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How much wood to keep - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
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How much wood to keep

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  • How much wood to keep

    With limited storage space how much wood do you keep for your WFO? Dry vs Green, 1/2 cord, full cord. I have been burning everything in sight in my new oven. My neighbor had a tree cut down so I ended up with about a cord of green maple that I have to split and stack but I my trade 1/2 a cord with my BIL for 1/4 cord dry.


  • #2
    Re: How much wood to keep

    As much hard, dry wood as you can store. If you can store a full chord, go for it. I bought 1/2 chord, but would love to be able to store more.


    • #3
      Re: How much wood to keep

      If you have room to dry it, green wood is almost free from landscapers, and shows up on craigslist all the time. If your space is limited, you need to pay someone else to age it for you. You want to use it before it rots, but it's good for a few years at least.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


      • #4
        Re: How much wood to keep

        I built a wood shed to comfortably hold 3 cords. A good well ventilated woodshed is a great investment.

        In one third, I buy a cord of unseasoned doug fir/ alder (whatever is cheapest) each spring and put it in the wood shed for use next spring. I find I have been using a bit over a cord a year for the oven.

        In the second third is the cord I'm currently using (bought a year ago).

        In the final third is miscellaneous I get from dead fall and branches on the property and stuff that people give me.

        Dmun is correct, you don't want to keep wood more than 3 or 4 years - not only will it rot, it will attract carpenter ants (or termites) and, as wood seasons beyond 4 years or so, it "over dries" and looses some oils/sap and the heat value goes down.
        Last edited by Neil2; 12-15-2009, 05:14 PM.


        • #5
          Re: How much wood to keep

          Originally posted by papavino View Post
          As much hard, dry wood as you can store. If you can store a full chord, go for it. I bought 1/2 chord, but would love to be able to store more.
          Any good Seattle sources for WFO wood you would recommend? I've seen a few ads for some apple wood on Craigslist. I think it was something like $250 for half and $400 for a full cord delivered.
          Pizza Oven Picture Gallery


          • #6
            Re: How much wood to keep

            keep watching craigslist for the FREE wood.... It burns well.... Usually you have to pick it up, split it up and season it, But I actually enjoy splitting wood,, Nothing like a sharp tool slicing thru a hunk of maple....



            • #7
              Re: How much wood to keep

              How much wood to keep? AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!!
              Funny...my yard backs up to a public biking/walking path so I get to eavesdrop on the conversations people are having on their way by. More than once I've heard "Wow, do you think they have enough firewood?". I find this pretty funny since just about every other house around here has a cord or two out back and I consider my own stack fairly wimpy in comparison.
              I think I'd start to get nervous with anything less than 3/4 of a cord.


              • #8
                Re: How much wood to keep

                I'm taking the day off from running my woodsplitter , almost finished with a tandem load of logs [27,00lb green], maple,beech, ash and some oak . This will stay in the heap till spring , get stacked where the wind and sun can get at it with a sheet of tin roofing over the stack .llast year it rained all summer and my one year old wood is hissing ...sigh! And oak requires more time than other wood . I am paying $800 for a truckload =20-21 cords buying it dry cost us now $90 a cord! We have 260 acr. of forest , but I leave it to the pros to cut and haul ... cutting and splitting is enough for me.


                • #9
                  Re: How much wood to keep

                  My primary heat source for the house is wood, and we have acres of it. I started out this year with about 5 standard cords (13 ricks) and will probably burn about 10 or 11 ricks. From what others are saying here I suppose I'll need to add to my piles. I burn whatever I can get, but the hardwoods generally produce less ash. I'm currently burning a bunch of black walnut. Over the years the one thing I've noticed is that whatever you use needs to be split down to size before trying to dry it, otherwise the water has to evaporate out the ends which is not really very efficient. Get it split (to open up all those layers), stacked (with air spaces big enough to allow a mouse to run, but small enough to stop the cat), and loosely (so air can blow through the stack) covered. Depending on your ambient weather conditions it should be ready to burn in 3-4 months. This year it has been particularly wet in our area so my wood still has a fairly high moisture content and it does hiss a little at first.

                  Insect control has also been a real problem this year. The warm high moisture has generated an abundance of spiders (including the black widow that I haven't seen in 20+ years), cockroaches by the bunch, and all sorts of boring things. Lesson being that the bulk of the wood should be stored away from the house don't stack it up next to the house. I have a "convenient" storage area on a side porch where I bring about a rick at a time, but it is up off the ground on a rack and gets burned before the bugs can build any more habitat.


                  • #10
                    Re: How much wood to keep

                    I've noticed that sometimes free wood contains carpenter ants or other borers and their eggs. Be very careful as to where you get your wood you could be spreading insect damage. I've heard that moving fire wood out of your area or getting it from unknown sources could spread pests that are not local and can cause great damage to local viable plants. Be vigilant and informed. Don't Move Firewood | Trees and forests are threatened by invasive foreign insects and diseases Some really bad pests are out there.


                    • #11
                      Re: How much wood to keep

                      Bill, in Canada we are getting invaded by the emerald ash borer from the south [good ole USA] and the pine beetle coming over the rockies [still 3 time zones away]. This year we had earwigs in Biblical proportions and it pays to leave the wood out until there is a good killing frost to cut them down. All we really have coming out of the wood are the occasional mosquito .. too far north for termites!!....yet.


                      • #12
                        Re: How much wood to keep

                        For the Aussies - termites are a serious pest and after a recent experience, I now keep a "reasonable" amount of wood - say 6 - 8 months worth.

                        A couple of months ago my neighbour (really great guy) popped around to ask if I wanted to use his pest guy to do a termite inspection. His rationale for doing this was that he had found a nest of these destructive insects in his workroom (which is very close to my WFO). In response to that, I unpacked the wood I had stacked in the storage area under the WFO and found that there were a number of termite trails/nests in the wood. As I was burning my oven in after a 10 month break I just tossed most of the wood into the oven which I think may have fixed the problem.

                        But, I made some changes to the wood storage process after that incident like raising the wood off the ground/keeping less etc.

                        BTW - For those that are not familiar with termites - they can destroy (the wooden bits) of a house in a matter of months and in extreme cased requires that it be demolished.

                        Good post this - important to create awareness of this matter and to add it to "Good Housekeeping rules for responsible WFO management".

                        / Rossco


                        • #13
                          Re: How much wood to keep

                          From the Wiki: The natural range of the emerald ash borer is eastern Russia, northern China, Japan, and Korea.
                          Its first confirmed North American detection was in June 2002 in Canton, Michigan. It is suspected, that it was introduced by overseas shipping containers being delivered to Yazaki North America. It has since been found in several other parts of the United States and Canada. Ohio, Minnesota, and Ontario have experienced emerald ash borer migration from Michigan. Additionally, Maryland and Virginia received shipments of contaminated trees from a Michigan nursery. The emerald ash borer was confirmed in Indiana in April 2004, and in Central Kentucky in the Spring of 2009.