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Storing and drying firewood

Living the Country Life Radio Program

Whether you use your fireplace as a main heat source for your home, or if you just like to snuggle up in front of it on cold winter evenings, you'll need the right kind of firewood. Different kinds of wood burn differently, and no matter what kind of wood you use, it has to be properly dried. It usually takes at least a year after cutting before firewood is ready to burn, so planning ahead is essential. Although sunlight plays an important part in drying the wood, ventilation is even more crucial. Try stacking woodpiles loosely, crossing them log-cabin-style, and stack wood on top of two-by-fours or other lumber to keep the bottom row from wicking moisture from the ground. A piece of sheet metal may be placed over the top to keep rain and snow out, but don't use a tarp, and keep the sides open.

Radio interview source: Steve Bowers, Extension forester, Oregon State University

For more information, we recommend the following links:

Firewood production and use: This publication from Iowa State University Extension covers everything from selecting a type of wood, to chopping firewood, to storing and using it.

Is your firewood dry enough?: Learn how to tell if your stored firewood is ready to burn in your fireplace.

Get the most from your firewood: If you don't have a woodlot, you can still enjoy your fireplace this winter. Here's how to select the best firewood for purchase, and how to store it once you get it home.

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