1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

How long will soft wood last uncovered

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Bspring

    Bspring Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    298
    Loc:
    Greenville, SC
    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.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    burn the pine and poplar frist in the shoulder season and keep it up off the ground
  3. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,074
    Loc:
    Central PA
    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.
  4. newstove

    newstove Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Central MA
    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

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,264
    Loc:
    CT and VT
    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.
  6. Bspring

    Bspring Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    298
    Loc:
    Greenville, SC
    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.

    Attached Files:

  7. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,941
    Loc:
    Ridge, LI, NY
    *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
  8. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,847
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Thats a good one :)
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,348
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    Just look at all that black smoke and think of what it might have done to your chimney.
  10. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,264
    Loc:
    CT and VT
    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!
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    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.
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,078
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    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.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,573
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    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.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page