Much to my (pleasant) surprise, my ability to collect wood has far outpaced my ability to split it by hand. I've got a pile of rounds in my yard that keeps growing and growing and though I go out when I can to swing the maul, I'm planning on renting a splitter for a weekend sometime during the spring to knock it all out. The question is how long should I wait? I have 3 cords split and stacked that was processed over the course of December, January, and February. It's all checking nicely as most of it was deadfall that had been down for a while before it was bucked and split. That will definitely be ready for the 2009 heating season, but it won't be enough to get me through. I figure I'll need at least two more full cords. Right now I have a pile of maple, oak, ash, and poplar bucked into rounds. The maple and ash are freshly cut, the oak and poplar are deadfall that has been down for at least a year. If I wait until the end of May to rent a splitter will any of it be ready to burn by January? I also have a steady supply of pallets which will help to get me through if not. I'd just rather avoid having to buy wood next year if at all possible.