Cherry wood- how big should it be split?
by Joe Pastore
(Pittstown, NJ USA)
I have a huge Cherry tree that fell down during a major storm. A tree company cut it up into 18" pieces for me because the trunk was about 24" in diameter. What's the best sizes to split the pieces for a wood stove? It's been down for about a year.
In regards to the size you should split your firewood, it's best to vary it a bit. Your best bet is to split the firewood into pieces that vary between 3"-6" at the widest part of the wood.
The reason for the variety is to suit different needs when burning in your wood stove. For example, when you are first starting a fire you need some smaller to medium sized pieces to get a good fire burning. If you try to start a fire with tinder, kindling and then a large (5-6") piece of firewood, you probably won't get that large log to ignite. However, add a couple of 3" pieces to that same fire and those logs will probably catch fire pretty easily and burn well.
You can then gradually add larger pieces once you have a good bed of coals. The 6" pieces will be perfect for burning through the night so that it can be re-stoked in the morning without having to start a new fire.
Based upon the size of the tree that was cut down, it is probably Black cherry which is an excellent firewood species that also has a pleasant odor when burning.
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