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Am I doomed?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Yarzy, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Yarzy

    Yarzy Member

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    Chalfont, PA
    Hi everyone

    I just finished stacking about 4 cords of wood that I am planning on let sit for hopefully 2 years (to burn winter of 2012/2013). After I got done stacking all the wood, sat back and admired my work, I got a very sinking feeling. I thought I may have stacked the wood WAY too tight and it will not season at all. Now, the area shown (it now has another row added) gets a nice breeze, but not crazy wind and due to the many trees, will be in the shade. Do you think:

    1. I should cover the stacks? If so, when?
    2. Did I stack them way too tight?
    3. Am I doomed for stacking them this way?

    Thanks!!!

    Picture of the stacks...I have a total of 4 rows now.

    Attached Files:

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  2. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Looks fine to me. If the wood is for that far out it should be fine by the time you are ready to burn it.
  3. PNWBurner

    PNWBurner Member

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    I think you'll be ok. Especially after two years. It would be nice to get some sun but a breeze will help. The way you have them each row stacked should help the whole thing "breathe" even if the rows are a bit close.

    I'd leave them uncovered as long as possible. Maybe even up until the late fall before you burn them. You can always check as time goes by and restack somewhere else.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Be some of the best firewood in your area........
  5. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

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    Larger gaps between the stacks would help but.... depending on the wood, it may not make a difference. If this is oak, I would want more space, if it is ash well, 2 years should be ok.

    To cover or not to cover that is the question.... weather tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous rainfall, Or to take arms against a sea of downpours. And by opposing dry them? To season; to shiver no more; and by shiver to say we end the Heart-ache of the sub-freezing degrees.

    This can be debated over and over agian. I do NOT cover my wood untill the year of which I am going to burn it. I will be moving 4 cord into my woodshed, and under deck storage area (both covered from the rain) this September/October. Untill then I will let mother nature do her thing.

    Shawn
  6. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't worry about it. 2 years will be plenty.
  7. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I think it will dry fine.
    Cover it? I'd make a cover hooked to the wall, a few feet above the top of the stacks, that I could
    pull over it on rainy days & winter snows.
    I know many folks say it dries better if left uncovered, I agree if it's isn't raining.
    Watch the weather forecast, cover for rainy periods roll it back during dry days.

    Bye the way: Nice pile of fire wood. Looks great & I bet feels good to look at for yo too. :)
    Looks like, for your situation, a great place for the wood.
    You have a good plan. 2 years & you'll have "top notch" fire wood! ;)
  8. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Never in a million years would I have thought that I would see and adaptation of Hamlet used for a response on this forum....my amazement and respect for the wit and knowledge on the old Hearth.com continues to grow.
  9. Wade A.

    Wade A. Feeling the Heat

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    Yarzy...I'd burn it NEXT year stacked like that....but that is just how it is in my latitudes here in Alabama. Youre mileage will differ. If you could slap some metal roofing panels over it, moore the better.

    Chalfont, you say? Way back in another life I took guitar lessons up your way...Sid Kleiner's House of Guitars. I remember that Sid and Chet Atkins were big buds. Nice town.
  10. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    Wish my stacks looked as neat as that, I reckon they'll season happily without any worries ;-)
  11. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I'm in the camp of leaving the top uncovered until just before the season it's used.

    My greatest concern with your stacks is not your firewood, but your barn wall. I like to keep room for sunlight and air to get to the walls to keep mold, bugs, and rot from the wall.
  12. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    In two years you should be fine. I stack three rows deep on pallets and have had pretty good luck. I am able to store about 1/2 cord on my covered front porch all winter so I only cover my stacks if there is significant snow or ice in the forecast, and then only about a weeks worth.
  13. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I've been leaving everything uncovered, EXCEPT for a 6 cord stack that I stacked in a tight rectangle (nearly all red oak). Stacked it in summer of 2009, won't use till winter of 2012/2013. I was worried that the center wouldn't dry as well and might get a little punky (I can see fungi growing on some of the center splits), so I've covered that one pile from Nov - May. It's drying nicely. Cheers!
  14. maxed_out

    maxed_out New Member

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    just my .02 cents, +1, stack on no probs here. We do the same thing-no cover. Once its "seasoned" I rotate it to the covered storage area.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Yarzy, that took a lot of work and you can be proud.

