Drying in a Bag

A woodworker tries drying a fresh Holly log inside a paper lawn-waste bag. April 15, 2012

12 months ago I got ahold of some 12 x 30" American holly that was just felled. I coated the ends in wax and weighed the log at 98 lbs. I then put the log into a large and heavy paper lawn debris bag, marked the weight and date and rested it on a concrete block in part sun and shade. Today I opened the bag to find a nice log that weighed in at 70 lbs. Wow was I surprised and happy that my experiment works. Could it really have lost 25% of its weight? Also there are no checks to mention. Comments appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor I:
25% may seem like a lot, but typically up to half of the weight of freshly cut hardwoods is water. I don't have any idea whether the bag is helping or hurting, but your log might have a ways to go yet.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
One of the issues with drying holly is that when drying is slow, the wood turns grey in color. Have you checked the color? I agree that your 25% weight loss is likely a 50% MC loss. The bag keeps the moisture from leaving too fast... It is one way to slow drying. Are you going to saw this log into lumber? Sawing becomes more difficult as the wood gets drier.