Wet exposed winter storage: Split now or leave in rounds?

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mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
471
California redwood coast
I had a tree go down this fall and I'm out of space for dry storage (if you can call tarps dry). I'm cutting it into rounds and placing it off the ground on pallets. With several months of rainy winter ahead, if it's going to be exposed to rain and no available direct sun, should I split it now or leave it in rounds until spring?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,968
Long Island NY
I don't think it is bad to leave it in rounds if you split it in spring. Better would be to debark it. Better would be to split it now.
But a few winter months as is off the ground are not going to kill it. All this depends a bit on what type of wood it is, of course.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,880
Central Mass
You can leave it in rounds but I'd still top cover, I've had rounds go bad exposed for too long.
 

qwee

Burning Hunk
Jan 17, 2013
147
Idaho
Redwoods, California. Those Redwoods get so big for a reason - lots of rain. So, pine/fir? And moisture, I would probably throw something over it.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,081
Woolwich nj
Me personally.. sometimes things take a little longer or we just dont get to it right away. Id quarter it up and stack on pallets with a top cover. that gives you some extra time if you dont get to it right away and you dont have to worry about it going punky right away
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
471
California redwood coast
Liquid Amber - I know many of you snear at it, but free hardwood is hard to come by for me.

I'll make some effort to cover it . I use Costco tarps which have a brown side which isn't quite so ugly. More around my junk/wood pile section of my property than I care for. Hopefully this will be the summer for my first shed build- been saying that for many years.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,304
07462
I would split it, stack it and top cover it, I make my stacks 3 rows thick on pallets, center row about a foot higher then the side rows so when I top cover the water / snow has drainage.
I live in the NE, we go through some very wet periods (like all of last summer here) wood is still dry.
 

bigealta

Feeling the Heat
May 22, 2010
349
Utah, NJ
The faster You split it the faster it dries. Rounds don’t really season much at all. My uncovered split stacks dry here in the East coast with very humid weather less than a mile from the ocean and even closer to 2 large rivers.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,508
Unity/Bangor, Maine
If you have the time and energy . . . I am a big believer in splitting as soon as possible.

I would top cover it if you plan to use the wood this year . . . if not, I wouldn't worry too much about top covering. I don't bother top covering my outside stacks which are exposed to the rain and snow for a year or two before I restack them in the woodshed where they sit for another year or two before being burned.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,968
Long Island NY
I agree with all, split, covered is how it dries. However, the OP said he doesn't have space until spring. Given that winter drying is poor at best, storing unsplit, uncovered but off the ground won't hurt much. Of course anything better will be - well, better. But that was not the question.
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
471
California redwood coast
If you have the time and energy . . . I am a big believer in splitting as soon as possible.

I would top cover it if you plan to use the wood this year . . . if not, I wouldn't worry too much about top covering. I don't bother top covering my outside stacks which are exposed to the rain and snow for a year or two before I restack them in the woodshed where they sit for another year or two before being burned.
I won't burn wood that hasn't seasoned for at least a year and I'm a big believer in off the ground, split and cover, BUT with personal time constraints right now and not being in a rush to season the wood ... I got to thinking if I could possibly cut some corners and wait in until spring. I'm assuming that trees that fall during winter storms are usually not harvested until spring or summer and they are often in contact with the ground. I primarily just want to avoid the start of rot.
 
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mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
471
California redwood coast
I agree with all, split, covered is how it dries. However, the OP said he doesn't have space until spring. Given that winter drying is poor at best, storing unsplit, uncovered but off the ground won't hurt much. Of course anything better will be - well, better. But that was not the question.
Thanks Stoveliker. Yes, it boils down to, "If it's going to be uncovered and off the ground in wet damp conditions for a few months, is it better to be split or left unsplit?"

Once I get time, I will definitely split and cover.