How Soon to Split Wood After Cutting? Let’s Look at the Basics of Firewood

How soon to split wood after cutting is a common concern among all who love to heat their home with wood. 

Cutting and bundling your wood may be hard work but rewarding. 

However, it is important to know when to split your firewood; otherwise, you might ruin your firewood!

Splitting wood means cutting the tree trunk into smaller pieces so you can use it in the fireplace or your wood-powered appliances.

 You must split the wood as soon as it is cut for the best results. 

In this article, we will look at other basics involving firewood. 

What Is The Best Time (Season) To Split Firewood? 

The best time to cut your firewood is in late winter or early spring. This lets you dry the firewood for the most amount of time. 

You would need to leave your firewood to season (dry) for 6 to 12 months, depending on how wet it is. This ensures that it goes down to 20% or lower moisture content. 

When a tree is freshly cut, the wood usually contains lots of moisture and will be green in color, compared to already seasoned wood, which has a dark yellow tint. 

Softwood trees, such as Birch trees, are easier to split when just cut, as they will get very hard once they dry. 

a pile of split firewood

(a pile of split firewood)

Factors That Influence Wood Cracking 

Some trees, like softwoods, have a lot of water, so our firewood must be dried before we use it to start a fire. 

This is the same care we take when cutting down trees. 

The process of wood drying is quite simple to understand. The water leaves the wood’s cells, which shrinks its cells. 

Sometimes, the wood’s cells do not shrink evenly, which causes the wood to crack at some parts of the firewood. 

Usually, the end of the firewood loses water quicker than the other parts. After you cut and split your wood, it loses more moisture, contributing to cracking. 

This is why you need to know how to dry the firewood properly to avoid cracked wood. You can season the wood indoors or outdoors. 

Wood can warp because of this uneven drying, as there may be too much water in another area of the wood.

 One side dries too fast, causing cracking, and the other side dries slower, which causes warping and deformation. 

What Are Some Effective Methods to Dry Wood Cookies Without Cracking?

There’s a strict but simple process for drying your wood cookies without cracking. 

If you want perfect firewood, you must follow the process to the T! It takes time, but once you understand, it will come as second nature.

 This can also work for hardwood cookies as well. 

wood pieces

(wood pieces)

How Soon to Split Wood After Cutting: Stack the wooden cookies and expose them to wind and sunlight

You have to stack the wood in an area where the sun will hit it directly, and the wind will pass through it. 

This is ideal since the sun takes away all the water content from the wood, and the wind carries it away. 

How Soon to Split Wood After Cutting: You have to be patient!

The main thing to drying wood cookies so it doesn’t crack is being patient. 

This is why you must dry it as soon as possible before you want to use the wood.

 You would have to dry the wood for six months before it can be used. 

However, the time it takes to dry different types of wood depends on the species, the local climate, and how much moisture it has. 

Sometimes, drying may take longer than usual. At that time, you should keep seasoned wood to get you by for the time being. 

a shed for firewood

(a shed for firewood)

How Soon to Split Wood After Cutting: You must store it properly.

Your drying wood cookies must be properly covered to not get wet from rain or dew. This is important if you receive lots of rain in the area. 

However, you should use a clear sheet so sunlight can still go through. Now, while covering is possible, sheltering is more advised. 

It is better to store your wood in a sheltered place that gets wind but also keeps the wood dry from the rain. 

If this is not possible, a clear polythene sheet should do the trick to let enough sunlight through. 

Ensure the sheet is well secured so heavy winds do not blow it away. 

wood burning

(wood burning)


It is always so rewarding to split your firewood and season it for the upcoming months. 

By following the above steps and advice, you will surely have the perfect wood for a beautiful fire.