Can Unsplit Wood Be Seasoned?

Are you tired of splitting firewood? Or perhaps, you think you can get more wood ready for the upcoming seasons if you just leave them be like that.

But if it all was just that simple, wouldn’t everybody in your neighborhood be doing that? Well, I guess there’s always a reason for why we do certain things a certain way.

Wood that has not yet been split might get dry enough for burning, though even if that happens, it’ll take much longer.

I mean, it makes sense why. Rounds (the actual logs that are not yet split) dry slower simply because they have not yet been “opened up”. That is, when they are actually split, there is more ways for the air to reach all the nooks and crannies; in other words, there is more surface area being exposed to the elements, which is why split firewood dries more efficiently.

The times when it might make sense to not split wood

If you’re many seasons in advance for your firewood needs, sure, leaving the rounds bucked as they are might make sense (as you’re not in a hurry for that particular load to dry any time soon). Though if you do intend on doing that, tilt the rounds on the bark side.

Leaving the unsplit woods’ ends in contact with the ground will be of not help at all. As a matter of fact, if you leave them like that, they might not dry at all, if not absorb even more moisture.

Now things turn for the worst if you intend on actually stacking those unsplit rounds into somewhat of a pile. This is just a waste of time, to put it simply.

Because when the time comes to split those rounds, now you’ll need to move them from that pile, position on the ground (or a log splitter, if you have one) one by one and split them. And after you get done with that, stack the actual split firewood into stacks!

In other words, you “touch” the wood many more times than necessary; this is a rather frowned upon practice in the wood burner community (if you know, you know).

Again, it just doesn’t make much sense to leave the rounds so they could “season”, and then split them in the future for moving into actual stacks.

You really should split wood as soon as you get it bucked.

The only time when I do leave my rounds dry up a bit is when they don’t split! You know how it is, some rounds, no matter how hard you hit them with a maul, just don’t budge.

I leave them be, as they are, for another week or two, if not longer. And sometimes that is all that’s needed for me to get through with the splitting maul.

But other than that, I get to splitting as soon as I can. There is no need to leave that through for later.

Only a moisture meter can tell

How well can firewood that hasn’t been split season in your place depends on your climate.

So, if in one particular region it may be one of the worst things you can do to your wood supply, in other it may not be too bad of an idea at all (in some circumstances, that is).

The only way you can track how well it does is by using a moisture meter.

Let’s say, get some rounds bucked and wait about a year. Split one round from the pile that had been sitting for the period in half, and measure the moisture content of the fresh cut.

If it’s nowhere near 20 percent after that long, you should probably forget about “seasoning” unsplit firewood, and get to splitting ASAP!

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