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Tell me why or why not to put a tarp over my woodpile.

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Kong, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. Kong

    Kong ArboristSite Member

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    I just got finished cutting, splitting, and stacking next year's firewood. Wish I was farther ahead, but I'm not; this is what I've got and this is what I have to deal with. I've got 16 pallets under the wood in a 4x4 patern (the pile is 16' square), then tightly stacked 5' high. Its stacked in a relatively sunny area that gets as much breeze as there is.

    The wood is generally split to the equivalent of 5"~6" diameter by 18" long in size. It is mostly elm with white oak, maple, and wild cherry making up the rest.

    Does it make sense to put a tarp over the top of it (not covering the sides other than to drape over them slightly) or not?
     
  2. banshee67

    banshee67 Poulan Wild Thang

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    i would personally leave it un-tarped, unless the weather forces you to tarp it, the more air+sun = better
     
  3. Blazin

    Blazin Tree Freak

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    Plus one there....air, wind, and sun is yer friend :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
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  4. Rookie1

    Rookie1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I leave mine uncovered all spring,summer,fall long then cover near winter to keep snow off. I hate hauling in snow covered wood. :cheers:
     
  5. woodbooga

    woodbooga cords of mystic memory

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    Tarp or not, the white oak won't be optimal with 7 months of seasoning.

    I'm with the untarped folks. Tried it one year. Didn't seem to make a noticible difference. That, and chasing after tarps following a t-storm gets old quick.
     
  6. peterc38

    peterc38 AboristSite Guru

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    +1, that's exactly what I do and it works for me! :greenchainsaw:
     
  7. nixon

    nixon AboristSite Guru

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    only completely cover Your wood stack if it's ugly .If it's REALLY ugly , use Two tarps .:greenchainsaw:
     
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  8. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Cover it with sheets of used steel roofing. Keeps the rain off, increases the heat of the sun. It makes a difference.
    Tarps tend to trap moisture.
     
  9. MNGuns

    MNGuns Purveyor of Fine Firewood Consumer of Fine Whiskey

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    leave it all open through the summer and fall and cover it before the first snow. Oak split small and cut 16" will season enought o burn by mid winter. The longer the better, but it will work.
     
  10. wampum

    wampum Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I also use the tin roof. Its really nice if you can have it supported above the wood. I guess then it would be a wood shed. People built wood sheds for a reason. I keep about a 1/3 cord on my covered deck,in the winter. Then as I need it I go to my covered wood pile and get what I need. I do not have to move tin or tarps,to get at my wood,which makes it easy. With the tin suspended it allows the wind to dry it. Like Oldtimer says the tin creates heat from the sun and helps dry it. With a tarp laid right on it,that restricts the wind from doing a good job. As far as allowing the sun to hit an uncovered pile,it only hits the edges and top row,but the rain goes all the way down. Allowing rain to fall on an uncovered pile is kind of like hosing the wood in a shed every fews days. That kinda defeats the purpose of the shed. But that is just the way I do it,I see plenty of uncovered wood piles that get burned every winter. I just feel the wood will be dryer and dry faster in a shed.
     
  11. cjnspecial

    cjnspecial AboristSite Guru

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    Here's a good reason not to put a tarp over it....snakes.
     
  12. BuddhaKat

    BuddhaKat Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You need to let air get to the pile. It helps blow the moisture away. The other thing is, if you cover green wood you impede the drying process and increase the humidity, which promotes mold growth. Mold needs dark, warm, humid environments to thrive.
     
  13. slowp

    slowp Tree Freak

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    Here's the bad part about tarps. You have to go out on a rainy day to get some wood from the pile. You have to take the various tiedowns, weights and other stuff that is keeping the tarp from blowing away, grab your wood, then replace all the above. Sometimes the wind loosens the tarp and rain gets in. It gets old. Otherwise, tarps work well, just leave the sides uncovered so air can circulate.
     
  14. jbighump

    jbighump AboristSite Guru

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    im experimenting with leaving uncovered until winter, last year i covered all year with okay results. my wood still had alot of moisture after being covered 12 months, o well live and learn:givebeer:
     
  15. Ductape

    Ductape Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I make sure mine is covered before the leaves come off the trees. I find the wet leaves between rows keep a ton of moisture in there.
     
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  16. kodiakyardboy

    kodiakyardboy ArboristSite Operative

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    I have to tarp the top of the pile where I live (rainforest) but I leave the sides open for circulation. Works good for me. I use a black tarp and it gets really hot on the 3 or 4 sunny days we get in the summer.
     
  17. aokpops

    aokpops Addicted to ArboristSite

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    tarp it found that I can get rid of the bugs take a fogger around give it a good smoking the best tarp I found was the one,s they use to cover hay or straw
     
  18. Scootermsp

    Scootermsp AboristSite Guru

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    Ususally cover the tops mid-September before the heavy Fall rains we get. I use a thick PVC tarp from a flatbed Trailer-truck. These are nice because they have D-rings sewn on and make it easy to secure with bungy cords. I will be out cutting the last week of April after doing my 6th Boston Marathon in a row.
     
  19. Iska3

    Iska3 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The sun and wind will help some but you need two good years to season your firewood. I tarp my wood in the fall before the rains start and then I only cover the top and make sure I have air space between my piles. You might want to look around for someone who didn't sell all their wood this year and use that and save your wood for the following year.
     
  20. Racerboy832

    Racerboy832 AboristSite Guru

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    I cut and stacked a 24 X 24 pile last summer. It was tarped all winter, Should I take the tarp off it now?
     

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