13 tips to get­ting good fire­wood

NZ Lifestyle Block - - FEATURE -

Gath­er­ing fire­wood is one of those jobs that is best done year­round so you al­ways have a dry, well-sea­soned sup­ply.

Un­less you are lucky enough to have a dry shed avail­able where you can store fire­wood in a thrown stack – it can take up 25%+ more space than wood that is neatly stacked – there is an art and a sci­ence to stack­ing fire­wood so it won’t get in your way and will dry out to be­come good qual­ity fire­wood.

cut and then split wood into the smallest pos­si­ble size, so it fits eas­ily into your fire­box, and also so more sur­face area is ex­posed, al­low­ing it to dry faster.

fire­wood needs sun­light; a shaded, wet cor­ner is not go­ing to cre­ate dry wood.

face cut ends into the pre­vail­ing wind so there is al­ways air flow down the length of the wood; if you live in a val­ley, ide­ally you want your wood stack up off the val­ley floor so it can take ad­van­tage of nat­u­ral air flows.

build a stack on a base rather than di­rectly on the ground; lengths of old cor­ru­gated iron or wooden pal­lets work well.

a post or a tree makes a great sup­port at each end of a stack, and gives you some­thing to tie a cover to.

as you stack, it’s best to keep the wood as level as pos­si­ble, with a ran­dom mix of dif­fer­ent-sized pieces so you cre­ate nat­u­ral pas­sages for air to move through.

place wood bark side up so if any rain gets through an over­head cover, it will pro­vide pro­tec­tion.

round wood needs to be stag­gered, the row above sit­ting in the gap of the row be­low for sta­bil­ity.

cre­ate a roof with a tar­pau­lin or sheet of plas­tic; black plas­tic helps mois­ture to evap­o­rate out of wood.

dry wood will mean less bugs, but it can at­tract wood-eating wasps so be care­ful when mov­ing around or tak­ing wood from a stack in au­tumn when they may still be nest­ing.

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