How long does it take for Firewood to dry?

How long does it take for Firewood to dry?

Drying Firewood

At Surefire Wood, we kiln dry all our firewood so technically there is no need to season the timber as we reduce our Firewood’s moisture content to below 20% anyway.  However, this would be counterproductive and add to excessive drying times and costs, increased labour hardship and costs, and increased maintenance costs. For these reasons, we tend to season our timber for at least 6 – 24 months.

As anyone who has tried to burn unseasoned timber can understand, this is the minimum amount of time necessary to achieve ‘seasoned’ timber quality of around 30% - 40% moisture content. However, there are still many Firewood suppliers who sell ‘seasoned’ firewood, with little or no seasoning carried out. This is actually ‘green wood’ and would be difficult to light, never mind to burn.  It is likely to contain up to 80% moisture content. Even seasoned wood isn’t ideal, especially for a Stove, as it is likely to still contain tars and creosote, which when burned, will build up in your Stove and flue pipes, blacken your glass and create toxic smoke. Certainly not the impression that we all have when using our much-loved, eco-friendly Stove.

At Surefire Wood, in order to season our timber, we stockpile in advance. The stockpile is well ventilated through the sides and preferably the top covered to prevent excessive rainwater seeping through.  The wood will then slowly change colour and begin to crack as it dries out.  The bark will drop off and the wood will become much lighter. We then saw and split our wood before kiln drying. This ensures the wood is dried thoroughly and at a quicker speed. Some suppliers dry their timber in rounds without splitting.  This is a mistake. These logs are not completely dried. You will notice these logs by seeing the colour differentiation between the end and the inside of the log. This firewood tends to mould over time.

Another concern is the increased risk of timber disease spreading through these islands. This is another reason we believe it is also important to kiln dry wood correctly.  With the current Corona Virus Pandemic, it is easy to understand how simple it is for these diseases to spread. However, as most of these diseases are imported from abroad with poor inspection rates and understaffing at Sea Ports, it is difficult to imagine things changing. At Surefire Wood, we source all our wood locally, and then kiln dry the wood till up to 80°C, killing any disease which might exist, preventing the spread.  It is sad to think our Ash, Larch and many other species will soon no longer exist in the UK and Ireland due to slightly cheaper imported timber. A big price to pay unfortunately in the long run.

In the UK and Ireland, we have sufficient trees for burning as well as considerable tree planting going on, that the need to import should be small and anything imported could be rigorously checked.  Supporting firewood businesses here is helping to maintain and create jobs here, boosting our economies, and improving our sustainability. At Surefire Wood, we are very proud to be part of the FSC® movement, ensuring our firewood is sourced from FSC® 100% sustainable woodlands, which will be continuously replanted.

At Surefire Wood, we try to do all the hard work that our customers don’t need to worry about storing and drying wood. They receive a unique product which is sufficiently seasoned and kiln-dried, not to mention locally and sustainably sourced. Most important we save money, which sequentially saves our customers money and time in the long run.

Shop our Kiln Dried Wood.

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