What are Logs?

Wood log boilers generally virgin wood which has been cut and processed into logs. Other clean waste woods such as carpentry offcuts are also suitable. Several questions and important factors when producing or buying your wood, including storage and handling. 

Whether buying or processing your wood logs the most critical factor is the wood must be dry. By dry, we mean less than 20% moisture and ideally less than 15%. 


 

Nature will dry wood if correct stored

Wood will naturally dry in the UK, a little slower in wetter Northern areas but it will still dry to be fuel. 
How long this takes depends on the wood itself and the way it has been processed and stored.
Wood is ready to be burnt after about 2 years of being stored in suitable conditions and split during the early summer of use. By two years we generally mean two full spring and summer periods. If however the wood is split and well stored in the first winter it’s possible to be ready the following winter depending on the wood type. 
Splitting wood opens the internal surfaces to allow interior moisture to escape through the action of the wind and sun. It also increases the surface area, allowing quicker drying.

The way is stored is very important

The best way to dry wood is to keep it off the ground with a ventilated floor such as a pallet. The top is covered in a waterproof cover ideally black in colour to heat up from the sun and in an open position where the wind can do the most benefit.

 

When it rains, roads become wet. They soon dry when exposed to the sun and wind. If shaded or in sheltered spots, it can take days to dry.

It is the same if you store wood in an enclosed building such as a closed garage. Store your fuel outside covered from most of the driving rain and off the floor.

Wood should be split

The density of the wood changes the time it takes to dry. The tighter the grain structure inside the wood, the longer the wood takes to dry. The moisture exits the wood via these grain lines the natural tubes within the wood: the smaller these tubes, the more challenging to expel the water. 
Oak and other hardwoods have small moisture tubes while pine and most softwoods have larger rings which allow water to escape faster. 

Wood should be split

The density of the wood changes the time it takes to dry. The tighter the grain structure inside the wood, the longer the wood takes to dry. The moisture exits the wood via these grain lines the natural tubes within the wood: the smaller these tubes, the more challenging to expel the water. 
Oak and other hardwoods have small moisture tubes while pine and most softwoods have larger rings which allow water to escape faster. 

 

  • Splitting wood speeds up the drying time. 
  • Splitting into smaller logs, wood dries even faster. 
  • Wood split for kindling dries very quickly.

Rule of Thumb

  • 6” log in the round fresh, contains around approx 1 pint of water .
  • Split it can be dry enough to burn in under 1 year if well stored.