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Old 09-26-2011, 05:52 PM   #1
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Default Stick burners - I need your advise on storing wood

Recently, the state of Alabama has been hammered with tornadoes. As a result, there's free wood everywhere.
I've collected quite a bit of oak, pecan, black cherry, and hickory. I started a stack of hickory in a rusty shed (see below), but I've stacked the oak (long stack), pecan and cherry between separate trees.

Is it crucial that I cover the wood and protect it from rain? I would imagine "yes" since it'd be hard to cook with it, even after a year, if it's constantly rained on every few weeks. I COULD move it all into that rusty shed, but it'd be a LOT of work and "stooping" as that shed door is about 5' tall. Any advice is helpful. I'm new at all this. Thanks!

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Old 09-26-2011, 06:01 PM   #2
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Well... I'm no expert, but if I HAD the shed already, I would definitely use it. I just talked to a firewood guy here in Florida, and he said that with our humidity, the window between wood drying out enough to burn - and the wood rotting - is not too big. I store mine in a pole barn.

Anyway, whatever you decide, congrats on your windfall (literally)!
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:35 PM   #3
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My sticks are off the ground and under a tarp.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:40 PM   #4
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Here in VA we keep firewood in a covered structure (not necessarily with a closed door) or under a tarp. A platform to keep it off the ground is important too.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:45 PM   #5
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I've always covered the top of the stack leaving the sides exposed, so air will circulate between the wood and allow it to season.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:57 PM   #6
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Here in New England I would leave it stacked like you have but just make sure if it has bark on it it stacked bark up so the moisture can run off it until it is seasoned and ready to burn and then cover it until you are ready to burn it. I would suggest elevating it off the ground with some longer pieces of firewood or some scrap lumber. If you don't do that make sure the bottom row is bark down. That is what I would do but we do not have the humidity you do either.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:05 PM   #7
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I built log racks using 8' landscape timbers ~ Home Depot had them on sale for 1.97 each ~ then cover with tarp. Snug as a bug in a rug!
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:23 PM   #8
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Having cut MANY cords of oak in the past, the most important thing is to keep your wood off of the ground. Getting it under cover is good, too.

If you can get those stacks of wood off of the dirt, perhaps with some cheap pressure treated landscape timbers, you will help them last a lot longer.

For fireplace wood, you can get a couple of years out of a stack kept outdoors. But, for cooking, not so much.

You might want to separate your fireplace wood from your cooking wood, and put the cooking wood in the shed, and leave the fireplace wood outside.

Even in the shed, I would try to keep that wood from touching dirt. Dump some gravel in that shed, or use some pressure treated lumber to stack it on.

Wood like that can get wet, and not rot, as long as it can dry out between rains. It needs to be off the ground and have air circulation to dry out.

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Old 09-26-2011, 07:34 PM   #9
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I forgot to mention, the wood is stacked on a LOT of pine straw, not bare dirt, if that helps. I can't get into building much as this is a rental house and I may pick up and move in a few months. Thanks to all who posted.....I appreciate the help.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:46 PM   #10
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Get a couple of concrete blocks and 2x4's. Set the 2x4's on the blocks and you have it elevated enough.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:36 PM   #11
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I stack my wood on pallets and do not cover it.

I do not split a lot of it and leave the bark on to protect it.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:38 PM   #12
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congrats on your find of wood not the tornado. we have had some tornadoes but all we had down was cottonwoods. just keep your wood off the ground and covered and you will be fine
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:19 PM   #13
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Nice selection of wood you've got there! The shed may present the problem of reduced airflow. Airflow is important to ensure the wood stays dry and continues to season well. Otherwise it can get moldy and pretty darn nasty. I cover the top portion of my wood piles and anchor the plastic (2 mil thickness) with rocks tapped into the small gaps in the wood pockets. Works like a charm: keeps the rain/snow off it and allows the wood to continue drying out. . .
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:39 PM   #14
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Pine straw on the ground will be dirt on the ground in a short time. You need to get that wood off the ground. If you can fit it in your shed, that would be the ideal place for it, if not stack it on pallets and cover it with tarps.

Casey gave about the best advice for the more temperate climates. Not a long enough freeze to stop the rot from setting in before you can use the wood in your smoker. Try to get it inside, it would stink to have that much wood go to waste because of time if it can be prevented with a little manipulation in the place being stored.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:56 AM   #15
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In Atlanta, I just stack mine in a somewhat sheltered area off the ground. However, I usually burn through it before it can rot.
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