Sunday, November 9, 2008

Buying Firewood

Tips on burning firewood:

Buy seasoned wood. It needs a full year to season because it takes most woods six months to dry to 20 percent moisture content.

The cut edge of the wood should be dry and dark, indicating it has seasoned to some degree. Burn the hardwoods because they burn hotter and longer.
Osage orange is the best hardwood for burning beause it burns long and hot. Hickory is second best, followed by black locust. Mulberry also is good for burning, followed by white oaks, hawthorn and red oaks. Ash and hackberry also are good choices.
Soft woods such as cottonwood make poor firewood. Cottonwood puts out half
the heat of Osage orange.
A high-quality wood stove heats more efficiently than a fireplace.
Keep chimneys and stove pipes clean. Residue can build up and catch on fire, especially if the wood is too green or is pine or cedar.
Never use gasoline to start a fire in a fireplace or stove.
Use smoke detectors and have a fire extinguisher near the stove or fireplace.
Store firewood away from the house so it doesn’t create a fire haz¬ard to your home.
Keep firewood off the ground on pallets or a commercial wood rack. Left on the ground, wood will soak up moisture, deteriorate and attract insects.
Keep wood covered so it doesn’t get wet from rain, snow or sleet. The firewood will last longer and burn more efficiently.
A rick of wood is not an official measurement, said Charles Carter, the program administrator for weights and measures with the Agri¬culture Department. A cord is the standard and it is normally 4 feet wide by 4 feet high and 8 feet long. Ricks are roughly 16 to 19 inches long by 4 feet high and 8 feet long.
Make sure you get the full measurement a seller says you’re getting and get a receipt. That will document the transaction so the weights and measures division can investigate if the delivery falls short of expectations. Complaints can lead to a $500 penalty per count per day.
For the brochure “Oklahoma Firewood Facts, call the Agriculture Department at 522’6158 or write: The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Forestry Division, P.O. Box 528804, Oklahoma City, OK

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