Image by Jaedde & Sis: flickr.com

For most, there is both an art and a science to stacking firewood in a woodpile. Whether you’ve cut and split it yourself, or just received a delivery from a local supplier, it can’t be left in a heap.The rain run down and soak in the ends and moisture from the ground will soak into the bark.

The basics are very straight-forward – it is essential that the wood is stacked loosely and off the floor. Care is need is how the wood is stacked to maintain stability in the pile. The objective is to let air circulate around the wood to dry it out. This is particularly important for newly felled wood which needs to season (dry out) for 1-2 years to bring its moisture level to about 15-20%. Of course, it is important to somehow keep the rain off.

But after that, tradition and human ingenuity take over – from simple stacks against the side of a house, to beehive shaped ‘Holz Hausen’ woodpile and sophisticated wood sheds. Here are images of some artistic wood stacks, although we suspect not all were designed for function!

The author Henry Thoreau wrote “Wood warms you twice… once when you cut it and again when you burn it.” However most owners of wood burners would argue that it warms you many more times, in fact every time that wood is moved or restacked on its journey towards the fireplace.

But once the wood has arrived there, nothing beats the Grenadier Firelighter for fast and clean lighting of a fire or stove.