Tips on Caring for Firewood

In simple words, a pile of wood is a pile of wood that you have purchased in preparation for cutting or burning. Some people like to get creative with their stacking, while others simply randomly throw the pieces in a shed or barn and hope for the best.

But how much wood will you need to cut for the winter? How should you store it? Which wood burns best? Well my friends, read on to know some useful tips on this topic.

What is firewood coil?

Tips on Caring for Firewood

A basic rope of firewood is 4 feet long and 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. This makes a full volume of 128 cubic feet.

If you’re wondering why this unit of measurement is called a “chord,” the name dates back to the time when these units of wood were tied together with a cord of a specific length to measure the same length. used to go.

How many wooden cords does my family need?

Well, it totally depends on how big your home is, whether you use a burner or fireplace as the primary heat source, and how long you’ll need to do serious heating.

For example, if you live in a small cabin in a fairly temperate region and only use a fireplace to roast marshmallows on the weekend, a single cord may last you a few months. Alternatively, if you have a large home in a cold area and rely on a wood stove to heat your home, you can use a cord within a couple of weeks.

It is always better to cut more firewood than you think you will need. Not only is it better to have than not, but wood always burns better once it’s aged and dried out a bit. Anything you don’t use this year will be wonderful next year. Just be sure to move dry wood to the front or top of the pile so you can use it earlier in the next season.

What type of wood burns best?

Tips on Caring for Firewood

Again, it depends on what you need for what purpose. For example, a fine, dry hardwood like oak or maple is ideal for starting a fire, while a thicker part of pine is great for burning overnight. This is because it will be a low, slow burn that will continue to heat up while it slowly eats away at the wood. Then you can throw some more aged hardwood over the burning pieces first thing in the morning.

We have a great article on the best types of firewood to burn. They have pros and cons depending on the use: Pine, for example, is wonderful but creates a lot of residue, while birch can be good for burning as long as it’s aged a few years to dry out.

My personal favorites are:

  • acorn
  • Maple
  • hickory
  • Cedar
  • Cedar
  • Apple
  • birch
  • Middle

Avoid using aspen or willow unless you have the luxury of letting them dry for at least 4-5 years. They are notoriously “juicy” when freshly cut and will do little more than disappoint you. The same goes for hemlock conifers: they burn like sparkly stones.

If you take down a birch tree, be sure to keep its papaya bark as long as possible! Remove it from the cut wood and keep it somewhere dry. This is a perfect firestarter to use under well-dried kindlings. On the same note…

Make sure you have Kindling too

To put out all fires, a little bit is needed. When you find some dry pieces of wood, set them aside. Then once you have the proper number of them, cut them into several thin pieces. Store these in a bin or metal pail near your indoor woodpile so you have plenty of kindles to start a fire.

I like to use a mix of birch bark, kindling, and a homemade firestarter to get my work started. Firestarters are made of cardboard egg cartons filled with dryer lint and a little bit of cooking oil. I would put one of these in a nest of shredded bark, and tent it with those nice, dry kindling pieces. They light up quickly and once burned it will ignite dry firewood and logs quite happily.

How to properly store firewood

Few conditions are pathetic when you’re cold and/or wet, and you’re trying to start a fire with damp wood that just won’t light. This can be downright dangerous if you’re trying to keep yourself and your family warm in the dead of winter and none of your wood is dry enough to burn.

Avoid this scenario by storing your firewood well.

store it in a dry area

Never place your wood pile on low-lying areas of your property. This is a place where water would naturally accumulate, tending to follow the path of least resistance. Since you want good, dry, crunchy firewood, placing it in an area that can turn into a pond after rain or snow melts will be counterproductive. Do not store your firewood in a wet place.

Instead, choose higher ground that is protected from the worst of the weather. For example, on the side of a building that usually has a strong gust of wind.

On the same note, if you’re keeping firewood near the house, make sure you don’t put it anywhere near a spout or drip area.

raise the woodpile

Try to keep your beautifully cut firewood from touching the ground. You can do this by placing some long wooden sticks down and stacking a pile of wood on top of it. Alternatively, you can use a cement block or a wooden pallet to elevate it. Whatever will prevent it from attaching to the soil.

Tips on Caring for Firewood

If your firewood is touching the soil, it will start to crack and rot. Conversely, raising it expands the air around it, thus drying it out making it burn better.

My woodcut is lifted off the ground by logs that I put on top of a bed of gravel. This allows for decent drainage and prevents the bottom logs from turning into mulch.

protect it

If you can, build a woodshed where you can stack everything to keep it dry. It can be as simple as pallets joined together under a slanted roof to keep rain and snow closed, or as fancy as a full-fledged shed with a door that can be closed .

If you don’t have the financial means to do something like this, that’s fine: just cover your wooden cords with some thick plastic wire and weigh them down with heavy rocks. This will prevent strong winds from blowing the coal tar.

Another option is to cover the wood pile with coniferous twigs, or even pile your firewood under some large evergreen trees. You will usually see empty space under large pines and spruce, even in a snowy winter. Use that to your advantage and stack your wood there. It will remain dry as its branches act as an umbrella over it.

Bonus: When you go to collect a few pieces of firewood, break a few super-dry twigs under the main branches to add to your kindle bucket.

create an additional stack in some other place

Last, but certainly not least, this advice is: Don’t store all your firewood in one place.
Many of us have learned this rule the hard way and have lost a significant amount of hard-earned firewood in the process.

Firewood can be damaged or depleted in many different ways. For example, theft is a surprisingly common occurrence, especially in semi-rural areas. Those who don’t make the effort to prepare ahead of time for winter often steal it from those who have.

keep a small wood pile inside the house

Tips on Caring for Firewood

Be sure to keep at least three days’ worth of firewood indoors at all times. Stack some near a fireplace or wood stove to keep it warm and dry, or turn a closet into a storage area. Just beware of spiders: you can accidentally bring some black widows or large wolf spiders into the house if you get caught between bark and wood.

In fact, it’s always a good idea to handle your wood pile with care, just in case. Wear gloves when moving the wood around, and keep a jar handy in case you need to trap a large spider.

Additionally, please check each piece of wood thoroughly before putting it into the flames. I’ve almost accidentally devoured some salamanders that had previously moved into old logs in the throes of winter. Check under log cracks and loose bark for small neighbors who may be sleeping. You can then move them to a safe place if you find any interlopers.

A note about storing wood in and around your home: Be careful about storing a lot of wood near your home if you live in a fire-prone area. If your area is prone to wildfires, keep any and all combustible material at least 100 feet from your home. You don’t want fuel readily available to jump into the embers.

Lastly, make sure your equipment is in good working order. Keep your chainsaw oiled and your axes sharpened, and you’ll have great firewood to help you out.

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