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How To Tell If Wood Is Seasoned – 8 Quick Answers

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Wood is a layered porous material of plant origin. It consists of a variety of cells interconnected by pores. The structure of wood is complex and perfect. 

Nature has created a material with such unique qualities as hardness, low heat and sound permeability, and high strength. The wood can be easily processed with tools that stick together well. 

It has been and remains the leading material for building houses. Sometimes it becomes a challenge to tell if the wood is seasoned or not. This helps to separate them if you have a large pile of wood. Continue reading this article and learn how to tell if wood is seasoned.

Physical properties of wood

The physical properties of wood include:

The color of wood

 It is determined by climate, soil composition, the tree’s age, and its species, among others. The color of the wood is given by the dyes, tannins, resinous substances, and oxides of these substances that are in it.

The brilliance of wood 

It can reflect the light flux from the surface in a certain direction. The gloss depends on the density of the wood, the number, size, and location of the core rays. Lighter and denser wood has a greater luster, which gives the wood texture a special beauty.

The smell of wood 

This depends on the number of resins, tannins, and essential oils. The wood of a freshly felled tree or immediately after its mechanical processing has a strong odor. Softwoods have a stronger odor than hardwoods.

The texture of wood

It is the natural pattern of wood fibers on the treated surface due to the peculiarities of its structure. The texture depends on the location of the wood fibers on the section of the trunk, the visibility of the annual layers, the color scheme of the wood, and the number and size of the core rays.

Decorative species like walnut, mahogany, and oak have a beautiful texture and color.

Mechanical properties of wood

Mechanical properties characterize the ability of wood to withstand the impact of loads. Deformability, strength, impact strength, hardness of wood are attributed to its mechanical properties. 

A change in shape and a violation of the connection between individual particles of wood occurs under the influence of loads (external forces). Internal forces arise due to the resistance of wood to these loads.


The resistance of wood to destruction and rupture of bonds between particles under mechanical loads is called strength. 

The type of wood, humidity, density, the presence of defects, and the direction of the acting load determines the strength and tensile strength – the stress at which the integrity of the wood is violated. The main types of mechanical action are compression, shearing, bending, and stretching.

Tensile strength

When stretched along with the wood fiber, the average tensile strength is about 130 MPa. The structure of wood has a significant effect on strength under such tension. 

A decrease in strength can occur even with a slight deviation from the arrangement of the fibers provided by nature. When stretched across the fibers, the strength is very low. It is 6.5 MPa on average. From the tensile strength that wood has when stretched along the fibers, this is about 1/20 part.


When compressed across the fibers, wood has about 8 times less strength than when compressed along. Deformation in the form of some shortening of the test sample is observed during compression along the fibers.

how to check if wood is seasoned
via Pxhere

How to tell if wood is seasoned

There are various signs you can use to tell if wood is seasoned, and this includes:

  1. Faded: If the wood has less color, it is seasoned.
  2. Split test: Seasoned wood is harder when splitting, making it difficult to chop.
  3. Less weight: When the wood is seasoned, it loses moisture, which means it is less weight.
  4. Loose bark: The bark of seasoned wood is loose.
  5. Cracked: Seasoned wood cracks. You will see the cracks that move from center to edge. However, this is not always 100 percent accurate.
  6. Sound hollow: Seasoned wood usually sounds hollow when struck against another wood. Wet one does not.
  7. Lighter and less pungent smell: Green wood smells like grass or sappy. Seasoned wood has a lighter and less pungent smell.
  8. Produce less smoke: If the smoke is less, it indicates the wood is seasoned.

Wood moisture determination

There are several ways to determine the moisture content of the wood. In domestic conditions, they use a special device called electric moisture meter. The operation of the device is based on the change in the electrical conductivity of wood depending on its moisture content. 

The needles of the electric moisture meter with electrical wires connected to them are inserted into the tree, and an electric current is passed through them.

The moisture content of the wood is immediately noted on the scale of the device in the place where the needles are inserted. Many experienced carvers determine the moisture content of wood by eye. 

Knowing the types of wood, its density, and other physical properties is possible to determine the moisture content of the wood. This is by weight, by the presence of cracks at the end or along the wood fibers, by warping, and other signs.

By the color of the bark, its size, and the wood’s color, one can recognize seasoned or freshly cut wood and its degree of moisture. 

When processing with a p/m planer, its thin shavings squeezed by hand are easily crushed – which means the material is wet. If the chips break and crumble, the material is dry enough.

When transverse cutting with sharp chisels, they also pay attention to chips. If they crumble or the wood of the workpiece itself crumbles, this means that the material is too dry. 

Very wet wood is easily cut, and a wet mark is noticeable at the cutting site from the chisel. But it is unlikely that it will be possible to obtain a high-quality thread as a result since cracking, warping, and other deformations cannot be avoided.


Wood is a natural raw material used in the production of various structures. This natural material is a plant tissue, which consists of densely arranged cells, which gives it special strength and elasticity. 

Like all plants, the cell wall contains cellulose, giving the tree strength. How to tell if wood is seasoned is made easy with this article. It has outlined several ways to tell.