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)

I have too much wood! (NOT!)

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by n2brk, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. n2brk

    n2brk New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    My little woodshed isn't cutting the mustard this year. I had a neighbor take down a large oak, and my mom needed a nice pin oak down. I'm splitting the last cord or so right now, and I have stacked 7 cords so far in the back yard.

    I am leaving all of the new "green" oak stacked on pallets in a criss-cross arrangement along the property line and I am not covering anything but the two cords that are in the shed and ready to burn. AFAIK this is the acceptable for seasoning, (I am not trying to start a debate, so I am saying acceptable), but I am not sure when the wood will ultimately need to be covered before I risk rotting my precious gold.

    So, do I leave it sit stacked as-is? Put just a cover over the top and leave it alone? Or do I have to re-stack it inside the woodshed once it's seasoned or else risk losing it??? If the answer is the last option, I think that I'll build an addition from the shed to cover it, because re-stacking would just suck, lol.

    Thanks in advance for some guidance!

    Wally

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,898
    Loc:
    Kennett Square, PA
    The way you have the oak stacked it will sit for years just fine. Wind and sun are your friend.
    It won't rot in those ultimate conditions.
  3. n2brk

    n2brk New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    cool - thanks. My father keeps insisting I'm going to rot all of my wood, lol. I do see that yours has a cover over the top though?

    Kennet Square - I'm not far; Cherry Hill, NJ. :)
  4. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    848
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    I would cover the top if you think its going to be more then 3 years out before you burn it. Although I don't cover any of my wood ( 2 years out only ) so I really shouldn't advise you. Could be called a hypocrite if I do.
  5. n2brk

    n2brk New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    ok cool, so once it's truly seasoned, if I am not burning it that year... then I should cover the top only. Thanks!
  6. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,076
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    Welcome Wally.

    I typically don't cover wood at all. The real key is keeping it off the ground. That is what will cause rot faster than anything else. If you choose to cover, top cover only so the moisture in the wood can escape. Old sheets of roofing work well, tarps in my experience do not. Too much wood - I don't understand this idea at all!
    Missouri Frontier likes this.
  7. n2brk

    n2brk New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    too much wood was just a silly thing to drum up hits, there's truly no such thing. It's like too much ammo, hahahahaha.
    Snotrocket and Free BTUs like this.
  8. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,043
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    LOL.. my dad keeps telling me I need to cover it.

    I just laugh and tell him it's not a sponge. I'm currently about 2 years ahead, working on 3.

    If I ever get any that rots.. I'll change my methods. I sure like this year feeding low 20s good wood. WAY more fun than last year.

    JP
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,774
    Loc:
    Michigan

    Wally, sorry but I don't think I've welcomed you to the forum yet so consider this a warm welcome.

    I've experimented quite a bit with wood and stacking the wood. You just reminded me that I need to make a new thread concerning one of my latest experiments. But just to let you know ahead of time, it had been a long times since I did not top cover wood so just for kicks, I left some uncovered a couple of years. End result? I won't be doing that again probably ever.

    I cut and just stack the wood in the winter. Spring, usually March is when it gets split and then stacked right after that.
    Wood-2009c.JPG Wood-2012c.JPG

    We stack 4 1/2' high and leave it alone until the following fall. Usually around December 1 or sometimes a bit earlier, we then top cover it using old galvanized roofing. It then sits in the stack usually for at least 3 years.
    Wood-3-4-10d.JPG
    I know it means extra work but worth it to us. In October, we move enough wood for the winter into the barn so that we don't have to dig through snow. We then move a little at a time to the porch. The porch is right by the wood stove so it is really easy to open a sliding glass door, grab some wood and put it right into the stove. This way the only wood that is inside the house is also inside the stove.

    Now, probably not tonight but soon I'll be making a new thread on that experiment.
  10. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,134
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've been doing some drying experiments this year, regularly weighing several splits. My results so far suggest that it doesn't really matter whether you top-cover for the first 2-3 months after CSS green wood, because it's so wet anyhow that rain doesn't have much effect. After that, though, rain does seem to slow drying noticeably, so it's worth covering if you can. You might get away with leaving it uncovered, but covered is better.
  11. Hickorynut

    Hickorynut Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    177
    Loc:
    western ky.

    I would cover the top at least after the second year if it is red oak. You will get some serious rot in the sapwood at some point. Top is all that is necessary although water that runs down the sides will rot some of those splits too. Just saying what has happened to me.
    NH_Wood and Backwoods Savage like this.
  12. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,043
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I'll see what happens when the garage is done. I'm thinking I'll have room inside for 30 pallets or so. That's about 10 cords, and a year's worth. 2 outside, one inside sounds like a good drying schedule.

    JP
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  13. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    804
    Loc:
    Mineral County, WV
    That is some of the nicest wood stacks I have ever seen==c Looks like every piece of wood is cut the exact same length
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,774
    Loc:
    Michigan
    We try. Thank you.
  15. Craig S.

