Storing firewood naked

I store my firewood naked. Uncovered, that is. Contrary to popular belief, covering firewood with a tarp or storing it in a shed keeps it damp, not dry. Split firewood acts like a sponge; it soaks up the rain and draws in humidty from the air. It will draw in this dampness no matter how carefully covered. Covering the wood impedes the evaporation process and yields damp and moldy wood.

I learned this fact during my college winters when I helped harvest, split, store and deliver about 2500 face cord of firewood to homes in and around Rochester NY. It was difficult to convince customers they didn’t need to cover their wood. It’s still a difficult concept to get across to people.

For stone dry wood that will bounce like a baseball bat on your garage floor, and burn clean and hot, store it right outside in the rain and snow, out from under trees and eaves, preferably where the sun will hit it for a good part of the day.

In my college days, we dumped our newly cut, green firewood by the truckload in an open field where the snow and rain washed it and the sun baked it. It remained showroom clean and dry for a year. After a year bugs start to find their way under the bark so it’s good to use it up every year.

Cutting or scavenging already-cut wood right now, in July, will yield firewood ready to burn by late October/early November.

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5 Comments on “Storing firewood naked”

  1. Frank Paolo Says:

    Um, pardon me. When I read the title and saw the masthead picture, I thought I had stumbled into an adult pornographic site. Since I’ve never been to one, I was actually pretty excited. But,
    uh…thanks for the info on firewood. Maybe someday I’ll get a fireplace. OH WAIT! I get it! Firewood as in BURNING WOOD – kind of a theme thing, right? Niiiiice.

  2. Mary Rose Stevenson Says:

    I can picture a nice roaring fire, a pitcher of homemade sangria’s, a soft down comforter and the dry wood next to the fireplace, patiently waiting for its turn in the pit. I have such a great imagination – oh wait, it’s 80 freaking degrees out!! Not quite so much the imagination now, eh? 🙂

  3. klw Says:

    The author has obviously never lived in western Oregon/Washington. I you leave your firewood uncovered during the winter here, you will not be burning it. No mater how seasoned it is. It will be as soaked as if you stored under water.

    • patrickW Says:

      How do you store your firewood for and during the winter. I just moved to the northern snow contry and have lots of different types of corded firewood and want it all to be dry and burnable even during the rain and snow storms. Any advice you can give is appriciated.

  4. Barbara Says:

    Git ur truck and a chain saw,(unless you prefer to play hand sawyer) ..There’s a pile of last year’s lawn culled trees out in the wayback
    next to the labyrinth.


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