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How to store wood and season it for burning

We can’t chop down a tree every time we need some wood for our fireplace and nor would that work anyway. Trees are predominantly water and that is not the best ingredient when building a fire, so we have to store wood in order that it can dry out. In general, hardwoods are best. Oak, maple, beech, ash and birch all make good firewood.
To reduce the water content of the wood, we need to season it and while it is largely just a matter of time, there are things that we can do to speed the process. For example, if you cut the wood to length, this creates a greater surface area and this will aid the drying process.
You need to store your wood properly as well. A three-sided shed is good for this as the wood is sheltered from the rain, yet air can circulate. With the wood cut and split, stack it in alternate directions on a raised platform. The wood can be burnt around nine months later, but it will benefit from being left a lot longer.
To check whether the wood is ready for your fireplace, first take a look at it. Seasoned wood will tend to be darker at the ends and may have begun to split or crack. Next, knock a couple of pieces together. The sound should differ greatly from that produced by two pieces of green wood. Seasoned wood will make a clear clunk, whereas green wood produces more of a dull thud.

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