Different ways to throw firewood in a pile

I was wondering if you can explain how well splitting your wood and then throwing it in a big pile works for drying it out. My neighbor and I have different points of view.

He splits his wood and throws it in a big pile on some pallets. The last pieces he puts on the pile are placed vertical all over the surface of the pile, like they were siding. He claims that is the best way to dry his wood out.

On the other hand I cut my wood and throw it on pallets that are in a long line. The row is 2 pallets deep. My pile is longer than his, but not as high.

We do both agree we don't want to stack the wood, since that is more work. Perhaps you can shed some light on our debate.


Very interesting debate, here are my thoughts:

First of all, the most important factors in drying firewood are air circulation and sunlight. Ideally, you want to stack your firewood in elevated narrow piles in an area that gets exposure to both sunlight and wind. Then the perfect thing to do would be to cover only the top of the stack to prevent rain from entering the top of the pile. That being said, lets take a look at the methods you described.

From what I gather about your neighbor, he has one really large pile of firewood on pallets. Once the pile is almost finished he creates some sort of siding/roofing system by carefully stacking firewood pieces around and over the pile. I'm guessing his theory is that he is shedding the rainwater off the pile by doing this?

My understanding is that you have a longer skinnier pile of firewood stacked on pallets. You do this because it allows more air and sunlight to get at the firewood, therefore reducing the time it takes to season the firewood.

Based upon my understanding of the two methods, your method of using longer skinny piles is more effective. Although I do have to give your neighbor credit for creativity. It's obvious that he has put some serious time into developing this method!

The bottom line is that you have more surface area being exposed to sunlight and the air. This will season your wood piles quicker than having one large pile(regardless of his firewood roofing and siding).

I'm sure that his method works, just not as quickly as your strategy. The most important thing is that you are both keeping the wood elevated by using the pallets. Without taking the time to actually stack the wood, your method is about as good as it gets. I hope this helps settle your debate!

-Firewood Matt

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Oct 22, 2015
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Jul 01, 2011
wood on palletts
by: Anonymous

OK both are right or should I say OK. Just a few minutes each evening for a few days and you could pile your wood in a nice row on the pallett and your wood would be nice and dry for the burning season. Such a simple step and you might avoid a chimney fire etc. Wood was generally piled in "piles" by farmers because they just didn't have the time to pile it in rows.

Jun 21, 2011
Faster drying of wood
by: Jan Johansson

Split wood will generally dry out faster than unsplit wood because the split pieces will expose more wood surface to the air. This is more pronounced when the pieces are with intact bark, then only the end surfaces will be the drying surface since the bark generally is very good keeping the moisture passing through.

Your neighbours system of piling will have the benefit of keeping the inner of the pile dry in case there comes rain on it, only the outermost layer gets wet. In case you have some kind of other roofing on your piles, that can be even better of course.

Once again, split or barked wood will dry faster than non split or non barked. Ultimately it is the size of surface exposed to air relative the volume of wood to dry, that should be maximized for optimum drying.

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