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Firewood Drying Experiment

The purpose of this part of the project is to produce drying schedules for wood that we collected at different times of the year when trees were at different water contents. We cut down the trees (Birch, White Spruce) in the field and   brought them to the UAF Farm where we split and stacked them in the recommended way to best dry the wood. We put the stack on large scales that record the weight loss from water evaporating. We also installed the same water content sensors in a few pieces of wood that we have in the trees at our field site. Next to the stacks of logs is a climate station that measures the air temperature, wind speed, and relative humidity that helps us understand the environmental conditions under which the wood dries most optimally. This research will help us understand how the water content at time of harvest impacts the drying time, both because of the actual water content and the time of year the stack will be drying. We will share the drying times on this website once we're done with each species. We started with Birch and will do White Spruce next year. We're focusing on the tree species that most people in Fairbanks harvest for firewood.

Wood stack being dried under shelter

Stacks of wood on large scales measuring the water loss as the wood dries.

Second image of wood stack being dried.

The climate station is located between the stacks of drying wood and is being logged by a datalogger in the white box.

Third image of wood stack being dried.

A solar panel powers the climate station. Each stack of wood was collected at a different time of year and different tree water content.

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