I top cover all my wood with a tarp of some kind so I cannot answer that. The pine I have already split is drying out fairly fast. Checked a few pieces the other week and the mc was in the low 20's. The wood was cut down in November and c/s/s in the middle of March. In March the mc was about 27%. I have heard that pine absorbs moisture as fast as it loses it, and a good rainstorm or two can seriously affect the drying time.
Thats likely a regional question. If its green and you want it for November and get frequent thunderstorms and periods of low pressure and rain during the summer I would top cover it. If you are in an area that gets very little rain I would say leave it uncovered so it can bake. I would suggest a mix of sizes for your splits. Also dont pack them tight in your stacks, allow space between them so air can pass through. Lastly dont think that because its pine that you can leave it in the round all summer because you really will want to get on it so that you are good to go when winter hits. Bottom line is split it now, stack it loose, top cover it and you will be good to go in the fall.
All duly noted. I used some pine that had been less that great and want to correct that. From your replies, it looks like I ready for fall...split small , top covered, I do have a fair amount in double stacks, but put that in the best position in my yard to gain the best sir and sun. Seems like it will dork out Thanks guys.
I cut exclusively Ponderosa pine here in Montana. I have many years worth cut, and it is all out in the open. I have never seen pine pick up moisture from rain. A few days of sun after a rain storm seems to dry out all the surface moisture, even the very punky stuff. Of course, we have a very dry climate here, and all the pine I cut has been dead for many years.
I dry my pine for a year usually with no top cover, but then it gets a top cover of some sort because it starts to weather and get soft like a cheap trim board on the side of your house would if it wasn't painted.
Thanks Seanm. It is a different world out West here. The one thing pine will do, like most, is pick up moisture if it is lying on the ground. If the branches break off and let it down onto contact with the ground when it rots off, it will be as heavy with moisture as a green tree.
I agree with Seanm above. So much depends on your climate, that it's hard to answer the question satisfactorily. My experience is that pine or other softer woods will absorb some rain water, but will dry fairly quickly. But I can only answer for here.
IMO, the safest thing is to top cover. But I must say that every time I see a question like this, the answers invariably depend on the specific location (climate).