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Seasoning firewood is another term for removing all moisture from the firewood. When moisture is removed from firewood, the heating efficiency of the wood increases. Also, seasoned firewood is not as heavy, and seasoned wood prevents creosote buildup in your chimney. Different wood types have different drying requirements. Pine takes a short time to dry, if processed correctly, and is cured in a few months. Oak, however, should be cured for two seasons due to its dense cellular structure and finer grain.
Cut oak tree in the winter when the moisture content is lowest. Cut logs to the size where they will fit into your fireplace or burn pit. Split logs to increase the air exposure of the logs as bark helps seal in moisture. The more surface area that is exposed to the air, the more uniform the curing rate.
Because maximum air circulation on the wood surfaces is desired, place the logs in one row side by side, then stack a new row perpendicular to that row and then the next row in the same direction as the bottom row. This keeps the wood separated, and air can freely circulate around the wood surfaces.
Keep Stack Covered
Stack the logs under a shelter or roof that is exposed to the air on at least three sides. The roof should be at least a foot above the log stack. Covering the stack with a tarp or plastic will hold in the moisture and cause wood to rot.
Jay Golberg is a certified Texas nursery professional and professional project manager. He has 30 years of business and farming experience and holds bachelor's degrees in English writing from St. Edward's University and finance from Lamar University.