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Stack Bark up or down

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by pinewoodburner, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. pinewoodburner

    pinewoodburner Feeling the Heat

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    I saw somewhere that someone said you should stack wood with the bark up, or on top verse stacking with the bark side sown. I have never really given it much thought. So I was wondering, does it make a difference?

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  2. seeyal8r

    seeyal8r Feeling the Heat

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    I always stack bark on top just because I figure water runs off the bark and it helps keep the wood dry. Plus stacking that way always seems to stack better. Just what I do don't know if there is any validity.
  3. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    I stack for the best fit depending on the splits...I don't purposely try to stack bark side up but I think the majority of my splits are just that. Makes sense to shed rain.
  4. black locust

    black locust New Member

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    I normally have always stacked with the bark side up. But I am rethinking on that, at least with red oak. I had some stacks about 3 or 4 years old uncovered with red oak and barkside up. The bark must eventually act like a sponge and the bark and sapwood was rotten and there was definitely much btu loss. I am going to cover the top after one year(especially soft maple and redoak) now but putting the top layers with bark side "down" would have helped that situation, I think.
  5. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    I spread a 24" wide strip of tarp across my stacks weighted with bricks so I don't care how the bark is oriented. In fact, I try to knock the bark off and put it in a box to use dry out and use as tinder.
  6. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Eventually the bark may separate from the wood. If the bark side is down the bark becomes a bowl, so I stack bark side up. Ideally I remove the bark because as someone said it holds moisture and can cause rot of the sapwood. Not all bark comes off easily so a lot of it gets stacked even though I don't really want it there.
  7. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    When I stack it's the way the split fits in the stack, so I end up with both.


    zap
  8. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Interesting that you should post that because I just read some where if the wood is green you stack bark side down and if dry you stack bark side up, I stack it how ever it works.
  9. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I pretty much stack it every which way . . . but the top layer or two of my stack usually has the bark up . . . I guess I just keep thinking of it acting like a roof even though I know it will not work that way.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    +1, bark side up for all but the bottom row if stacked on the ground. If stacked on pallets even the bottom row is bark side up.
  11. pinewoodburner

    pinewoodburner Feeling the Heat

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    I normal place the bottom row with the bark down and the top row with the bark up and everything else as it fits. Seems like the best way is to stack without the bark but that just to much work.
  12. Ironwood

    Ironwood New Member

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    I've always tried to keep the bark up. I figured it was the outside of the tree so maybe would hold rain if down.
  13. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Bark up when out in rows seasoning for a year
    Bark down when it goes in the wood shed.
    Don' know if it helps, but I think it does, :)
  14. krex1010

    krex1010 Minister of Fire

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    However they fall, they fall
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Oak is very typical to get a bit of punk around the outside. Wood is not a sponge but when it turns punky it is a sponge! Yet putting the bark side down seems that it would allow water to seep into that bark even more. It will be interesting to see what a difference you find.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Most of our wood gets stacked bark side up. For some reason it just seems to stack better that way. Then there is the theory that as water runs down into the pile (if it can) that the water can eventually get between the bark and the wood. If so, there is no way for that moisture to get out of there and you may get some punky wet wood then.
  17. John the Painter

    John the Painter Member

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    +1
  18. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Member

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    Ditto
  19. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    How ever it comes along for the stack until the top layers. I usually will set aside half-rounds to top the stack with, bark up for purposes of rain.
  20. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Thats funny, my neighbor just came over today and saw my stacks with all the bark UP.
    He has been burning for 30 years and his comment was that he stacks with the bark DOWN except for the top 2 rows.
    He feels that the moisture in the wood wants to evaporate UP and that having the bark on the top would impede that natural process.
    Not that they won't dry out but that they may dry quicker.

    I was out of nothing but instinct stacking bark up for the reason that it would shed water better.
  21. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I suspect the truth of the matter is that it probably doesn't really matter a whole lot if you stack bark up or down . . . rather that you stack your wood up off the ground and give it decent access to sun and the wind . . . and give it time to season.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I've wondered about that too Mike but have not found an answer. For what it is worth, we commonly stack 4 1/2' high and the first summer and fall the wood will shrink down to around 4'. That is losing lots of moisture....and that is mostly bark up. Methinks it is because of wind more than evaporation that wood dries best and fastest.
  23. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    My wood lands how it lands. Most of what I split comes from big rounds lately so most of the splits have no bark on any side. I am not that concerned about rain water when the wood is stacked for 3 years. The wood will dry when the rain stops.

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