Why does ash wood burn well 'green or dry'?

theo hopkins thopkins at thopkins.demon.co.uk
Sat Jan 24 10:44:00 EST 1998

In article <6aaqig$o76$1 at newsd-151.iap.bryant.webtv.net>,
TREEFARMER at webtv.net writes
>Theo-The "24" bolt " is a piece of wood two feet long. Usually fireplace
>wood here is around 16 
>inches long but our furnace burns pieces 26 inches long so we cut at 2
>feet. If we'd bought the next size larger funace we'd cut 30 inches or
>2'6" like those you spoke of. Unfortunately, two feet long pieces are
>tough to split, even in easy to split woods. We've been looking at
>hydraulic splitters but find most of them rather slow. This may be due
>to safety reasons. I'd be interested in knowing how the Poles and
>Estonians split their 2'6" stuff. 
Yes, 2'6" is hard to split: at least yesterday when I was trying to
split oak for some pegs I needed to make. 

Firewood is not common in UK, I guess 1% of national domestic space
heating. Localy (SW England) we mostly burn oak and birch thinings (both
easy to split) or oak that is from entire very branchy trees and cut for
'non-timber' reasons...roadside trees, telephone lines, windfelled, etc.
The big stuff is usually used by farmers who have a big hydraulic
spliter on the three pin mounting on a tractor. Its a total pig to split
by hand. Thinings are usually 9" to 1'3" diam, and split easily when
cross cut at 12" to 18" long with a splitting axe. I looked at speeds
for Scandinavian small wood spliters (what is on sale in England, no
domestic models) and speed looked slow...slower than a fit person by

I will ask my Estonian friend what happens in Estonia, but I notice it
is mostly sowtwoods (pine and spruce) they burn, not hardwoods. Maybe
this is easier to split?


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