Before we talk about the moisture of Firewood – we first need to understand wood.
The cellular structure of a tree is very interesting – in those 40+oC days a tree’s outer cellular structure goes to safety mode, and closes up tight to trap the moisture of the tree inside the inner most part of the tree : this is called “Stress Living” a tree goes into to make it survive in the harshest weather conditions
The interesting fact is this “stress living” mode a tree goes into does not stop once a tree is cut down (or falls down) to the naked eye the tree is dead … but in fact it’s still living.
When you cut wood into lengths, the outer cellular structure is in defence mode to trap the moisture in the wood to help it live.
The interesting fact is round logs 2 years old – even if it has been stacked in a wood pile can hold up to two times the moisture level of a split log, all because the cellular structure of the tree is doing what it was created to do – hold the moisture in the wood.
The difference between a piece of wood at 20% moisture and 22% moisture is not 2%…it’s 10% more moisture than allowed for.
Testing the wood – there is only one way to know what your moisture of your wood is.. its with a moisture meter
To measure the moisture of your wood, you need to get a log, and split it.. exposing the inner core of the wood
This is where the moisture is trapped; this is where you need to test
Our example shows one log with testing the outer and inner moisture levels with a massive difference
Perfect wood moisture content is between 15>18%
The outer of our sample was 8.5% – this would be considered PERFECT
But once split, the inner moisture level was actually 19% – almost at the outer higher level you are allowed to burn