Something that’s been lost on a lot of people these days is how to stack firewood properly and efficiently.
Stacking firewood isn’t as simple as making a neat pile of seasoned wood and there are more than a few ways to go about stacking wood.
It’s important to have a proper firewood stack because it allows you to fit more firewood in an area and it makes it easier to get firewood off the stack when you need it.
If you’ve been wondering how to stack firewood, we’ve got several methods and tips to make sure your firewood stack stays dry and properly seasoned.
Different Methods How To Stack Firewood
There are a few different ways to stack firewood, the important thing is to pick the method that makes the most sense for your situation.
Portable Firewood Stacking Cart
- Overall size: Log caddy measures 43 inches tall x 21.5 inches wide x 26 inches deep and weighs 21 pounds; Included cover measures 22 inches wide x 29 inches deep x 16 inches tall
- Holds 1/8 face-cord: Fireplace log shelter has 10″ rubber wheels and holds about 1/8 face-cord of wood
Large stacks of firewood should never be placed directly against a house or other wooden structure. Termites and other animals love to make a wood stack their home, and in turn, the building the stack is leaned up against.
A portable firewood cart lets you keep your main stack away from your house and only keep a small amount of firewood near your home.
It’s also great for bringing firewood to a firepit in a backyard or other area of your property. This model even comes with a pair of heavy-duty offroad wheels and a cover to keep it dry.
Stacking In A Firewood Rack
- 【Heavy Duty Steel Tubular】 Made of black powder coating, resistant to rust & corrosion for long-term use.
- 【Easy to Assemble】 Just 12 bolts to connect 7 brackets, about 15 min with included wrench.
- 【Tidy & Dry Firewood】 Stack 1/2 cord or a face cord of woods
A more permanent setup compared to the portable firewood cart, a rack is excellent for neatly stacking firewood in an area.
This particular model even comes with a cover to keep your firewood dry in all weather conditions. It’s made from high-quality steel too so you know it will last.
Firewood racks are great for keeping some wood near the house, but not enough to cause concern about termites or other critters.
You can even use multiple racks along a treeline away from your house to properly store all of your firewood.
German Firewood Stacking Method
This style goes by many names such as the German method, the Holz Haulsen, and even the beehive.
It’s by far the best method to season firewood as it allows for a greater amount of airflow than other methods.
It’s an efficient method of stacking firewood and begins with a circle on the ground made of split logs with a hollow center. Lay the logs so that one end is pointing outwards, while the other points towards the center of the circle.
As you build the outer rings up, you can stack smaller or more awkwardly shaped logs in the center to give the Holz Haulsen support and structure.
Once your pile is about five feet tall you can either cover it with a tarp or begin layering logs in such a way that it makes a cone or a roof for the woodpile.
End Pillar Wood Stacking Method
An end pillar wood stack is one way to stack firewood. In order to use this method, make sure you have an area marked out that is rectangular in size and the width of your pieces of firewood.
Begin by building a log cabin style stack on either end of the rectangle. Place two or three logs on the ground one way, and then continue stacking two or three more on top in the opposite direction. Repeat this until you have a stack that is about five feet tall.
Once you’ve built each end pillar, you can safely store wood between them without worrying about the pile collapsing or spilling out the sides.
Take wood from the top layer as you need it and work your way down through the pile so you don’t disrupt the structural security of the pile.
Shaker Style Firewood Stacking
The shaker style, or the Amish style as it’s also been called, is similar to the German method, but instead of building a hut of firewood, you are building a teepee of sorts.
It’s great for drying wood and storing a lot of logs in one firewood stack.
Begin by placing a whole, unsplit log on the ground. Next, make a layer of split wood standing around it and keep building it outwards.
Once you have a properly sized ring as a base, add some split logs on top of the uncut log in the center and continue building your teepee up in height.
Seasoned Wood Before Stacking?
Some stacking methods are meant for unseasoned wood. Wood needs time to air out and release all of its moisture content.
