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Applewood score!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Just got a call back from my first attempt at getting a hold of some apple wood locally.  The apple orchard said that they are going to be burning a big pile in 2 weeks and that if I get out there before then, I can take whatever I want!  If only getting turkey property around here was that easy!


The wood will be used in supplement to lump charcoal in my SFB.  I don't have a chainsaw or axe, just powersaws.  I rent, so can't build a shed to dry them in and my garage and basement are already loaded with hunting equipment.  Figure I'll take arm to leg thickpieces and throw them in the attic for a few months.  


Any suggestions?


Next I'll be contacting the vineyards in the area to track down some grapevine...

post #2 of 18

How about a rack and tarp to dry it outside?

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

I might see if I can get away with that.  The neighborhood is all owned by the same landlord and they're uptight about appearances.  Being that every house on the block is gas heated, a woodpile might catch their attention.  There's only one way to find out, and I already have a 20x40 foot black tarp scrap that I may cut down and use.


Now that you have me thinking about stacking wood to season, it hit me that we had a very mild winter.  I'm going to ask around and see if anyone has some left over maple, oak, and ash that they are willing to part with.  The big benefit will be that it will already be seasoned.  Beats buying backs of chunks from HD.

post #4 of 18
Check your lease if it's not in it. I would dry it outside. Why would you cut up a tarp instead of just folding it to size? Your landlord would hate me . I have 2cord of hickory 2 rick of oak and a pile of cherry and a pile of pecan.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by michael ark View Post

Check your lease if it's not in it. I would dry it outside. Why would you cut up a tarp instead of just folding it to size?

It's already torn in a few spots.  I guess I could just fold it, but that's a lot of folding to cover a 1/4 cord of wood.

post #6 of 18
Originally Posted by alblancher View Post

How about a rack and tarp to dry it outside?

Split it and do this. This is how I dry all our wood, for smoking and the Fireplace.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips.  I now plan on racking on the S facing side of the house.  An afternoon of calling has also landed me as much grapevine as I want, a 1/4 cord of already seasoned maple, and a 1/4 cord of already seasoned ash.  Total cost, $20 and whatever gas I burn picking it all up.  Guess I'll need to take a lot of notes when testing all these woods out.


My wife always says that I dive headfirst into everything I take on.  I'll have a stack of 4 woods in the backyard before I even smoke for the first time.

post #8 of 18
I would be very careful covering it up.
Cover enough to keep the rain off, but you want lots of air circulation to prevent mold, mild and fungus....they all LOVE wood.
post #9 of 18

Hey dead ringer, great score on the woods for sure.  As for you idea of tossing that green apple wood up in your attic.... all is I can say is BAD IDEA!  Wood like that has all kind of life forms growing on/in it.  The last thing you want is an invasion of wood loving critters in your house, like carpenter ants, termites and other vile little critters not to mention mold spores.  Plus, if the critter potential isn't bad enough, once summer hits, the temps and humidity in your attic will turn that wood into tinder..another bad idea...for smoking wood and your house.


Like others have said above, if you can, rack and stack it outside, cover just the top, leave the sides open to the elements and most important, keep it off the ground somehow.  Wood in contact with the ground is bad juju.  One, the moisture from the ground wicks into the bottom layer, which invites more critters to invade your stock pile and two the bottom row or worse becomes useless after time



post #10 of 18

Sounds like a great score, but I'd ask about what chemicals they used on these and how often.  Apple wood is one of the most sprayed woods for pesticides and you'd hate to turn a bunch of chemicals loose in your smoker while you are cooking.  Something to think about.  


post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Most of what I got was 1-3 inch thick branches.  Not what I had in mind, but will make it easy to cut since I don't own an axe or chainsaw.  The circular saw made quick work of it when we were rough cutting it in the field.  


As for the -icides, I plan on shaving the bark off when I go to throw it in the fire.  Also, the -icides should mostly break down or weather away during seasoning.  When people eat the apples from these trees, they simply wash them with water, so I'm not terribly concerned.  The farmer said he burns it for personal use.  This particular orchard does seem to try to reduce most of the chemicals too.


From their site:



Our approach to sustainable farming...

We use no herbicides under the trees, and we continue to refine and reduce our pesticide and fungicide spray program with various strategies:

We have over 12 varieties of apples on mature fruit-bearing trees, and several more coming when our younger trees start to produce. The varieties ripen at different times from August through October and each has its own special flavour and appeal. We are also proud to offer some unique heritage varieties that are no longer easy to find.

In addition to the apple orchard, we have enhanced our farm's beneficial management practices through participation in the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan. Projects completed to date include planting spruce trees as shelterbelt, constructing a farm pond for water management and irrigation, and land improvements to enhance wildlife biodiversity."

post #12 of 18

Yea the pesticides should break down with a couple of months exposure to the weather.   Great score,  I'll be looking for some Qview with your new apple wood

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

It's all cut and stacked.  Just cut down a pallet and stacked on top of that to keep it off the ground.  Smells so good I almost want to season my food with the sawdust!  Will post pics of the woodpile once it's topped off with maple in the next week.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

It gets better.  While showing me the grapevine trimmings today, the vineyard owner tells me that he's been throwing out 40-80 lbs (dry weight) of gamay wine-soaked oak chips every year.  He's also been throwing out any leftover dry oak chips when starting the gamay.  Been dying to find someone to make use of them.  


So, this guy here, who's never smoked a day in his life, will soon have a stack of applewood, grapevine, and maple supplemented with oak chips and gamay'd oak chips.  This should be some ride!

post #15 of 18
Collect all that sawdust... dry it.. use it for cold smoking....
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

I've got the pile going now.  Applewood on the bottom, grapevine on top of that to the right, and maple stacked on top of both after the picture was taken. 



post #17 of 18

Not the best thing to stack wood right at house, atleast if you are in a termite prone area.

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

Not too worried about termites here.  I live in a subdivision with small lawns and don't have many options on where to put it. 

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