When is firewood seasoned?

What signs do firewood exhibit when it is dry enough to burn well? Does the bark start coming off? What about species where the bark is tenacious? I cut some FRESH fruit trees this past summer, and I KNOW it won't be ready before next fall, but I was wondering how to select pieces of wood from my big pile by just looking at it. When we go to recover wood, we take freshly fallen wood, as well as downed wood that has already aged, and the bark is coming off. We try to select the stuff where the bark is coming off, but not so old that there is any insect activity going on, like wood ants, or such, or any rot.
Steve
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Hold the log by one end, and rap the other end on your driveway. Dry wood makes a characteristic ringing sound -- a baseball bat gives a great example of this -- but if you hear a dull thud, the wood is still pretty damp.
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On Sun, 3 Feb 2013 15:59:20 +0000 (UTC), Doug Miller

Exactly. The end will be checked also as it dries. If you want wood sooner than later, split it smaller and then move it indoors. It will dry in a couple of weeks in the basement in most houses.
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It varies. If kept in a well ventilated, dry place most wood needs a year to dry out. Some such as willow takes two years. (From being freshly cut down)
If you're going into serious wood burning you need to construct a proper store to keep the rain off but be well ventilated. Also designed so that the wood can be used in rotation. I have a lot of wood so mine is stored for three years minimum. My final drying off is completed in my conservatory. Very important to get it as dry as possible.
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Steve,
As Mr. Miller says, you can hear dry wood. Where I live hard wood that is split, and stacked in the barn is usable in about 6-8 mons. Many folks prefer wood that is more than a year old. A pile of wood, not seperated from the ground, will have a lot of rot and insects.
Dave M.
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Rather than having to sort through a sstack looking for dry pieces, segregate the wood as you bindg it in, Stuff already dry on one pile, green on another. That, of course, assumes you have the room to do it :)
Harry K
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I don't know about the kind of wood you have But I can hear those split logs calling to me like sirens "I'm ready. Come and spark my fire.."
Oh wait, maybe that was the wife..

Most likely the wife...

Wouldn't know After all I'm a married man..

Never was attracted to those so-called "fruit" myself.. Always was told that I was good hard wood type of guy by my female partners...

Now you're getting kinky... That's way beyond anything I've participated in.
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Once you add salt & pepper.
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As soon as you put some seasoning on them. Try some garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper! Optional: Toast them well!
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Steve B wrote:

Wood dries faster if it's split.
As an aside, I scored about a 1/4 cord of oak. I then bought the cheapes HF log splitter ($100.00), a ten-ton unit. The damned thing requires someone MUCH stronger than I to split a log. It got returned.
Called a tool rental place. Their 30-ton, gasoline-powered unit rents for a paltry ten dollars a day! Rent it on Saturday morning, take it back Monday, ten dollars.
Soon as I recover from using the HF splitter, I'm off to the rental store.
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SWMBO and I have an apparently identical log splitter that we bought at Sears a few years ago, and used it most recently to split about half a cord from a fallen cherry tree -- I used a maul to split the rounds in half, and she used the hydraulic splitter to split the halves into firewood wedges.
I *was* going to call this a case of "operator error" and ask if you had read the instructions, but then I looked at HF's instructions, and either (a) the HF splitter isn't actually the same as the Sears splitter I have, despite their virtually identical appearance, or (b) the instructions on the HF unit omit a critical fact: the two handles don't perform the same function, because the two sides of the hydraulic jack are not symmetrical. One handle is a "speed" handle to advance the ram rapidly; the other is a "power" handle to actually split the wood. If you were using only the speed handle, yeah, you would've had a lot of trouble.
I need to make a trip to our local HF store in a few days. I'll have a look at the unit then, if they have one in stock, to see if my conjecture is correct, and post a followup.
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