    Craig S. Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    154
    Loc:
    Smithtown, New York
    Thankfully, even though I have a smaller piece of property, my wife sees the need and doesn't give me crap about how it looks. I do try to keep it neet though.
    Fred Wright and Backwoods Savage like this.
  16. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,436
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Its not often im jealous of another guys wood ,Congratulations.;)
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    26,323
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    I never top cover my wood until fifteen minutes after it is stacked. That is how long it takes to go in and get a beer and come back out and admire the stack.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  18. n2brk

    n2brk New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Sorry to disappear for a bit. I'm back among the living though, lol. I've been sick for 4 weeks with some kinda crap that was threatening to send me to the ER if I didn't visit the Doc! So now I've completed a round of antibiotics and prednisone!

    I'll get out there and cover the stack ASAP. We should have several nice dry days finishing out the week, so I'll let it dry off the remains of the dampness from our snow and rain lately first :)

    Thanks to all!!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  19. MJFlores

    MJFlores Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    64
    Loc:
    NH
    I think I'm the oddball, I just cant ever seem to get ahead with firewood. The oldest wood I burn is probably 6 to 8 months? I start in the early spring, and this wood sits out for a good part of the summer, gets put away in the wood shed, and burned first. The last of the wood gets cut in the fall just before hunting season and gets burned in the spring if needed...although I'm always hoping it'll be left over for the next fall. I have a decent wood shed with plenty of air flow, so even green wood put away in there gets dried nicely. You'd be surprised at how well the dry cold winter air will dry out split firewood. I think wood left out is fine for years, as long as it's up off the ground. I cut hemlocks to lay down and then stack my firewood on it when I let it sit out in the summer. Once you dry the center of the wood, it can sit out in the rain and really not absorb much. I experimented a few years ago with a stacking method (I'm sure others have done this too) where the whole pile is randomly stacked criss cross and spit face up....it looks like an odd hap-hazard pile of criss crossed splits to maximize air flow and sun exposure...it's shocking how dry hardwood gets when stacked like this is a sunny spot all day in just a few weeks. I've never tried covering a pile but I'm sure it works, although in my mind wood absorbs from the ends and since it never rains straight down I'm not sure how much it helps. I guess anything you can do to keep it dry and to allow it to get air flow helps. To me, cold dry winter airflow is just as good as summer sunlight for drying wood at least her in New Hampshire.
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,774
    Loc:
    Michigan
    MJ, for certain if you have so little time to dry the wood, you would be much better off stacking it rather loosely outdoors in the windiest spot you have. Then move it into the wood shed. In addition, try with all your might to get on the 3 year plan. The benefits are fantastic.

    Wood will not absorb water from the ends unless it is placed in water and stays there a long time. That also depends upon what type of wood it is. We have many times had white ash lay in water but still be good. However, we make every attempt to be 3 years ahead on the wood pile.

    You are trying to do it the old way and that has never worked good. I can well recall even 60 years ago when most folks did just as you are trying to do. They got poor results then and would get even poorer results today with the newer epa stoves. Fortunately I grew up burning good dry wood but watched neighbors trying to do as you are doing. It was not always pretty for sure and we saw many fires and I'm not talking about fires in the stoves either.

    Yes, a cold dry winter with good airflow will help to dry the wood. Top cover it and it gets even better.

    Good luck.
    Fred Wright likes this.
  21. Fred Wright

    Fred Wright Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    Delaware
    I don't think you need to worry about that oak rotting anytime soon. I have some red oak left over that's been stacked in the weather for over two years. She's cured just right. :)

    There are a couple schools of thought on covering... One: Cover the tops as soon as it's stacked to deter rot. The other: Doesn't need to be covered until a few months before you intend to use it.

    We prefer to cover (tops only) about a year after stacking. The climate is very humid here and some woods will grow toadstools on the ends after a few months setting uncovered.
  22. MJFlores

    MJFlores Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    64
    Loc:
    NH
    I'd honestly love to be ahead of the game, but it's all I can do to get enough wood for the coming season. I'd love to be a year ahead but I just cant without actually buying a season's worth which I don't want to do. I'm a land owner, so I cut my own trees, split it, and stack it etc. I'm at it all summer long with little time for anything else. Even thought my wood isn't old, it is dry and nicely usable. I actually get great heat, and no hissing from the wood when it gets put in the stove and I'm on my 12th year without the need for a chimney cleaning which is amazing to me. My stove is soapstone, and I'm running it up toward the top of the temperature range so we're good with moisture content. I'm not arguing that letting wood sit for a year or more is ideal, but stacked right in the sun, and then put up in a woodshed with plenty of airflow and your wood can be ready the same season it was cut. That's just my experience anyways.
  23. n2brk

    n2brk New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    I spotted a craigslist ad from a guy with some old galvanized corrugated roof sheets. He's trying to sell a huge lot, but if I can get him to sell me a few, then I'll do that soon :)
  24. Hills Hoard

    Hills Hoard Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    Messages:
    562
    Loc:
    Melbourne, Australia
    i split a pile of wood and left it in a pile in my driveway (bitumen driveway) for a few weeks....plenty of rain in that period.....i finally stacked in on pallets yesterday and was really surprised at how much the wood had dried out....there were only a few bits at the bottom of the pile that were still wet to touch.. I rekon as long as you have split the wood you are half way there....putting it on pallets off the ground and out in the open and you are laughing...
  25. n2brk

    n2brk New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    this afternoon I was back at the stacks and I was surprised to see how dry the top pieces are already; to the point of cracking. This is the same stuff that was under 8" of snow for a week!

Share This Page