SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A warning tonight if you are in the market for firewood.

Since July, we've seen almost two feet of rain.

Arborists said that with all that moisture, you need to make sure you're buying last year's wood if you want it ready for the fireplace this winter.

Firewood is not cheap either. Western Mass News has received reports of green firewood being passed off as seasoned, so we checked in with a local tree service and firewood company - in business for nearly 20 years in Springfield - for some advice.

Arbortech Tree Service in Springfield is already cranking out orders for firewood.

"This year, we're delivering five days a week. The truck's out delivering as fast as we can," said Randy Sample with Arbortech.

What Arbortech sells to customers this year is actually last year's wood that's been split, stacked, and dried for a season.

However, Sample told Western Mass News that he's heard horror stories this fall about firewood companies delivering so-called green wood.

"We've already heard that there's been some wood delivered out there that's not seasoned enough for this burning season," Sample explained.

That's at about $300 a cord.

Sample said all the rain in the latter part of the summer into this fall may be to blame - that some firewood companies sell wood just cut over the summer that simply has not had time to dry out.

"We live off of moisture content. We have a meter, we test it, and determine if it's acceptable to be delivered or not. This is a green piece of wood and to show the moisture content it's well over 30," Sample noted.

Moisture content, Sample said, should be between 14 and 18, but it's not like customers walk around with meters.

Sample said physically check out the wood before you buy it and look for visual cues like flaking and weight.

Do not, Sample said, buy anything marked semi-seasoned.

"Well is it semi-seasoned for a week or has it been six months? Our opinion is it's either seasoned and ready to be burned or it's green," Sample added.

Arbortech said now is the time to buy your firewood. Once the seasoned wood from last year is gone, it's gone.

In fact, Western Mass News checked with several other firewood companies in western Massachusetts, who said they're either sold out or are close to it.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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