Differences between top covered and uncovered pine

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,079
Southeast CT
can you all tell me your experiences with drying time differences with pine that's top covered and pine that is not? Thanks in advance
 

HisTreeNut

Minister of Fire
Nov 3, 2014
1,008
Burnsville, NC
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.
 
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Seanm

Minister of Fire
Oct 16, 2012
915
SE BC Canadian Rockies
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.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,079
Southeast CT
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.
 

Montanalocal

Feeling the Heat
Dec 22, 2014
327
Helena MT
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.
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billb3

Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2007
4,575
SE Mass
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.
 
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Montanalocal

Feeling the Heat
Dec 22, 2014
327
Helena MT
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.
 

CentralVAWoodHeat

Minister of Fire
Nov 7, 2015
632
Virginia
Pine is about the only wood I will throw under cover to dry. If I lived in a dry place like where you are, I would leave it out in the open.
 

Sprinter

Minister of Fire
Jul 1, 2012
2,986
SW Washington
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).
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,063
Fairbanks, Alaska
Ill go +5 on local weather. My spruce would probably dry even faster if i left it uncovered in may and june, and then top covered in july when the rain starts.

Instead i top cover as soon as it is stacked so i dont forget, and it is ready to burn after one summer.
 
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