Why we ‘Season’ the Firewood

Photo of Firewood stacked up to dry showing annual rings by Horia VarlanI’m not sure where the act of seasoning the firewood got started, but I can imagine some very cold and hungry cave dwellers going, “I have been trying to get this damn fire going all blooming afternoon and still no spark!”

Growing up on my parents’ hobby farm we had stashes and piles of logs every where.  Then they would get moved, from piles in the forest where they were first cut into chords,  to piles outside our home. From there they would get tossed down a chute to the ‘wood room’ in the basement, eventually to be consumed by our wood burning furnace that centrally heated the entire three stories of our home.

The piles needed to be covered from the weather as they seasoned, but the aging process was a necessary one as new wood or green wood won’t burn.  It does however smoke radically well so in an S.O.S. situation on some deserted island like on ‘LOST’ you definitely want it to be green.  Newly cut trees tend to have way too much water content in them as any living plant will of course store water within itself.  This is the reason we season the wood piles for about a year before burning them, to let them dry out.

Of course if you are in no hurry to get the fire going, green wood will work very well.

Image credit Horia Varlan

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