    You did not state what kind of wood this is so seasoning time is difficult to comment on. My first thought is that it is against the barn and I surely hope it is not under one of the eaves so lots of water would pour on it but I'm sure you took that in mind before stacking it. So....

    1. To cover or not? We have folks on here that do cover and some that do not cover. We also have folks who cover only on rainy or snowy days but I would hate to have to do that. Either cover or not and let it go at that. When you cover, you cover only the top of the stack. Never cover the ends or sides of a wood pile.

    2. Stack tight? Just looking at the picture, it is not stacked too tightly. That is no worry at all. The only concern I'd have is there is no air space between the wood and the barn, but depending upon what type wood it is, you may be okay. If it is oak, I'd redo it and stack with space between each row and I'd also stack away from the barn for best results.

    3. Are you doomed? Perhaps not. Going to church and praying about it might help, but regardless, you are not doomed. As stated, if it is oak, then the wood may not be ready in 2 years stacked this way. If it is something like ash, there is absolutely no worries.


    On covering the top of those stacks, try to use something solid if possible. We use old galvanized roofing to cover and that works well. If you just try using the plastic tarps you might be disappointed. But if you have to use the tarps, try placing more pallets or something similar on top and then the tarps rather than having the tarps come into contact with the wood.


    For the future, remember that wind is your best friend when drying wood. Sunshine is a big plus and is really nice if you can get it but wind is even more important.
  16. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    If you had just cut, split and stacked this wood and was hoping to burn it this Fall I might have a little concern . . . and just a little concern at that point. Given the fact that this is for two years out I would not worry too much since I routinely stack my wood in a similar fashion -- 2-3 rows sometimes . . . and it's in the shade . . . the key is giving wood stacked this way extra time to dry out.

    Cover the stacks . . . it's up to you. I wouldn't worry about it too much myself . . . I would cover them up in the Fall right before you intend to start burning . . . mainly to keep them dry and snow free.

    Tight stacks . . . looks fine to me . . . again . . . two years out will help.

    Doomed . . . pretty sure you don't go to Hell for stacking wood too tightly . . . but it's been a few years since I've been to church . . . maybe they've rewritten the rulebook and things have changed. ;)
  17. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

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    As Dennis my biggest concern would be if it is under the drip edge of the barn. If its on the gable end that should be good. And if its on the south wall thats better. I've noticed that the sun hitting the south side of a barn heats the area up and helps dry the wood. Last year I ended up having to stack my wood inside my tin barn with no wind since it was raining constantly. It was stacked against the south wall and it was like being in a kiln.

    Billy
  18. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I'm in the no cover camp. My wood gets covered when I bring a three day supply up to our covered front porch. Any surface moisture will be long gone before I bring the splits inside to burn.
    Of course, there's not much chance of my stacks getting wet anyway. We are in the midst of the 4th worse drought in recorded history here in Texas.
  19. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

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    I would cover the top of the stack as well as 1 foot down the sides,speaking from experience wood that's off the ground and put up this way lasts for years.On the other hand if the wood is rained on continuosly and fails to dry in the center of the pile carpenter ants and mold can ruin some of your wood,the ants are attracted to wet wood.During very heavy rains not every piece of wood will dry entirely and that's when the nasties creep in . Based on my experiences that's what I've learned if I can figure out an easy way to post pics I'll show ya'll a little wood. Thanks
  20. jjames

    jjames New Member

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    Yup, you definetly screwed it all up.

    Haul that wood over here to upstate NY, and I'll show you how it should have been stacked, and come back next winter, and I'll show you haw to properly burn it...
    ;)

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