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Firewood Preparation

woodshedSome people don’t realize that firewood preparations for winter often begin in the spring time. No matter the species of wood you are using, the key to having firewood that will burn the most efficiently is to properly prepare the wood and make sure it is seasoned. There is nothing worse that trying to burn wood that is still green or has not been properly seasoned. Having seasoned firewood will make the winter months much more enjoyable and most importantly, warmer! Below are a few things you can do to prepare your wood and make sure it will serve you the best in the up and coming winter season.

For more information and tips on how to tell if the wood you have is seasoned or still green or wet, click here.

  •  You should begin processing your firewood in the early spring so that it will be ready for fall and winter. Large pieces of hardwood such as oak or maple might take a little longer than just drying over the summer months depending on how large they are and also how damp the environment the wood is drying in happens to be. For example, wood stored in a shaded area near a creek will take longer to dry out than a stack that is exposed to sunlight and wind.
  • Be sure your pieces are cut at least 3-4″ shorter than what will fit in your stove.
  • Logs that are split 3-6″ at the widest point will be easiest to manage. Depending on the size of your stove, this could vary a bit.
  • Don’t stack your wood directly on the ground. Within a few days it will begin to attract bugs and mold which will lead to rotting.
  • Your wood will season the quickest when directly exposed to sunlight and wind.  Green wood will not season if stored in a wood shed or a dark shaded area. The more sunlight and wind you can provide the wood, the quicker it will dry.
  • It is also best to cover just the top of the wood pile to deflect the largest amounts of summer rains. Leave the sides of the stacks open and exposed to the wind and sunlight.
  • Once the wood is seasoned, it is best to move it to a location that will be free from any potential moisture. It’s best if this location can be close to the house, but not necessary. For tips on telling if your wood is ready to burn, click here.
  • It is not recommended storing wood in the house. Most wood will have mold spores on it from natural decomposition that is taking place while the wood is drying. This could contaminate your house and cause problems for family members with asthma or other respiratory issues.