood.
Next read your chainsaw instruction manual cover to cover. Buy the proper tools to sharpen your chain. Also the proper sized round file for your specific chain. Learn how to sharpen the chain and keep your chainsaw in safe working order. A sharp chain is safer BTW.
Next learn about local regulations so far as felling trees. Even though the tree is on your property and is your tree, some states require a permit before felling.
Some states have regulations on transportation of wood (with bark - not lumber), you may need a permit to transport wood even if it your own wood being transported from your property to another property you own. A firewood cutting permit should be ok for transporting.
Get the proper safety apparel, especially "chaps". Chainsaws are dangerous! Get chaps, eye/ear protection, gloves, etc. at your chainsaw dealer or here... http://www.aloghomestore.com/safety.shtml
Woodcutting accidents... http://www.loggingsafety.com/app/index.php?r=safety_alert&a=list
Chain Saw Injury Statistics... (Shows where people get hurt when using chainsaws.) http://www.elvex.com/facts08.htm
Safe chainsaw operation... http://extensionforestry.tamu.edu/publications/pdfs/chainsaw.pdf
Different wood types and BTU's per cord... http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm

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<essay on chainsaws snipped>
Now, how about the questions regarding wood?
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The last link listed various wood types. Might want to re-read my post...
wrote

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Once split, it should dry a year. I've burned wood after 3 to 6 months and it is not nearly as good and as hot as well dried wood. What goes on is that the wood is very wet and will not burn until the water is made into steam and goes up the chimney with all the heat that should have been going into the house.

Year is good for any wod that I'm aware of, it is has been split. Unsplit, it can take a couple of years.

No. I like to keep snow off it as I don't want to drag snow into the house when I'm bringing in wood, but for the year or so drying time, I don't cover it at all. Some testing was done on that by the Vermont Castins people many years ago. Uncovered, black tarp and clear tarp made no significant difference in the end.

You need a lot more volume of pine to get the same heat value as hardwood. It also tends to make more creosote. Avoid it if you can.

It may not be all that dry. Also depends on the season it was cut. Winter is best, spring with the sap running is hte worst.
Also, in quite a few

Lucky you then, grab them and take them home.

Depending on how much wood you are going to burn, it may be more practical to rent a splitter. Wood splits best when frozen, hardest when very wet. I prefer a maul over a wedge and hammer. It will split better if you set it on a stump about a foot high. This exerts more force as the blade of the maul is more parallel that way when it impacts. Stack it off the ground. Old pallets are OK for that. Chimney stack the ends to make a steady pile. Chimney stacking is criss crossing the pieces for stability.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome /





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Once split, it should dry a year. CY: He's in the desert...
I've burned wood after 3 to 6 months and it is not nearly as good and as hot as well dried wood. What goes on is that the wood is very wet and will not burn until the water is made into steam and goes up the chimney with all the heat that should have been going into the house. CY: What he said.

You need a lot more volume of pine to get the same heat value as hardwood. It also tends to make more creosote. Avoid it if you can. CY: If you have willow in your area, also don't bother with willow. No heat value unless you dry the wood and soak it in used crankcase oil. Also, in quite a few

Lucky you then, grab them and take them home. CY: Here in NYS, some times folks put wood on the curb side.

Depending on how much wood you are going to burn, it may be more practical to rent a splitter. Wood splits best when frozen, hardest when very wet. CY: In NYS, we try to split wood after it's been dried for a year. I did borrow a gasoline power splitter the one time, and a friend and I split a lot of wood in a hurry.
I prefer a maul over a wedge and hammer. It will split better if you set it on a stump about a foot high. This exerts more force as the blade of the maul is more parallel that way when it impacts. Stack it off the ground. Old pallets are OK for that. Chimney stack the ends to make a steady pile. Chimney stacking is criss crossing the pieces for stability.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome /






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With a condensing chimney, damp wood might be an advantage.
Nick
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I have lived in the Mojave desert for most of my life. All I know of wood is that you buy firewood from another state, popsicle sticks are made of it, and one can make houses out of it.
Last week, my 5'2" wife and I, new Husky chainsaw in hand, felled a 60" diameter base tree at our Utah cabin. CY: Wow, that's huge.
We were overjoyed at the thought of having fresh firewood for free. We cut it up into short pieces.
Then we tried to burn it.
How long does pinyon have to sit before it dries out enough to burn? CY: I can't comment on your trees, but in the humid NYS, it takes a year, and two years is better. Since you're in a desert, wood should dry sooner.
How long does most wood have to dry before it is good firewood?
Does it have to be covered from snow and rain? CY: will season faster if you cover it. Many folks throw a tarp over it, and elave the sides of the pile open for ventilation.
We can get "fuelwood" permits to go out in National Forest areas, and harvest wood. There is pinyon, quakies, and pine, but pine only at the upper elevations. CY: Leave the pine behind. The creosote will coat the inside of your chimney and risk chimney fires.
Just looking at things, I thought it would be easiest to just go up and harvest the dead wood, as it is already dried out. Also, in quite a few places, there are 12-16" diameter round sections that people either didn't want or didn't load up. They need to be split, but they are already sawn. Why didn't people take these? They appear to be solid wood, no rot. CY: You'd have to ask them.
Give me some pointers about the gathering and care of firewood. I don't really want to get into splitting other than small diameter pieces. CY: Gasoline power splitter makes life a lot easier. Some folks in NYS use packign skids to keep the wood off the ground. Some folks use a "shelter" roof, to keep the rain off. Others use tarps. Keep the wood away from your house or garage walls, in case there are insects in the wood. Don't want them to migrate to the house walls.
Talk to your neighbors. Talk to the folks at the hardware store. Ask a lot of questions. If you can get the ecological "low snipe damage" chain, please do so. Snipes are growing extinct.
Steve
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Pinyon is pine, right? Pine is lousy firewood; low heat value and a problem with creosote. http://www.mb-soft.com/juca/print/firewood.html
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SteveB wrote:

Dead standing is good; downed is ok but may have some rot. Deadwood is all you can get in most national forests. So if you harvest and stack in the spring or summer it will be fine for the winter. You don't need to wait for it to dry out.
If you get wood out of slash piles from recently timber operations, you need to stack it for at least a year before burning. Pinion is a standard for burning in a lot of areas with few trees. Supposedly fairly hard to split. Don't know what kind of pine you are talking about. Ponderosa is good, lodgepole is ok, but very light. I don't like quaking aspen as it can be difficult to split and seems to burn not so hot.
You need to cut the wood in lengths that are convenient for you stove. If dry, you need not split, but if green you need to split so it can dry in a year (2 years preferably). I split only the big stuff when gathering wood, primarily for easier handling, and split to stove size as I used it. Besides, spending 10 minutes at a time splitting wood when it is cold is much easier splitting a lot when it is 90 degrees.
If you have the room, build a simple three sided shed for your wood. Deep enough to stack two lengths and 5-6 feet high. Put post in every 8 feet of length to make a bay, then you can easily empty each bay. If you stack in the open and cover with tarps, I would still put posts every 8 feet so you can easily stack without it rolling. Stack on a couple of light round (2" diameter) for each row to keep it off the ground. When they start to rot, just replace them when you gather firewood. Good luck.
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Generally, you cut and split wood, and then let it sit for about a year, before trying to burn it. If, for some reason, you find yourself having to burn wood that's newer than that, then (A) Split it smaller than you otherwise would, and (B) *IF* you're in the same room to keep an eye on it, store each days' supply as close to the fire/stove/heat source as you can manage. If you've got to drive the water off, it might as well be to the inside of the house, where you're likely to have humidity issues anyway.
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