Collecting wood for your fireplace or wood stove may seem like an easy task, but finding good wood isn’t as simple as you’d think. Firewood must be seasoned before it can safely be burned, and finding it can be difficult. Let’s look at ways to source and season your own supply of firewood.
Finding firewood that is good for burning can be a challenge. You’ll want to look for wood from dead trees that are dry, but not too dry. You can tell if a tree is dry enough for use based on the amount of bark left on the tree. As trees dry out their bark will fall off, making them easier to identify. These trees can be still standing, or can also be on the ground, however trees on the ground tend to be more wet, so you will spend more time allowing them to season before using them.
When deciding where to source your firewood, make sure you are doing it in a legal way. Some forests and parks allow firewood sourcing, but only with a permit. If you are sourcing from your own property, consider planting new trees in place of the dead ones you are sourcing so that you have a continual supply over the years.
To “season” firewood, you simply need to allow the wood to dry thoroughly before using it. Using firewood that isn’t properly seasoned can result in creosote buildup in your chimney, which can in turn lead to a chimney fire.
Additionally, part of preparing your firewood is cutting it down to the appropriate size for your wood stove or fireplace. When seasoning your wood you’ll want to cut it to the appropriate size, and then store it in a sunny area, preferably in spring so it can season during the hot summer. A proper and full seasoning can take anywhere from six months to two years, based on environmental factors.
While you certainly can purchase firewood to get you through the winter, it doesn’t offer the same cost savings as sourcing and seasoning your own wood does. Sourcing your own wood takes some time and effort, but has a great payoff. Learning how to get firewood for yourself can save you money and give you a healthy, active hobby. If you have any questions about types of firewood, or how to properly season it, give us at Fireside Stone and Patio a call today!