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brown wooden logs on gray sand

Seasoned Firewood

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 1/21/2021

At its core, firewood seems like a fairly basic fuel source. But, knowing how to properly cut it, split it, stack it, and season firewood is not as simple as it seems. Even the terminology can get a bit tricky. Like, what is seasoned firewood?

Definition

The term seasoned firewood typically refers to aged pieces of cut firewood with little to no moisture remaining. The opposite of “green” or wet firewood, seasoned firewood has been left, typically stacked outdoors in a firewood shed, on a firewood rack, or in some other form of firewood storage, for extended periods of time to dry thoroughly. Seasoned firewood burns more efficiently and produces less smoke and off-gases than green firewood. In connection, season firewood also reduces the chances for creosote build-up, making it a better fuel source for wood stoves and masonry fireplaces.

What Is The Fastest Way To Season Firewood?

The time it takes to properly season firewood can vary depending on a few things, such as environmental conditions and the types of wood. Some variables may be out of your control, but there are things you can do to help speed up the process:

  • Start by cutting and splitting your pieces to appropriate sizes. Firewood cut between 12 and 16 inches in length and about 3 to 6 inches in width works best for most wood stoves and fireplaces. It also makes for quick drying times when seasoning wood.
  • Next, stack your wood correctly. How to stack firewood is often a personal choice, but it’s important that air can move through the woodpile to remove moisture. Proper firewood storage, such as a firewood rack or firewood shed, will help with drying times.
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