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)

Thoughts on seasoning

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by vasten, Mar 4, 2009.

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

    vasten Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    91
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    I am a second year wood burner and am already planning ahead for my third year. I am ordering another log load for the coming winter and am looking for ideas on how to best store and season the wood. I know that I should have it split for a good two years, and am slowly building up to that. In the mean time what suggestions do we have for storing and seasoning the wood as I split it.

    There seems to be as many beliefs on this as species of trees themselves so what ideas do we have out here.

    I saw one style that suggested mounding your wood like an old hay mound as it drew the water out with gravity and the wind and the sun baked out the rest and the wood would be ready in 6 mos. And you have a stick in the center with markers on it to monitor your progress. In theory this seems likely but not probable.

    Another suggestion is to stack the wood in an alternating pattern as you would in the ends of your wood rows for best surface area expsouser to wind and sun. This one seems the most logical but alot of work.

    Then you have the classic wood shed, lean too style open sides with bracing or chicken wire to hold it all in.
    this seems fine if you have a long time for that wood to dry, as the edges would dry faster then the core.

    I live in central new york so short summe and long fall and winters. But I do have an open field that catches alot of sun all day long close to 10-12 hours a day.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,800
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    There's no secrets, no tricks. Wood needs time and ventilation to dry.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,348
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    If you're planning three years ahead, it won't matter how you do it since three years is lots of time for it to dry. I would do whatever is the least work and the most aesthetic.
  4. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    583
    Loc:
    Southern Calif.
    Cumin and caynne for savory dishes, cinnamon and nutmeg for baking!

    (ducking and running)
    Peace,
    - Sequoia
  5. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,205
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    I seasoned all oak in about 8-9 mos. and it burns great.. I do have very good sun and wind exposure so that may be the deciding factor plus the majority of the wood has no bark which makes a difference too...

    Ray
  6. CrappieKeith

    CrappieKeith New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    265
    Loc:
    Northern Mn.
    I like this answer.
    Putting up wood is putting up wood.Do it early enough and you get what you should in btu's.
  7. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,601
    Loc:
    Adams County, PA
    I split mine and stack it up on pallets, in rows, 6 or 8 inches between rows. I cover the top, but am beginning to believe that even that is NOT necessary. I think you can split, stack, and forget about it until fall of the year you want to burn, then cover to keep dry from rain.
  8. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    435
    Loc:
    Central/Eastern CT
    I would order enough logs for the next 2 or three years. Split them all this spring, suffer next winter with less seasoned wood and then you'll be in great shape for the following 2 years. I'm new to this also, but I noticed a huge difference with wood seasoned for several years vs. wood cut, split and stacked 1 year ago. Mostly oak, hickory and birch.
  9. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2,449
    Loc:
    Yukon Canada
    Only two months for green pine I hear. Sounds pretty tricky to me.
  10. vasten

    vasten Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    91
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Well I just ordered my wood for the coming season. I am getting a full log truck and a pup trailer. I figure that will give me about two seasons worth, plus or minus.

    by the sounds of it I will keep doing what I am doing, stack it in the sun and let it bake all summer, and cover and move it in the fall.

    I do plan to move it to a wood shed this coming season though. So next year when I order the truck and trailer again I will be two to three years out, and shoudl be more than good.
  11. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,800
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Counting to two?
  12. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2,449
    Loc:
    Yukon Canada
    Ooooh I get it now Redd, you are trying to say 2" by 2" splits. AAhhhhhh now that, I can beleivable.
    :coolhmm:
  13. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,700
    Loc:
    CNY
    vasten If you can keep doing that ^ you'll never have any complaints on how your wood burns...excellent game plan. imo here in our area the best burning wood has seasoned a couple years.

    You have a good plan there...from experience I can tell you the farther you get a head the plan gets easier to execute. Processing almost becomes fun.
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I agree vasten. I also agree that the biggest factor in seasoning wood is time and air.

    At the risk of sounding like an echo, here it is again:

    We do all of our cutting during the winter months when there is not so much sap in the wood. The wood could very well be split then but we wait until spring. When it starts getting muddy and sap starts flowing, that is the time we spend with splitting and stacking. We try to get this done by sometime in early April if possible.

    That first summer is critical, especially if you intend to burn some of that wood the following winter. Stack it in single rows but do not try to stack it tight. Stack it a little loosely so the air can move through the pile. Also stack it so the prevailing wind will hit the sides of the piles. Stack it in the sun if possible but if a choice between sun and wind, choose wind.

    Leave the pile uncovered that first summer which will allow for better evaporation of moisture. Don't worry a bit about rain as that dries fast. Cover the top only in late fall or early winter, or move it into your wood shed.

    Follow that and you will have the dries possible wood to burn next winter. To do better, don't burn it until it has been in the stack for 2 summers. Even better is 3 or 4 or 5 summers! Ya, I'm getting carried away now, but we have over 7 years on hand now. I love it. It is worth more than a couple of CD's I have in the bank. Makes me smile every time I look at it.
  15. vasten

    vasten Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    91
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    alright so looks like I am on track and by next year when I order two years supply again, I should be a good 2-3 yrs out.

    I am wondering though you mentioned having wood, several years old. I read that wood starts to decompose even if properly dried and stored after 3-4 yrs and the BTU's consequently fall as well.

    I do plan to build a decent shed to store them in and ideally two, one for the current winter and one for the following. Any suggestions then on the design?
  16. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,148
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    I have a theory that more is occurring to make BTU's available during seasoning than just water evaporation. I know many carbohydrates break down into simpler forms, and more than just water evaporates. I'm fairly sure wood kiln dried to 20% MC won't perform as well as old, grey wood that is also at 20% MC.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Well vasten, perhaps wood does start to decompose, and it does. However, if it is kept dry, it slows the decomposing down to a crawl. For the length of time you have firewood, there is no worry....as long as you keep it dry. You do that by covering the top of the pile. No worry about the sides. Then if, as you plan, you move it into a shed, I would not hesitate in keeping it 20 years or longer. I'd bet the loss of btu's would not be noticeable unless you could measure it. Even then, it would be so slight as to not be worth mentioning. As stated, we burn old wood and have no problem. In fact, with our new stove we've cut our firewood needs almost in half. This stove really likes the dry wood!

    As for the design, if I were to build one just for wood storage, picture one of the old corn cribs with slats so that the corn has air getting to it but a solid roof and floor. That is the style I'd build. Another idea is simply a lean-to onto your garage or another out building. I've also toyed with the idea of one of those cheap garage structures they sell that can be either open or closed. Naturally, I'd have only the roof.
  18. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,800
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Whatever sparks your tinder
  19. iskiatomic

    iskiatomic Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    725
    Loc:
    Central CT
    I seasoned all oak in about 8-9 mos. and it burns great.. I do have very good sun and wind exposure so that may be the deciding factor plus the majority of the wood has no bark which makes a difference too...

    Ray[/quote]


    Raybonz, where do you find these trees that grow with out bark?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page