How long will soft wood last uncovered

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Bspring, May 15, 2009.

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  1. Bspring

    Bspring
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    Feeling the Heat

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    I have some pine and poplar mixed in with my oak and cherry. I know it takes oak a year or more to season so I was going to try to get 3 years ahead on my wood. Someone told me that the poplar and pine would rot in only 1 or 2 years if not covered. We get some hot summers but the wood stacks are in the woods under trees. My thoughts are that in the summer if I cover the wood I will just be keeping the sun off of it. I have an unlimited supply of poplar and pine so if I loose some of it I can get over it but I have spent a lot of time cutting, splitting, and stacking it.

    I am new to all of this so I don't have much knowledge to pull from. Should I try to cover the wood or will it last several years in SC uncovered.
     
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  2. smokinj

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    burn the pine and poplar frist in the shoulder season and keep it up off the ground
     
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  3. Wood Duck

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    If kept dry, you can expect softwood to last four or five years, or maybe a lot more, I would think. I don't think it needs to be covered, just up off the ground and stacked loosely enough that air can get to it. I don't worry if my firewood gets rained on, as long as it dries out between rains.
     
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  4. newstove

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    I have discovered that clear plastic (say 8 mils thick at least) makes a great cover for those conditions.

    Lets the sun in, and turns underneath into a sauna which really heats things up, and also keeps the water off of it. And, with the sides open, the moisture goes up and out the sides...
     
  5. Skier76

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    I think you'll be fine. We've got a stack of pine rounds that have been back there for God only knows how long. The previous owners left them behind. The pile is was covered with twigs, leaves and pine needles, and stacked between two trees. I started splitting some last weekend. (we bought the house in late March) Most of the stuff seems useable! I posted pics in another thread around here.
     
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  6. Bspring

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    Thanks everyone. I have really learned a lot here. Skier76, I looked up your post about pine and read it along with some others. I should be fine. I intentionally mixed the pine and poplar in with the harder woods because I wanted to mix them when I was burning them but I got worried about them rotting. My neighbor also gave me the line about how burning the pine would destroy my chimney. That kind of advice lead to me pushing no telling how many whole pine trees into piles and burning them just to get them out of the way.
     

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  7. Dix

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    *Watches the pine wood burners weep*

    I told my firewood guy I'd take pine off of his hands, he tried to shake his index finger at me,and tell me "no". Good thing for him it turns out I used to date his uncle, told him so, too :p
     
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  8. daveswoodhauler

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    Thats a good one :)
     
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  9. LLigetfa

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    Just look at all that black smoke and think of what it might have done to your chimney.
     
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  10. Skier76

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    No problem! I should have included the link to that thread, sorry you had to dig for it. I learned quite a bit from that post!
     
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  11. Backwoods Savage

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    Bspring, your neighbor can be right. However, there is no need of leaving it uncovered. Cover the top only and you won't have problems keeping poplar and pine for longer than you will need to keep it. I would not fear leaving it for 5 years or longer as long as the top is covered after the first summer.

    Also, mixing the wood while burning is a good thing to do.
     
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  12. Highbeam

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    My house is built out of softwood lumber. It has happily been holding up the roof for almost 50 years without rotting. Keep it dry and it will last forever.
     
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  13. BrotherBart

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    I heat my house with this stove of mine.
    I burn it hot all of the time.
    Any thing that burns is mine.
    Because it's fine.
    I burn the pine.

    - Johnny Ash

    Top cover it. Softwood will re-absorb moisture in the outer band of the wood, not in the heartwood. Season it covered for a year or more and then rock and roll.
     
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