Question: I've been fortunate to hook up with a couple of tree services that are happy to dump some trees in my driveway for a nominal delivery charge. I suppose I'm one of the few in my area that are willing to cut, split, stack, and season firewood myself. Anyhow, I've been slow-but-surely cutting and splitting the wood, so that I have plenty for next season when I'll get my new stove. Will the wood I'm stacking now be ready to burn by next winter? There's quite a bit of white oak, and I've heard that it takes a long time for it to dry thoroughly. Is it worthwhile to build a shed to keep rain and snow off the wood? When I was a kid, my dad and I left wood uncovered for a couple of years, and it was fine to burn. Or should I figure on using this wood the year after next, and buy seasoned firewood for next year? Answer: Plenty of time for the oak to season for next year's burn. It is worth the effort to build a wood shed (many simple, cheap designs online or in the library) for storage, ease of loading the stove, and keeping the wood in a compact, weather-proof shelter. For years we split and left a conical pile to season until early fall. Then stacked in a wood shed for the winter. Tarps are messy getting snow off into your neck (always !), blow around, and trap moisture in your wood supply. Best solution: build a woodshed onto your home near the stove. Concrete or PT slab with a full or partial door for access into the house yet open on one side for stacking. No "code" or architect needed. Good luck.