When you are out in the forest, gathering firewood for your home’s fireplace or backyard fire pit, it is important to stack it properly.
Firewood can be heavy and difficult to carry, so you want to make sure that when you get back home with your load of wood that stacking it doesn’t feel like a chore!
How To Stack the Perfect Firewood for Your Fire Pit
The best way to stack firewood is by using a pyramid shape, with logs laid at an angle on one side and stacked vertically on top of each other until they reach their peak height.
This method ensures that your stack will remain stable as well as saving space for future storage needs.
You’ll need enough room for the base area and then two rows around this base row (about 18 inches high), with gaps between each log so you have access to more than one spot when accessing from different sides.
It’s important not only because it saves space, but also because if done correctly it helps prevent rot due to exposure which might happen if laid horizontally or piled on top of each other.
1) Lay down one piece of wood flat on the ground next to where you plan on building your pile. This will be the base layer.
2) Place two pieces of wood perpendicular over top of each other at an angle (they should form a ‘V’). You’ll want this second layer stacked slightly higher than the first layer.
3) Continue stacking pieces perpendicular to each other on top of each other until you have formed a pile that is about 12 inches (30 cm) taller than the ground around it.
4) When you’re done with this third layer, it will create a triangle out from the first base layer piece.
5) The best height to stack firewood is 4 feet from the ground.
TIP: Newley chopped wood should be stacked bark side down to speed up drying.
The most common way to stack firewood is in a rectangular, face-cord configuration with different stacks of logs placed alongside each other.
With the right type of supports in place, you can avoid collapsing the whole stack.
One of the more popular methods in firewood stacking is the Holz Hausen (aka Amish stack, beehive stack, etc.).
This circular configuration is known for its inherent stability and interesting appearance if done correctly.
If you don’t have a lot of firewood stacking space in your backyard or at the side of your house, you might want to stick with rectangular stack faces made up of multiple pieces rather than the Holz Hausen method.
Types Of Firepit Firewood
I want to cover a couple of things I mentioned earlier, namely the terms face cord, seasoned firewood, and green firewood.
What Is A Face Cord Fire Wood?
Before I start how to stack firewood for your fire pit, the first thing you should know is what an actual “cord” of wood is.
A cord of wood is a stack that’s four feet high x four feet wide x eight feet long (4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.).
A face cord is one-quarter of a normal cord when the length of each individual piece of wood is 12, 16, or 24 inches.
What Is Seasoned Firewood?
Seasoned firewood is firewood that has been split and stacked to a moisture content of 20% or less.
The less moisture in the wood when seasoning it, the better. If you’re more precise, an inexpensive wood moisture meter will give you real numbers.
Seasoning typically takes anywhere between 6 months to 3 years depending on the type of wood, seasoning storage conditions, etc.
Seasoned wood is dry and fragrant whereas green wood will have a smell.
What Is Green Firewood?
Green firewood is unseasoned wood. Green firewood contains too much moisture to burn effectively, producing more smoke than dry or seasoned wood.
This type of wood requires a lot of work for little reward and should only be used as an emergency backup if there are no other options available.
What Makes A Good Stack Of Firewood?
What makes for a good stack of firewood? It’s not just about the quantity, but also the quality. A proper stack will have:
-Dense pieces are tightly stacked with air gaps. Ensuring that air circulates easily between and around the pieces of firewood is crucial when seasoning them to make sure they do not rot.
-Pieces that are all approximately the same length (between 16 to 24 inches long). The end result is a dense, solid stack.
-When stacking your firewood, the positioning of your stack to take advantage of sun exposure and prevailing winds (west-to-east in the United States) is a good choice.
In the end, it’s all about what you want to do with your wood:
Is it for starting fires or heating? If so then shorter pieces of wood are best (12-16 inches long).
For cooking on an open fire, use longer pieces because they will produce more heat.
Stacking Firepit Firewood So It Does Not Fall Over
If the firewood is green or wet, it will take a long time to dry.
The problem with stacking greenwood when it’s on its own stack is that if you don’t cut off some of the moisture in the center (by laying down two rows perpendicular to each other) then they could end up falling over.
If you’ve got a lot of wood to stack, but don’t have the space for it all at one time, lay down an X-shape with long logs on each end and short ones in the middle.
The row should be perpendicular to your last layer so that they are more stable. Add another row next to it, and keep alternating.
If you’ve got a little bit of space to stack your firewood but don’t have enough for all the logs at one time, make another X-shape outwards with short poles in the middle.
Add another row next to it (perpendicular), then lay down two more rows, perpendicular to the last.
Types Of Firewood Stacking Methods
Using Live Trees For Supporting Firewood Pile
No material is required to start stacking and trees will provide adequate support when your stack gets higher.
Some people swear by cutting a notch into their tree’s trunk, while others say this is unnecessary.
This Fire Wood Holder On Amazon Is a Great Way To Store Firewood
Some also advocate for wrapping each of the bottom couple feet with rope or using an extra-long screwdriver as you build up your pile-up so that it can serve as a spine for your stack.
Criss-Cross Firewood Stacking Method
This is a great way to stack and store firewood. It can be done in one hour or less by stacking the logs criss-cross fashion and stacking pieces on top of each other.
The logs are placed so that the center point of two consecutive logs forms a T shape, which ensures that they will not roll over during transport from your location to where you keep them stored for use when needed.
This method also makes it easy to separate them into smaller stacks later if need be, such as when loading wood onto a wheelbarrow.
Can Firewood Be Stacked In The Ground?
To prevent its exposure to moisture, firewood should not be stacked directly on the ground.
Firewood can be raised off the ground using treated timber under one end of the stack or placed within a gap-free rack which will protect it from any moisture patches in the ground.
TIP: To keep the stack of firewood off the ground and out of contact with water from damp soil, use pallets, pressure-treated 4 x 4s, or railroad ties.
Is stacking firewood necessary?
I used to think it was a waste of time and energy but now I know better.
The truth is that stacking firewood does make sense in many cases, especially when there are multiple stacks of the wood need to dry out for long periods before being burned.
It makes finding pieces easy by making them all visible at once.
It also saves on frustration because you don’t have to search through piles looking for what you need; instead, just take your pick!
How To Stack Firewood For Winter?
It’s best to store them in a sheltered area or cover it with something like an old tarp, which will keep out the moisture and sun.
In the winter, it’s always a good idea to have your wood near or stacked next to where you’ll be using it.
This is so that when you go outside and are ready for some heat, all of your firewood will be right there waiting for you!
You can also lay down boards over your firewood if you don’t have enough room for another log layer on top of what you already stacked up. It should be about 12″ in width and long enough to cover the top of your pile.
The best way is to stack them vertically, cut off any excess so they don’t fall over with their own weight, then lay down two logs next to each other but not touching or overlapping.
You should also store these in a sheltered area like under an old tarp or in a dry location.
Now that you know how to Stack the Perfect Firewood for Your Fire Pit, It’s time to gather some firewood and stack it strategically around your fire pit.
First, make sure you have enough wood to last through the night! Then use these tips on how to stack kindling in a way that will help keep your fires burning strong all evening long.
Follow our advice above so that you can enjoy hours of warmth with friends and family this fall. 🙂