How To Get The Most Out Of Your Firewood

If you are struggling to get a nice boil, the culprit is nearly always poor quality firewood. In the above video, Jim and Angela take a walk through the Kettle Moraine Forest, discussing different tree species and their value as a fuel source in a maple syrup evaporator. Bottom line, every species is different. Some species need SEVERAL years to dry in a covered location with good air flow before they will be ready to perform well in a maple evaporator. If wood is not dry enough when it is burned in an evaporator, most of its energy is spent evaporating its own water rather than making heat to boil your sap.

Testing Moisture In Wood

  1. With experience, you will be able to HEAR the difference between dry wood and green wood. Bang two logs together and observe the sound they make.
  2. Dirt, mold or fungus indicate high moisture content.
  3. The more moisture a piece of firewood is holding, the heavier it will feel.
  4. Use a wood moisture meter.
  5. Soap test. (VIDEO by Aduro)

More Resources

See our article, “Optimal Size Firewood”. There we will discuss the best size of firewood based on your specific model of Smoky Lake evaporator.

The EPA has a YouTube Series called “Burn Wise”. You can learn how to test your wood’s moisture content with a moisture meter. They also give tips on building proper wood storage, and proper splitting and stacking techniques.