The Art of Stacking Firewood

By Katie Conaway | Firewood
Aug. 142018

The days are starting to get shorter and shorter. Before you know it, the winds will begin to blow in cooler air and then down right cold air. As we think ahead to enjoying time around a roaring fire on a brisk night, make sure the next load of kiln dried firewood is properly stacked for optimal use when you need it.

Firewood Stacks Around the World

Techniques for stacking firewood varies around the world. The way it is stacked and stored depends upon the quantity needed. Most consumers store firewood on commercially made wood racks. Handier consumers embark on DIY projects and construct stands, racks or sheds specifically for the needs of home or restaurant in question. No matter the method, the end goal when stacking firewood is make sure to keep it dry and ready for use!

United States

In America we stick to a rectangular method often changing the direction of the wood for each layer for optimal air flow. These wood piles are often narrow and long creating easy access to individual pieces while blending into the background of a backyard, porch or deck. Typically anchor pieces are established vertically of either end of the pile while pallets or some other type of material is utilized on the bottom of the pile to keep the firewood off the ground surface.

However, for climates that demand constant wood heat, the amount of properly dried wood needed for immediate use is quite extensive. In these regions the firewood is often stacked in the round to account for uneven/odd sized pieces while creating an aesthetically pleasing wood pile.

Norwegian Round

Norwegian Round Method for Stacking FirewoodThis way of stacking firewood has become very popular due to the book by Lars Mytting called “Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way”. This method builds large rounds of wood formations with barked firewood covering the top of the round pile to protect the underlying firewood from the elements. It sits on pallets to keep the pile off the ground, and is started by building the pile around while standing inside the wood pile. Once the circumference is complete, the pile is filled with uneven/smaller pieces of firewood making up the interior while the exterior is built while standing outside the structure.


German Method

German Round Method for Stacking FirewoodThe German method of stacking firewood, known as the holzhaufen (woodpile) or holz hausen (wood house). This intentional design is used to allow air to flow from the outside of the stack into the center to keep all pieces dry. The wood pile dimensions are 6 ft around by 7 ft height. To make them as uniform as possible, the firewood must be 12 to 24 inches in length and similar in width. A stake is used in the center to ensure the pile is 7 ft high. The firewood is then laid down with one end pointing to the center stake and the other pointing to the outside which creates the circumference. This method is repeated in a circular fashion until the pile reaches around 7 ft high. To finish the German wood pile, pieces with bark are placed on top (just like the Norwegian Round method) to protect the pile from the elements.

Shaker or Amish Round Method for Stacking FirewoodThe Shaker or Amish method stacks firewood in the round, but without the central stake as a reference point.

Not only are these round wood files aesthetically pleasing, the wood enthusiasts that utilize them feel they are better than the traditional rectangular shaped wood pile because they :

  • Take less time to stack
  • Shed water better, than a pile with a tarp cover which can trap moisture
  • Are more stable due to the wider width 

No matter how you choose to stack firewood, the goal should always be to keep the wood as dry as possible. However, if you start with the driest, most seasoned wood, kiln dried firewood, you are off to a good start. Make sure to keep it dry and be ready for a comfortable, comforting time around a crackling wood fire during the cold fall and winter months!

Need Firewood to Stack?

We offer the best kiln dried firewood in the NYC and CT areas at great prices, excellent service and convenience.  Premier Firewood Company™ can deliver firewood to your residence or restaurant, and stack the wood for you at no extra charge. Give us a call today at 203-866-4252.

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