Good storage can make or break your winter fires. Most split firewood will need to dry for at least nine months or longer before it can properly burn.

If you own the land the wood is cut on, or have permission from the owner, you can leave the wood you have cut to dry there albeit bad weather and deterioration could take place.

You may prefer to make an attractive stack of firewood closer to the house and a covering over the top such as tarpaulin will protect from rain.

Perhaps the best way to prevent rot is to store firewood in a shed or garage or shed. The colour stays brighter too.

Once they’re seasoned, bringing split logs indoors for a few days before burning will help further lower the moisture content.

Which wood?

These all burn well when seasoned: Ash, Beech, Hawthorn, Hazel, Hornbeam, Horse Chestnut, Larch, Laurel, Lilac, Maple, Oak, Plum, Rowan, Sycamore, Sweet Chestnut and Thorn.

These woods are fragrant when burnt: Apple, Birch, Cherry, Cedar, Pear, Pine, Yew.


Don’t forget

Do not be tempted to burn any wood that has been varnished, painted or treated with a coating of any sort. Burning treated wood can release noxious chemicals that carry health implications, for example, tanalised wood contains arsenic.