Logs branches under 6" diameter-to split or not to split?

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Minister of Fire
Oct 3, 2007
Scrounger that I am I can never resist picking up good sized branches, but after hand splitting everything I could yesterday and leaving the twisty, knotted stuff for a rental day, I realized that I have a pretty substantial pile of stuff under 6". Do I really need to split it or will it just dry on its own? Even if I could get the darn things to stand on end I'll be damned if could hit them ;)


New Member
Dec 26, 2007
I some times will split them in 1/2 depending on what i am feeling like. It will help the drying but with it being only 6" don't think it matters either way.


Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2008
Badfish the splitting decision making process rest solely on how much time you have to season the wood cause split wood seasons way faster.

I split most of our 6's in quarters...sure a 6" round will better hold a fire overnight or when you're away for the house but in my experience the splits will give you more heat when you're in the house. Also it's easier for us to maintain a hotter stove top temp with splits and lock down coaling problems.

Now how much under 6" would you bother splitting? I'd split 4" to facilitate drying if I wanted to burn it sooner rather than later. Otherwise once you get a few years ahead, No, why bother splitting as they will have plenty of time to dry/season.

Same goes with that twisty stuff if you can let it season for a good year or more it'll make a good overnight banker for ya. When you hand split you must make some accommodations, sometimes it can be more difficult to split the smaller stuff so you may as well make it easier on yourself and don't bother. Your more apt to cut the bigger pieces square and not so with the smaller limb wood which can make it more dangerous to split.

...just my 2cents.


Minister of Fire
Nov 9, 2008
NW Ontario
Some woods like birch may simply rot in the round if the bark is intact.

My log splitter has a 6 inch wedge and I use it to gauge whether to split in two or more pieces. Anything under 6 inches gets split in half. Even 2 inch I will split. Split wood dries faster, lays up better, and doesn't roll in the firebox.

Most of my firewood is delivered to me 8 foot long in the round without any branches. The wood that I cull off my own property is mostly lower grade stuff and I either chop the smaller branches up to lay and rot, or drag them to my brush burn pile.


New Member
If it is green or I need to season it in a hurry, I split it, which is most cases. If I stumble on some that is seasoned, I won't split unless there is a large quantity and then I will only split a portion. I like mixing those size rounds in with my splits. Like someone mentioned, birch is typically an exception.


Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
I'll usually split a 6", but smaller it just goes into the stack unsplit.


New Member
Sep 30, 2008
Central Pa
I will split a six inch in 1/2 but anything smaller I will not split, for use at home . A split piece burns easier but a couple of 5" rounds holds a fire longer. At my camp I won't split anything small than 8" since I have a large fireplace.


Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2007
SE Mass
6" rounds should stand up if they were cut relatively square.

I've cut a step and a v-notch pocket in a chopping block for the leaners.

3 strikes, if you can't split the 6" one go onto the next one. :)


Minister of Fire
Oct 28, 2008
Northern Kentucky
I half the 4 to six inch stuff. If it's three inches I try to sort of shave the bark off of one side to expose the wood.

It all burns.
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