How to Tell When Firewood is Seasoned?

Humans have been burning wood for fire from pre-historic times for protection, cooking, warmth, and more recently to create a comfortable ambiance. And who doesn’t love some good firewood for fun activities like campfires and barbecuing. It is important to source your firewood from a sustainable source, and your firewood should be completely dry and seasoned to burn efficiently without producing too much harmful smoke deteriorating the environment.

What is Seasoned Firewood?

Seasoned firewood is a wood that has been dried  over a period of time, to ensure it will burn well. Seasoned firewood holds less than twenty percent moisture which is recommended for burning. It burns without producing much smoke or creosote. Seasoned firewood also lets your wood stove work efficiently and does not clog up your fireplace chimneys. Seasoning wood can take from six months to two years, depending on the species. Firewood is often sourced in winter or spring, dried over the summer, ready to use the following winter.

How to Tell Your Firewood is Seasoned?

  1. Physical appearance: Seasoned wood is lighter in color as compared to the greenwood. The surface of dried wood will have cracks on the sides, no mould growth, and the bark should peel off easily. Additionally, dried wood will have a woodier scent to it compared to the sappy smell of greenwood.
  2. Split test: Seasoned wood is hard and dense because it does not contain much moisture, making it harder to split. You can check the moisture content by feeling the heart of the wood after splitting it. The wood will be dry from the inside if it is seasoned.
  3. Weight: Owing to the reduced moisture content in the seasoned firewood, it becomes lighter over time. Softwoods show a higher difference in their weights as they dry compared to hardwoods because they initially have a high moisture content.
  4. Flammability: Take a little piece of wood and burn it in the open. Dry wood will burn quickly with white smoke, while greenwood burns with black smoke.
  5. Dish-washing test: As a wood dries, the pores filled with water are filled with air, opening them. For a quick dish-washing test, take a little dish soap and rub it on one end of the timber. Blow from the other end for a few seconds. Look for bubbling or foaming on the soapy end. If there are bubbles or foam, it means the wood is dry enough as the air can pass from one end to the other.
  6. Moisture meter: If you want to be precise about the moisture content in your firewood, you can opt for a moisture meter. Simply insert the meter into the wood. If the reading is anywhere between ten to twenty percent, your firewood is dry enough to burn.

About Smart Firewood

Sustainable resources for firewood are a great way to help nature restore itself while enjoying the warmth and ambiance of a wood fire. Smart Firewood delivers a convenient, local, thoughtful, and sustainable supply of premium plantation hardwood firewood in the Northern Rivers, NSW. Contact us today by calling at 0475-786-410 or fill our contact form for orders and more details.