Simplest way to stack excess firewood in the woods

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Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
316
PA, USA
Hey guys, might be a silly question but going to give it a shot. I had two oaks taken down recently that I am going to buck and split in the coming weeks. For a plethora of reasons that dont matter here, I dont have nearly enough storage racks for my wood.

For the sake of time, money, and effort, I would like to stack some of the excess wood (maybe half a cord?) in the woods. I know it won't be ideal for seasoning, but my current alternative is to just give it away, so I rather keep it and try it out.

I know it's preferable to stack on something to get it above the ground, like a pallet or rack. Could I just stack directly on the soil, and treat the bottom layer of firewood as a "sacrificial layer"? Or would this just end up wicking the moisture upward? And if that's so, why doesnt a pallet do that then?

Just curious. I am stacking this out in the woods on our property and want the wife happy. She is okay with a "natural" looking stack/pile of wood but doesnt want anymore racks, sheds, tarps, pallets etc scattered around. She already let's me get away with a lot so I'm not pushing it ha!!

Thanks everyone
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
868
NW Ontario
If you need to leave some in the woods for next time, then i say do it. I would suggest you lay a few sapling poles down in between a few standing trees and put your rounds on top of those. Quick, easy, free, and just a little bump up off the forest floor. The two standing trees will act as end braces on your piles. This is what I'd do.
 

Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
316
PA, USA
That's a good idea. I may try to find that if I get lucky enough to find some trees like that! thank you
 

jaoneill

Feeling the Heat
Ditto MissMac's suggestion. This was my solution to a time shortage for hauling wood back to the woodshed for years; stack splits on poles in the woods with the bark side up to help shed water. Since I worked solo, I would cut, split and stack, then a couple of weekends in late spring or early summer hire a few "helpers" to haul. Woods stacks generally were there for 14-16 months before being hauled to the woodshed and while not as well seasoned as they might have been if in the open and top covered, they actually did quite well.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,102
07462
2x4's and (2) cement blocks @Caw has recent pics of that method
 
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Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,012
Massachusetts
Mine are double wides that are 16' wide at the base and 18' wide at the top of the 2x4s. The 2x4s are 6' long PT and the base boards are landscape timbers as they are a little cheaper/sturdier. If you fill it 6' high with 16" logs it holds almost exactly 1 cord...17' x 6' x 1.25' = 127.5 cf ft.

You can also go 3 cinder blocks and a single wide for about half a cord each. One thing to consider is that the double wide method is not the most stable thing ever created if you have kids or think you may bump it accidentally with a tractor etc. That's why I go two deep as in the picture. There's a 6" air gap between them and halfway up the stacks I run longer branches in with the logs to connect the stacks for stability...it makes a big difference. Then each "unit" holds 2 cords total so it's very easy to see how much wood you have!

20210124_145311.jpg
 

ChadMc

Member
Dec 12, 2019
162
Bucks County PA
I have a lot in our woods for the same reason. The problem with laying them right in the ground is they’ll sink in the mud then in winter they’ll freeze and rise and cause your stack to tip. Just get some pressure treated 2x4s and lay them as runners. Cause their longer and have a bigger surface area when laying they won’t sink as easy. As far as seasoning they’ll be fine. Just try to place in an area where there’s and opening in the canopy to let sun hit it. And maybe on higher ground for the wind.
 

CincyBurner

Minister of Fire
Mar 10, 2015
604
SW Ohio
Half a cord isn't too much to deal with (yesterday I just got an unanticipated log load of about 2 cord dumped in my front yard).
As others suggested raise it up off of the ground especially if logs will be there much past winter months. Like kennyp I use a of couple metal poles to store logs upon when I'm not ready to split and stack.
Storing between trees should work fine, although have heard issues of stacking between trees causing stacks to become unstable and fall due to tree trunk movement from swaying in wind, but many posters stack between trees without too much problem.
Halve or quarter logs if it makes it easier to move & stack.
Keep it from prolonged periods of wetness (airflow, no leaves around or in stacked logs), and get it split and stacked within the year and you'll be OK.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,259
Downeast Maine
I have stacked between trees frequently since we barely have any ground cleared for our cars, much less a shed. We have a lot of wind and sometimes the trees really get moving and dump my stacks onto the ground. I'm hoping to build a good sized wood shed this winter so I don't have to deal with it this year too.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,728
Wisconsin Dells, WI
It's where I stack all my wood. I have started to stack on double pallets though, as this seems to have really helped stabilize the rows and keep them from leaning over time.


Storing between trees should work fine, although have heard issues of stacking between trees causing stacks to become unstable and fall due to tree trunk movement from swaying in wind

This is my experience as well. My stacks toppled over in a few years when I had them up against trees.
 
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GreenMountainBoy

New Member
Aug 17, 2020
16
Western MA
Mine are double wides that are 16' wide at the base and 18' wide at the top of the 2x4s. The 2x4s are 6' long PT and the base boards are landscape timbers as they are a little cheaper/sturdier. If you fill it 6' high with 16" logs it holds almost exactly 1 cord...17' x 6' x 1.25' = 127.5 cf ft.

You can also go 3 cinder blocks and a single wide for about half a cord each. One thing to consider is that the double wide method is not the most stable thing ever created if you have kids or think you may bump it accidentally with a tractor etc. That's why I go two deep as in the picture. There's a 6" air gap between them and halfway up the stacks I run longer branches in with the logs to connect the stacks for stability...it makes a big difference. Then each "unit" holds 2 cords total so it's very easy to see how much wood you have!

View attachment 275454

Must be a Massachusetts thing, as this is what I do as well, from the cinder blocks to tying the two stacks together intermittently. Works very well.
 

Isaac Carlson

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2012
567
NW Wisconsin
I thought this thread was about stacking in the woods? Who in their right mind carries 2x4's and cinder blocks into the woods? Wood poles do well enough to keep the bottom row out of the dirt. They are all over the woods and can be left when you retrieve the wood. I don't know how many rows I have stacked on poles in my life. It's easier to carry a tarp and the saw than a bunch of concrete and boards.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,102
07462
Who in their right mind carries 2x4's and cinder blocks into the woods?
The same guy who loads there tractor up with the saws, axe, splitter, fuel and cooler with beer for the end of the day. >>
 
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CatfishHunter

Member
Dec 8, 2020
52
Minnesota
When I take down a tree in the woods and it's not too close to my woodshed, I find some flat rocks (or many small rocks) to use as a base. I put them between two bigger trees nearby the won't move much with the wind. I usually only do this for a few weeks anyway, just until the moisture content comes down enough they weigh a lot less.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,349
Lackawaxen PA
Yes pallets rot rather quickly, especially on woods wet soil. But it's the rails first before the slats. I used to use the for my normal stacks. They were never reusable after 3 -4 years.

The issue with woods is it gets no sun, stays cool and damp. And then there's the leaves. If uncovered they pack in hold moisture. Just how long you can leave it there depends. So top cover, get air flow under it and keep it off the ground.
 
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