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Tips for How to Season and Store Firewood Properly

It is important to know that freshly chopped firewood is especially moist, sometimes having a water content as high as 50%. This moist wood, known as “green” firewood, will not burn properly and can even lead to a creosote buildup that can lead to devastating chimney fires. To burn safely, firewood must be seasoned. This is process takes some time but is not difficult, and the basic steps to season your wood are listed here.

Chopping your firewood: The standard length of firewood is between 16-18 inches which is the perfect size for most wood stoves and fireplaces. The diameter should be between 6-8 inches to facilitate a good fire.

Storing your firewood: Green firewood has to season for a few months before you can use it. You want it to dry out, so don’t stack it on the ground in a random fashion  You don’t want to stack it on the ground, as it will constantly soak up the ground’s natural moisture and will stay perpetually wet.  A good firewood storage rack will raise the firewood off the ground enough so that ground moisture is not an issue.  It will also enable you to cross stack the firewood for proper ventilation.  A good firewood rack cover will protect your firewood from rain and moisture, and this is clearly an important step in keeping your firewood dry.

The time it takes to properly season your firewood in a firewood holder varies according to the type of wood. Soft woods, such as pine take around 6 months to season while hard woods such as oak take up to a year to dry out. The time of the year in which the wood was originally felled also has an effect on the seasoning. Wood cut in winter will always have a lower moisture content than that felled in summer so winter wood may be ready a few months earlier than wood felled in the summer.