c/s/s in the woods?

Washxc Posted By Washxc, Mar 5, 2013 at 5:28 PM

  1. Washxc

    New Member

    Jan 9, 2013
    Hey All,

    New wood burner here and I'm wondering if any of you guys c/s/s wood out in the woods (and leave it there until late summer). I've been stacking wood on two limbs so that it's up off the ground. Of course it's not out there in the full sun, but the wind blows through well enough.

    My thought is that if I leave it out in the woods to season then I can come through in late summer and load up the trailer, bring it to the porch and stack it again for burning without having to stack it all in the yard first.

    Just wondering.


  2. Shane N

    Shane N
    Feeling the Heat

    Oct 16, 2012
    West Central MN
    Can you hold enough on your porch for all winter? If so, have at it. If not, I hope you don't get enough snow to impede your ability to retrieve some in the dead of winter :)
    Washxc and ScotO like this.
  3. bigbarf48

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 21, 2012
    Stone Mountain GA
    If its getting sun and wind it'll be alright. Seems actually like an alright idea to me of course assuming you won't have too much snow like Shane said
    Shane N likes this.
  4. ScotO


    I'd rather have it stacked neatly in the yard instead of leaving it in the woods. You can't keep an eye on your stacks if they are scattered all over the place (if they blow over, and what about theives?).
    Not to mention, if makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when I look out the back window at that woodstack. Gives a small sense of pride and accomplishment when I stand back and look at it.......
  5. Foragefarmer


    Jan 14, 2013
    Central, Virginia
    I have done it in the past. And then forgotten about a stack or two and then when I saw them again they were about half rotten. Better just to keep things centralized.
  6. red oak

    red oak
    Minister of Fire

    Sep 7, 2011
    northwest Virginia
    First, welcome! Always good to see new members!

    I actually have a few stacks in the woods right now, just piled up. Hoping to move them soon, but we're due to get 18" of snow tonight, so it'll have to wait a few weeks.

    It sounds like the wood will season fine, especially if it gets wind and is off the ground. BUT I like to move it in from the woods pretty soon after it's cut. Why? More sun, for one. Second and more importantly, what if late summer comes and you're really busy? Or sick? Or injured? Or it gets cold much sooner than people expect? Not criticizing your idea - just something to think about.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. tigeroak

    Feeling the Heat

    Nov 4, 2012
    kansas illinois
    One more thing to think about, what kind of wood are you cutting ? Some like oak take up to 3 years or more dried in the open. Maple[soft] ash ,cherry ,pine a couple others 1 to 2 years and your ready to burn. I don't leave ANY wood in the woods as I was burnt a few years back. I cut all day , split and piled into a big pile about 2 cord. Left in woods and I could not get back the next day to haul and someone took it all. So never again.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  8. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover
    Minister of Fire

    Dec 25, 2010
    Southern IN
    My yard's not big enough to stack wood, so it all gets stacked in the woods. If you have a stable base, like pallets on blocks, they shouldn't fall over. I would put some top-covers on to keep the catkins from clogging the top of the stack in the Spring, then you can uncover it if you want for the Summer, then cover again before the leaves fly.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  9. ArsenalDon

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 16, 2012
    Meadow Valley, CA
    If they are public lands..how would you stop people from taking the wood? on our public lands here it would not last a week.
  10. glennm

    Burning Hunk

    Dec 26, 2010
    S Ontario
    I left some in the bush on my own property and the neighbors kids came and boosted about half a cord. They promised to replace it, but, as you would expect, that didn't happen!
  11. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly
    Minister of Fire

    Oct 26, 2011
    I was thinking the same thing.
  12. PapaDave

    Minister of Fire

    Feb 23, 2008
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    I only cut what I can take out of my own property. I cut up a couple small downed oak last year at my sis-in-law's place and ended up leaving a few small rounds due to.....life happening.
    Cut it, take it, split it, then stack it. Go back and do it again.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  13. homebrewz

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 29, 2005
    East Central, NY
    If the woods are shaded and cool in the summer, you might find the wood will not season as well or as quickly. I don't stack in the woods anymore for that reason, but our woods are fairly cool without a lot of sunny spots.
  14. KodiakII

    Feeling the Heat

    Jan 17, 2011
    Eastern Ontario
    Not the best spot for seasoning, and personally I don't like to handle it that many times.
  15. billb3

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 14, 2007
    SE Mass
    I have maple that sat waiting for me to cut a road wide enough for my tractor to get down a steep hill to get to it.
    A little too far and too steep to move by wheelbarrow. Not impossible, I just didn't have the time.
    Most of it is still there two summers later.
    Kinda surprised at how fast termites got into splits that fell off the stacks, but other than that out in the woods is fine.
    Above the tree line on top of a mountain would likely be optimal for seasoning but few of us have those conditions.
  16. Waulie

    Minister of Fire

    Aug 31, 2011
    Nothern Lower Michigan
    I almost always split in the woods. I like to keep handling to a minimum so I fell, buck, and split right there. I almost never stack in the woods just because I'd rather get the wood to where it needs to be right away so I don't have to worry about it later. Work wise, it is be about the same for me. I could stack in the woods until seasoned then trailer to the wood shed. Or, I could trailer and stack next to the woodshed until seasoned than load the woodshed.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. Washxc

    New Member

    Jan 9, 2013
    Thanks all. Great point Shane, the porch is pretty big and I think it'll hold all I can burn in a season, but I might bring some stacks in to prevent a dead of winter trek. All this wood cutting is on my own land (73 acres), so I'm not worried about it disappearing on me...