How To Tell If Your Wood Is Properly Seasoned
There are a few ways to tell if your stacked firewood is seasoned. Over time, you’ll know just by looking at a piece of wood if it’s seasoned wood or not.
A freshly cut log will weigh more than a seasoned piece of wood. As all the water evaporates from the log, it loses a lot of its weight.
You’ll notice the seasoned wood is lighter and it will be easy to split or will have begun cracking in places.
Tips For Stacking Firewood
Here are some tips for getting the best results for when you stack your firewood.
Best Place To Store Firewood
The best place to store a firewood stack is away from wooden structures in a neat, stacked pile Ensure that it has plenty of airflow around the pile so that the wood stays dry and gets seasoned.
Covering Stacked Firewood
You should always cover stacked firewood, whether you use a roof or a tarp, anything that will keep rain and water out is essential.
Firewood is only good if it’s dried and if you keep your firewood covered it will remain dry. Wet wood won’t burn properly and will smoke a lot as the water evaporates.
The easiest way to avoid termites is to store your wood stack away from other buildings and try to keep it elevated off of the ground.
Not only will this reduce ground moisture from ruining the logs on the bottom layer, but it’ll help keep bugs and other critters from invading your wood pile.
Don’t try to spray your logs with pesticides or other things meant to kill insects. This is wood you’re going to be burning either in your home or outdoors and those pesticides can be deadly when burned.
How High You Can Stack Firewood
A cord of wood is approximately four feet tall, four feet wide, and eight feet long. This is a good height to stack wood to and shouldn’t really be deviated from.
A wood rack should only be used to stack wood to four feet, any higher and you’ll find that the wood stack can become unstable.
Other methods can get stacked slightly higher, but we don’t recommend going above your own personal height when stacking your own firewood.
Halve Or Quarter The Firewood Logs
Cutting your firewood logs in half or even quarters can help you fit more firewood on the wood rack. Round logs cant stack as efficiently as split wood.
Sun Or Shade
We suggest keeping fresh-cut wood stacked in the sun or at least with partial sun exposure. The sun will help reduce the moisture content of the wood and quicken the seasoning process.
While cut firewood can naturally dry in the shade, it will take longer and may not season properly. Firewood in the shade can even start absorbing moisture if you live in a particularly humid or wet area.
Good air circulation is important to make sure your wood dries and turns into seasoned firewood.
If you stack your firewood so that the sides of your firewood rack are open and air can flow freely, you’ll greatly speed up the seasoning process.
Best Wood For Firewood
The best wood for firewood is hardwood with little sap inside. The less sap the better since sap makes the wood messier to handle and will take longer to dry out.
Birch is a great hardwood and can be identified in a few different ways. White birch has distinctive white bark on the exterior of it but grey birch can be a bit trickier to identify.
If you take a twig from a live tree and bend it, it should smell almost like root beer – or birch beer if you’re familiar with that soda.
Oak trees are probably the most well-known hardwood tree. They’re easily identified by their fat leaves or by the acorns that they drop.
Their wood is often used for firewood or even building furniture or other projects.
Ash trees are easily identified by their leaves which have between five and nine leaflets or by the diamond-shaped patterns on the bark of mature ash trees.
Ash is one of the most common hardwood trees for firewood, probably only second to oak trees.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Should you stack firewood bark up or down?
This depends on personal preference and the situation.
You should stack firewood bark side down when it's in a covered shelter like a firewood rack. This makes the wood easier to handle when you're pulling wood out as you need it.
When stacking wood outside, it makes better sense to stack firewood bark facing up so that water can run off of it and doesn't collect on the logs.
Does firewood dry better stacked or piled?
Stacking firewood neatly and organized is better for drying than throwing it all together in one big pile.
Air movement is key when you're trying to dry out firewood. A pile will have a harder time drying out in the center than an organized stack of firewood.
Where should you not stack firewood?
You should not stack your firewood against the side of a wood shed or another wooden structure.
Termites and other insects love to make homes in firewood stacks. If your firewood is stacked against your wood house, termites may find their way into your foundation or other parts of your home.