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The Stewart Timber Guide to Storing Firewood

Aug 2017

When it comes to storing firewood, there are plenty of things you can do to get the most from your precious winter fuel. Yes, it’s August, but those planning on spending the winter in front of a beautifully crackling fire need to start planning firewood storage now.

Whether you’re a long-time wood burner looking for a recap, or a new, proud owner of a stove or fireplace and wondering where to start: we have some tips for you. Read on for a guide of everything you’ll need to consider when storing firewood for the winter.


Storing Firewood: Choosing a Spot


storing firewood: stacking


If you already have a wood store or woodpile, then you can skip this little bit unless you’re thinking of upheaving it all!

First thing’s first – location location location.

When outdoors is blowing a snowy gale and you run out of wood at 10pm, you do not want to be faced with a long walk to the woodpile. Or even a short one, to be honest, but that can’t be helped.

Wood is heavy and you need to be able to physically carry it from the store to the fireplace all winter. Prioritise a space near your back door for the woodpile or woodshed

Secondly – if you are storing firewood to season yourself, then you may want to make your woodpile in a sunny spot. When buying firewood, make sure you know if you are buying seasoned or unseasoned wood.

Unseasoned wood is also known as green wood. This refers to recently-chopped wood which needs time to dry before burning. If you are chopping your own firewood, or buying unseasoned wood, then you should leave it to dry for at least 6 months. Hence, why we’re bringing you this article in good time!

Unseasoned wood, will not burn cleanly, it will smoke and disappear fast – that is if you can even light it on fire in the first place. Don’t skimp on seasoning time, and choose a sunny corner to help things along.

You can also buy your wood seasoned, or ready to burn. This may be best if you don’t have the space to store and season wood at the same time


Preparing the Space for Storing Firewood


storing firewood: wood burning stove


So we’ve selected a spot. Good job!

It is important to raise the wood up on pallets to allow air to circulate. Avoid storing firewood directly on the earth, as it will quickly become damp and may rot. Lay down tarpaulin and wooden pallets to keep the bottom layer of logs fresh.

If you are storing outside, don’t lean the wood directly against a wall. Again, this will minimise air circulation and promote dampness. Leave a few inches of space. Place a layer of tarp on the top, held in place with bricks or tied on to the stack. However, resist the urge to wrap it all up like a present! Leave the sides open for that all-important air circulation.

Now that we’re ready to stack, just stay mindful of the need for air when laying the logs. Air gaps are good, so don’t worry about trying to fit them all together neatly.

Choosing Your Firewood


storing firewood: stack next to wood burning stove


Seasoning your own wood? Wood that is ready to burn will be light in colour, and cracked on the outer edges.

Now for that tricky question: how much wood do I need to buy and store?

This is the answer that we normally go for:

It depends on the weather, the effectiveness of your individual stove, the wood type you are using, the moisture levels of your wood… Over the years, you will get a feel for your individual circumstances. A very general rule of thumb for local provider Clydesdale Logs is 4-5 cubic metres of kiln-dried wood for the whole year. This means around 2-3 deliveries over a six-month period if you only want to use it in the winter.

However, please do just get in touch with the experts over at Clydesdale if you could do with some tips! They’ll be able to advise on your individual situation.

We hope you’re now feeling more informed on how to store your firewood! If you are considering a wood shed, then check out our recent blog post all about selecting your log store. Got any tips or questions? Let us know in the comments, or get in touch with us here.

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