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How To Stack Firewood Properly

There’s just something so comforting about a fire crackling away in a fireplace. It fills the home with a dry warmth and reminds us of simpler times. If you live in Ontario and heat your home with wood you know that it takes an awful lot of wood to get through a typical Canadian winter. And no one wants to get caught short by running out mid-February when there’s still a lot of the snowy cold weather left. That is why preparing your firewood ahead of time, before winter hits is so valuable.

Once you’ve collected a large amount of cut and split wood, whether from cutting down trees on your property, foraging for it in a forest you have permission to take from, or had it delivered by your local arborist; the next step is stacking. But how exactly do you stack firewood correctly?

3 Steps To Stacking Firewood The Right Way

There are many ways that you can stack firewood as you stockpile in preparation for winter, but these are the steps we have found work the best through the many years we’ve burned wood.

1. Scout Out A Location

If burning wood is your main heating source you’re going to need a lot of wood and this in turn means a large area in which to stack it. What you want is a space that receives a fair amount of sunlight and is open enough to let the wind blow through the pieces of wood to that they will dry nicely.

2. Set Up Your End Posts

There are a few options for this step. The quickest would be if you happen to have two trees a decent amount apart from each other (at least five feet but up to 15-16 feet would be ideal). If you’re feeling motivated you could also make a wood rack as a fairly quick and inexpensive option. Or, you can use pieces of the cut wood to create end-pillars. For an end-pillar think Jenga, you lay three fairly uniform pieces tightly beside each other one way and then lay the next three on top of those running the opposite direction. Then the next three would be the same direction as the first three. Continue creating your end-pillar until it is at the desired height, generally around the four foot mark.

3. Stack That Wood

The next step is to lay the pieces of wood in a single row between your end posts. You want them to be close together to maximize how much wood is in your stack and to keep the pile from having a lot of shifting room, but not so tight that wind can’t make it’s way between the pieces. Eyeball as you go to see which pieces fit best beside each other to keep gap sizes small. Run your line of wood back and forth as you build higher and higher, filling in the space between your end posts. Stacking one line at a time keeps the pile from becoming lopsided and potentially toppling down on you as you stack. Once you hit the four foot mark you’ve completed your firewood stack and all that’s left to do is let it dry.

Do You Stack Wood With The Bark Up Or Down?

It’s actually a commonly debated question. The quick answer is that it depends. Stacking wood with the bark side down can trap moisture in the reservoir created between the wood and the bark; slowing the drying process. If your firewood is going to be stacked outside exposed to the elements then stack it bark side up. But, if you are planning on stacking your firewood under a roofed area of some kind; where rain and snow falling aren’t going to be an issue then you could consider stacking it bark side down. The wedge side of the wood will then be facing up, which makes it easier to pick up when you are grabbing from the pile.

If you heat your home with wood and you are looking for firewood for sale in Newmarket, Aurora, Markham, or anywhere in York Region don’t hesitate to contact us at Sequoia TreeScape. We offer locally sourced firewood near you, at fair prices, and conveniently delivered to your home. Your winter heating solution is only one call away at (416) 770-8733.

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Until Next Time,

Matt Gladwin – Owner

Certified Arborist

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