Does wood season before it's split?

Does wood 'season' before it's split? Many firewood dealers in Richmond, VA say that their wood 'was cut last year'. Then they offer to split to the size I need.

My question is, does the wood start to 'season' before it's split?

Many thanks!
Ashby McNeil


Answer

Greetings and thanks for checking out the Ask an Expert Firewood Page.


In regards to your question, yes firewood does begin to season before it is split. However, not even close to the degree that it will season once split.

Firewood seasons because of air circulation and heat from the sun. When the wood isn't split, only the ends of the log will really begin to dry out. The moisture that is in the middle and center of the log will linger for a long time. Will it eventually season properly? Sure, but it will take significantly longer(we're talking about at least 3X longer).


All that being said, it is possible that the company was simply asking you what size wood you wanted so that they could give you that size which was previously split. It is not unusual for a firewood company to stockpile seasoned wood of varying lengths and sizes.


If this wood hasn't been split, it is disingenuous of a company to advertise the wood as being seasoned. Granted the wood is closer to seasoned than freshly cut wood, but it still isn't worthy of being considered dry or seasoned.

Hope this helps,

Firewood Matt

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