What should I do?

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racerjohnbf

Fire Starter
Original poster
Mar 7, 2024
32
27
Virginia
Hi, new member here looking for some advise. I brought a load of red oak home from a tree that was cut down where I work. It was just cut 2 or three weeks ago. In one of the pieces there are black spots mostly in the sapwood. When fresh cut the black was very light, but after the rain we have had the last couple of days it got very pronounced.

I'm not sure the cause, but I'm guessing some sort of disease, even though it was a living tree. I will obviously not use the black parts to cook with.

My question is can I just split away the black parts and safety use the heartwood?
20240305_175014.jpg
 
Thanks for the replies! I'm going to cut some more to bring home this weekend, then as soon as it dries up a bit around here my neighbor offered the use of his wood splitter so I'll get it split and stacked on a couple plastic pallets under my lean to on the back of my garage so it will stay nice and dry.

I’m no expert on wood or anything but it could justbe some surface mold. I’d be willing to bet if you were to cut 1/2” off the end of that you would see brand new looking wood
It seems to be in the wood because if I cut the end off it gets much lighter but you can still see it.

I guess I had just gotten kinda paranoid after reading a lot of posts about not smoking with rotten or diseased wood.

John
 
Small update... I went and cut another load today, the wood looks pristine when first cut. Other than that one peice that is really black, I think it is just surface mold from all this rain we have been having, because it pretty much scratches off with edge of a axe. I'm attaching 2 pics of the same piece of wood, the second after I scratched with the axe.

My question now is, should I cut a fresh end on the ones that look like that when I go to split and put it up to dry? Or just roll with it and not worry about it?
20240309_134432.jpg
 
I think this is your best advice. While it’s drying you can pick up a moisture meter pretty cheap to give you an idea how the drying process is going.
Thanks for the link. I will be getting a moisture meter, I had no idea they were that cheap.

I will get it split and stacked as soon as it dries up enough to get my neighbor's splitter over here. I'll have to have them over for ribs as a thank you!

I'll probably have enough wood for the next 5 to 10 years lol.
 
Oak wood takes a long time to dry. About 2 years in the pacific north west for me. Red oak dries little faster then white. To get an accurate reading u need to cut the wood in half and check the center. Fresh cut wood can read like 16 percent or less on the outside few days after cutting. But that’s just the outside 1/8”
 
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Oak wood takes a long time to dry. About 2 years in the pacific north west for me. Red oak dries little faster then white. To get an accurate reading u need to cut the wood in half and check the center. Fresh cut wood can read like 16 percent or less on the outside few days after cutting. But that’s just the outside 1/8”
Thanks for the tip!
 
Sap is probably still down split a few and smoke something you might be surprised that the wood can be used right now
 
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Ok guys now I have a new problem. It looks like something is boring holes in my wood. I didn't notice any holes when I brought the wood home. They seem to just go straight in and are about 1/4 diameter. What does it look like to you guys? Is this a major problem? The pic shows the same piece, top is the same pic that's in my original post and bottom is from today.
20240318_193032.jpg
 
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