How to Select, Split, Stack and Store Firewood
Are You Cutting Wood From a Fallen Tree?
If you’re starting your wood pile right from the source – a fallen tree – there are a few things to keep in mind when doing the initial cutting. First, the timing: cut your firewood at least six months ahead of when you plan on burning it. The ideal time to cut firewood is in the late winter and early spring months. This allows for the maximum drying time.
Next, cut the ends of the logs as flat and square as possible so that they can stand sturdily for splitting. For this, we recommend the STIHL Pro Splitting Axe or STIHL Pro Splitting Maul. If the wood has branches, cut toward the opposite direction they are pointing. Remember, the shorter the log, the easier it will split. Look for hairline cracks on the log and direct the swing of your axe to strike these cracks. This will reduce the splitting effort. Try to avoid cutting through knots – knots and branches change the direction of the wood grain in the log and make splitting more difficult. Try to align the strike of the axe so it does not split through the knot.
Wood Burning Safety
Burning firewood creates many byproducts, including smoke, water vapor, various gases, hydrocarbons and tar. Over time, these materials can accumulate in your fireplace and increase your risk of danger, including chimney fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Always keep your fireplace chimney well ventilated and have it cleaned. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fire Protection Association, and the American Lung Association recommend annual maintenance and inspection of your home’s heating systems, fireplaces included.