Shipping Green Lumber

Pros discuss the risks involved in shipping green lumber, including uneven drying and moisture damage. December 1, 2005

I'm having some green cherry and walnut shipped in to me, from PA. I'm in northern IL. Are there any precautions the shipper should take? I imagine he'll just dead-stack it, and send it off. Do I need to worry about mold or any other issues on that journey?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor K:
I've ruined some cherry dead-stacking it in warm weather. Make sure to have it end-painted and stickered with thin, clean dry sticks. Walnut might be more forgiving.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Is it all heartwood? If yes, then with the very expensive cherry you are running a risk that could be very expensive. I agree that walnut is not much of a concern if it is all heartwood. Of course, if it is just an overnight trip and you stack it the next morning. If you do get it "deadstacked" and shipping takes a few days in summer in a tight truck, you will probably need a crowbar to pry the pieces apart.

From the original questioner:
Yes, it's all heartwood.

From contributor T:
I'm not sure, but I'd try to find out if it's being shipped on an open trailer. It might air dry to fast running down the road at 60 mph and start end-checking very badly.

From contributor R:
I'd let them worry about how they ship it. That's what they do. If they are assuming the liability for its damage and it is damaged - refuse it. If it isn’t then use it.

From the original questioner:
Well, the shipper has never shipped green lumber before, so doesn't have experience with it.

From contributor R:
I would suggest that you have him ship it in a refrigerated truck and packed in dry ice – the problem will be solved.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Contributor R’s idea gets my vote.