Unsplit wood

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Feb 14, 2006
Newtown, CT
I have enough wood to last through next winter and I have come across probably another 5-8 cords of unsplit FREE oak. My question is, how long can I safely leave this wood unsplit in direct contact with the ground before it begins to rot? I don't want to go to the trouble of gathering all this wood just to have it rot away in a short period of time. I plan to split it next fall or early winter. Thanks...


Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
NW Wisconsin
That's the best kind of firewood "FREE". Oak is pretty tough, and if the bark is on I would think it would be ok til next fall as long as it is in a dry open place, not swampy wet.

Mo Heat

Mod Emeritus
Nov 18, 2005
St. Louis, Missouri
If you've already split next year's wood, why not keep chipping away at the year after wood?

I've thrown down a couple semi-straight branches and stacked oak rounds on them just to keep them off the ground. It only takes a few minutes to stack a goodly amount of rounds this way, two or three (maybe four) high. At least it keeps them from soaking up a bunch of new water, or perhaps continuously soaking up water, from the ground. Then I split them months later.


New Member
Mar 2, 2006
Oak can lay in the round for a good long while ,meaning a few years , before it would rot totally. It may get 'punkey ' in the first half inch or so after a while but its not like softwoods, birch popple, or pine. Red oak splits fairly well but if its white oak it has a twist to the grain and can a challenge or impossibe on larger rounds.
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