Long Island Firewood

Friday, July 26, 2013

Firewood Outlook
for Long Island, NY

Winter 2013-2014

Winter 2012-2013 recap

Long Island had a very tough Winter 2012-2013. It started off with Hurricane Sandy in late October, followed up shortly thereafter by a wicked Northeaster. We proceeded to have a cold Winter, with a monster February blizzard named "Nemo", and then we had extended below-average temperatures through the middle of April.

Why am I talking about 2012 ? Because last winter does have an effect on this upcoming winter's available supply of firewood. Long Island is a densely populated area and when demand goes up, supplies can deplete very quickly, and then take a long time to recover. Do you remember the gas shortages after Hurricane Sandy ? Well, gas wasn't the only fuel that was affected by Sandy.

The Good News

Since April our weather has been fairly calm. There have been no major storms. No catastrophic rains. We did have a 90+ degree heat wave that lasted over a week.

The recent calm weather has allowed most of us to clean up from Hurricane Sandy & the harsh winter. Now we are all enjoying the Summer. It has also provided a window of opportunity for firewood to be produced & seasoned for the upcoming 2013-2014 Winter.

Hurricane Sandy provided an abundance of downed trees and many firewood producers stocked up while they could. There were actually so many downed trees stockpiled in town yards that the federal government had to send trucks from the Midwest to haul the trees to be disposed of out of state.

So now you see every landscaper, tree company & part time firewood seller with piles & piles of "firewood". Most of them began splitting it in May because they were too busy doing clean ups from Hurricane Sandy. Craig's List, the Pennysaver & all of the local papers are full of ads for firewood at reasonable prices. You don't have to drive far to find somebody selling firewood. What more could you ask for ?

Now for The Bad News

Hurricane Sandy completely depleted any stock of firewood that was available in 2012-2013. The storm caught many by surprise. Some homeowners went weeks without electric (or heat) and used firewood as their main heat source. This used up the 2012-2013 supply very early in the season and also cut into the "semi-seasoned" firewood that would have been further seasoned for Winter 2013-2014.

The majority of firewood that is being produced from Hurricane Sandy trees is from large Oak trees. Oak takes a very long time to season, and the larger the tree, the denser the wood. So most of the wood that is being split this May will not be fully seasoned in time for Winter 2013-2014. Once average daytime temperatures drop below 70 degrees the best part of the firewood drying season is over. Firewood needs hot sun & low humidity to dry the best.

The very humid & moist Long Island Summer is not productive in air drying the firewood. If you don't believe me, just think of all of your swollen doors at home and how long it takes something wet to dry outside. Firewood is harder to air dry than just about anything you can imagine. When thrown into large firewood piles the outer shell dries, while the inner pieces actually begin the natural process of decay. Once the outer shell pieces are sold, only the inner moist pieces remain. In reality, only about 10% of a large firewood pile is fully seasoned. The inner split firewood must season much longer and it becomes moldy & smelly in the meantime.

What does that mean for the average firewood buyer ?

"Firewood" will be easier & cheaper to buy at the beginning of this 2013-2014 Winter. However, good burning firewood will be just as scarce, if not more, as it has been in past Winters.

The abundance of Hurricane Sandy trees has allowed newcomers & inexperienced firewood sellers to jump into the market. They have very little experience and it will show in the poor quality of firewood that they produce.

If we have another late season Hurricane or an early cold spell, we will see shortages (again) of quality seasoned firewood.

What can you do ?

Buy your firewood early.

Test your firewood before the Winter comes.

Start seasoning firewood this year for next year.

Only buy your firewood from reputable companies.

Stay away from deals that seem "too good to be true".
They usually are.

Enjoy burning good firewood all winter long.

Click here to buy premium Long Island Firewood

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