How to Stack and Season Apple Wood For Wood Stoves
Apple wood is a excellent wood burning fuel. It is considered a hardwood which means it is heavy and will burn for a longer period of time than softwoods. However, if your apple wood is not seasoned, then it will be very difficult to burn it properly.
We have had great success with seasoning apple wood because our summers are high heat and low humidity. Seasoning apple wood does not take a rocket scientist to figure out. Simply cut your wood stack it or throw it in piles and let it dry or cure for at least a year or more.
However, if you want to season your wood slower, do not be afraid to run a sprinkler over the top of it during the summer. By sprinkling the wood it will also help control bugs that can damage your wood.
Apple wood is susceptible to these little bore mites that drill small holes in the wood. Your wood will still burn well, but you need to watch your stack closely so they don’t overrun it. I would highly recommend burning this wood as soon as you have seasoned it. Apple wood can be difficult to stack because it has many different shapes and it not uniform. However, as you begin to stack your wood, you will quickly be able to fill in holes with various other smaller pieces. We use a lot of 4 foot pipe to help us keep our wood stacks from falling over.
Wood burners who live in a city or town should place their wood in an area that will not receive water from your yard sprinklers. The wood that does get wet can take 2 or more years to completely dry if you continue to water it. As for keeping your wood covered, that is a personal preference. My folks cover their wood and we do not. The benefits of covering your wood during the winter months is that you can season your wood quicker, but out west with our dry summers that is not a big problem.
If you are consistent with wood cutting and every year you cut more wood than you need, it will not take long to have a 3 year reserve of wood. That means if during one cutting season you are injured and cannot cut, you will not have to worry about cutting because you have a reserve.
Those of you who want to purchase apple wood can do so but make sure you get what you pay for. A lot of places will charge around a $100 for a cord of wood that is all limbs. These little limbs burn well, but they can never be relied upon to burn all night leaving you, fire starting coals in the morning.