What is the Fastest Way to Season Firewood? [Guide]

What is the fastest way to season firewood?

Well, you’ve come to the right place because that’s exactly what I’ll be going over in this post.

So, let’s get straight into it!

Leave it out in the Sun

This has to be one of the most important aspects of seasoning your firewood.  The sun is one of your best friends when it comes to properly season your firewood.  Depending on the type of wood you have found as firewood, it can take from 6-18months for it to be seasoned.  

Hardwoods take longer for the wood to be ready, whereas softer woods can dry quicker.  Granted the harder woods burn much hotter and longer than the softer woods, the softer woods get hot much quicker and dry much quicker as well.  

It can take a lot of time for this to be done, I’ve prepared a couple of tricks you can do to most efficiently season the wood.

Stack the Wood Facing the Evening Sun

You obviously want the wood to be facing the sun, but more specifically the evening sun because this is when the temperature is at its hottest and can properly heat the wood up.  

If you have a nice open field it’s a good move to position your stack of wood facing southwest, with the entirety of the stack facing generally south. Even if you only have access to the morning sun, any direct sunlight will be beneficial.

Utilize the Wind

If you can predict the wind efficiently you also want to stack the wood in the direction in which the wind will affect it the most.  Wind can be the most effective tool for drying your wood, when it’s extremely windy outside the wood can dry even faster than just with sunlight.  

The winds mixed with the sun means you need to have plenty of space in the area you leave the wood.  With high winds and consistent sun, the wood can easily be dried out in 6 months.

Stacking Properly

When stacking your firewood, make sure to leave plenty of space for the air to travel through the wood.  These air gaps are great for the wind to get and dry out every single piece of firewood, otherwise, the wind will only impact the wood on the outside.  

In addition to spacing out the wood, you’ll want to stack the wood off the ground, for instance on pallets.  This technique of lifting the wood off the ground will help the wood on the bottom dry out faster as well.  

The size of your stack is also important as you don’t want to make it too large, the smaller the stack the easier it is for the sun and wind to affect each individual piece of firewood.  

Never make a stack higher than 4 feet tall as it will prolong the process of drying out all the wood.

Split the Wood

When splitting the wood, there are several factors to look at to prepare for the firewood to be seasoned adequately.  

Not only is it important to factor in the size of your wood stove but the size of the wood can determine how fast it will become sufficiently seasoned. 

Chopping Along the Grain

When chopping wood, it is absolutely more efficient to cut along the grain with the firewood.  Not only for the ease of chopping but for the fact that the wood will dry out significantly faster.  

Leaving the wood un-split is detrimental to drying out your wood; it will stay green far longer than when split.

Cutting the Proper Size

The first priority is to make sure you cut the wood to the right size where it will fit in your wood stove.  The smaller the wood is the faster it will dry, but will not burn as long as the bigger logs.  

There is a perfect balance you must find for the wood to dry out efficiently while still being large enough to occupy space in your wood stove. 

Use Salt

Using salt is a great way to dehydrate your firewood.  I would advise consistently spreading it over each line of firewood you stack.  

Salt is something frequently used in many different fields as a method of dehydrating just about anything.  Apply salt every few weeks is a great way to dry out your wood.

Debark the Wood

Before stacking and chopping the wood you will want to make sure the wood has been completely debarked.  The bark acts as a layer to keep the water in and without the bark, the wood can dry significantly faster.

Don’t Cover the Wood

While pacing a tarp over your wood sounds like a great way for the wood to stay dry during a rainy season, it can actually make the process of drying much longer.  

It’s not a bad idea to put your stacks under a roof so they aren’t directly impacted by the rain, but the wood being exposed to rain from the side is not such a negative. 

Conclusion

The fastest way to season firewood is to leave it outside exposed to the sun and wind. Make sure the firewood has been split and stacked neatly so it can be better exposed to the sun and wind. Use salt to dehydrate the wood for quicker drying.