    This all came about because I've been cutting in places where I can't get the tractor through the snow. So I figured that I'd stack it there until the snow went away, and then I thought instead of coming back in may and moving it back to the yard and then moving it to the porch later in the summer, I could just come back in late summer and move it to the porch. A little bit less handling.

    BTW, just as an aside (for billb3)... This is our first year with a stove and we didn't have any wood this fall so I purchased a seasoned cord to get us going and then I started cutting wood on our property to build up our own supply. There was a big red maple that the previous owners of our place had cut down 2 years earlier and it was sitting in rounds on the edge of a steep ravine. Well, I couldn't split the rounds on the ravine side, and I couldn't drag them up the ravine, so I rolled them to the bottom and split everything down there. There I was with a huge pile of splits at the bottom of a steep ravine with no way to get the tractor anywhere near them, so I got two five gallon buckets and worked at it for two weeks. Every day I'd make as many runs up the ravine as I could...I just couldn't bear the thought of walking by those rounds everyday watching them rot o ver the next few years...
  18. midwestcoast

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 9, 2009
    NW Indiana
    We stacked in the woods when I was young. In your case I wouldn't advise it. You are looking to season this stuff by next fall, so you need the best conditions possible. Split smallish, stacked loose, best wind & sun exposure you can manage. Once you get a couple years ahead the woods can work it they are a fairly open woods.

    Make sure your porch can take the weight of a whole years supply without damaging it. We're talking thousands of pounds here.
    You can look up weight charts for a cord of different species both wet and dry. Multiply by # of cords, calculate the loads on joists, beam(s), footings, ledger...
  19. Stegman

    Feeling the Heat

    Jan 4, 2011
    Sterling, MA
    That's a workout. Holy smokes.
    PapaDave likes this.
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 14, 2007
    Welcome to the forum Dave.

    I've done some of the very same thing from time to time but gave it up when I got the hydraulic splitter. Now I loosely stack the wood we cut in the winter and then come spring, split it and then stack it on saplings just like you have done.

    The wood will dry even if it gets no sun so long as you have wind. The problem comes that especially during the summer months, in the woods you just don't get that much wind. So with this, I would say you are better off to get the wood out of the woods. When you get up to speed and get yourself 3 years of wood on hand (split and stacked), then stacking and leaving in the woods would pose no problem at all.

    The red maple should be okay for burning next winter but not many types of wood will work well if cut in spring and burned the following winter. For sure if you cut any oak, leave it split and stacked for 3 years. You won't be sorry.

    You will learn quickly just how important it is to get your wood dry and if you can get yourself 3 years or more ahead on your wood supply you will be truly amazed at the difference. In addition, you won't burn as much wood then! You'll get more heat from the wood because you will burn with less draft on the stove and the heat will stay in the house instead of going up the chimney.

    Good luck.
    BobUrban likes this.
  21. BobUrban

    Minister of Fire

    Jul 24, 2010
    Central Michigan
    I have piles of splits all over the place right now in the woods behind the house. Just easier to tow the splitter to the rounds and split there. I will get all that trailered and stacked in the open area of my property this spring. There are a few face cord or so split and stacked on saplings between trees in different spots on the property that will likely stay put for a year or two but I am working on yr 4 and 5 so if they take longer to dry out there they have plenty. Wood I know is being burned next year is stacked in the open.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  22. basod

    Minister of Fire

    Sep 11, 2009
    Mount Cheaha Alabama
    I stack in the woods but mostly shoulder season stuff - dead pines or other odd and end smaller stuff. Stack it right on the edge of the trail or cut a trail to it
    I have plenty of small dead cedar and stack on those - fighting the termites here is a losing battle.
    Any good oak/hickory gets hauled out in the quad trailer and into the long stacking row up the drive
  23. ArsenalDon

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 16, 2012
    Meadow Valley, CA
    No way to wench the logs up the hill?
  24. jeffesonm

    Minister of Fire

    May 29, 2012
    central NJ
    I have several cords of oak c/s/s out in the woods... figured why bother dragging it up to wood pile when it won't be ready for another 2-3 years. It is all stacked off the ground on two good size limbs like yours. No one goes back in the woods but me so no worries there. My g/f says I'm like a squirrel with little piles of firewood stashed all over the place.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.

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