Firewood Life Span- does dry firewood rot?

by Tom

Will dry firewood rot? If so, how long will it last if it is split and stacked properly?


Answer

Excellent question, Tom. The short answer is that firewood can last indefinitely if it is stored in ideal conditions.

Firewood can be susceptible to both wet and dry rot. Wet rot and dry rot,despite the polar differences implied in their names, both need moisture to break down wood. Rotting wood is a result of fungus thriving in certain conditions (temperature, moisture, etc.).

If your wood is properly dried and stored in an area that doesn't get wet(ex: a shed) and the wood doesn't have any existing signs of decay, you could store it for many years and not have any problems with rot. I liken it to the way that lumber lasts for many years in buildings and other structures in ideal conditions.

All that being said, most firewood does rot because it gets subjected to moisture. Some woods tend to last longer than others in this setting. Birch is a wood that rots fairly quickly, whereas locust is highly resistant to rot.

Bottom line- the better you store your wood, the longer it will last.

I hope this answers your question!

-Firewood Matt

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