How To Store Firewood

Firewood-Storage

 

Since it’s the middle of summer odds are good your not buring to much firewood right now. This makes it the perfect time to make sure everything is ready for this coming winter! One of the questions we get asked regualrly when we make deliveries is “How should I store firewood?” So weve decided to take a few minutes and answer this and a few other common questions about storing firewood!

 

Ways To Store Firewood

 

  • firewood rack is the most popular way to store firewood. Probably 70% of our clients use some kind of firewood rack to store their firewood. They do not have to be complicated to be effective! They can be as simple a two 2×4’s laid on the gorund. The more decorative firewood racks can be purchased at any major retailer.
  • You can stack your firewood between two trees. This is the second most popular method we see. It is essentially using nature as your firewood rack.
  • Stack the firewood in your garage. If you get your firewood from a reputable source that properly processes their firewood then your firewood should not be full of bugs and will be totally safe to stack in you garage.
Should I Cover My Firewood Stack

 

YES! Covering your firewood stack is a great idea. The advantages of keeping your firewood covered include:

  • Keeping your firewood from getting moldy. No one wants modly firewood, if your storage area stays damp after a rain and it is not covered then you could find mold and rot when you go to burn your firewood.
  • Your firewood is always dry and ready to burn. This may sound like a no brainer but can be terribly frustrating to want to have a fire and walk out to find a soaking wet stack that can take up to two or three days to dry back out.
What Not To Do

 

Do not throw your firewood into a pile and leave it that way on the ground! The pile method doesnt allow for good airflow round the wood which keeps your wood in the middle green. It encourages mold growth in the center of your pile because there is no way for light and air to dry the wood out. Since the firewood is sitting on the ground it will also begin to rot much much faster than wood that is properly stacked and covered.

If you have any questions about the article or would like to order some of our all hardwood seasoned firewood email us at Mark@MarksFirewood.com or call 704-661-0947

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Is Pine Firewood Any Good?

 

If you live in North Carolina or even the south east for that matter you will notice one type of tree we are not short on is pine. Pine is a very a hardy tree that grows fairly quickly and is able to thrive in a wide range of soil conditions. Since pine is so easily accessible in the Charlotte NC area it would make sense that people would want to use it as firewood.

Some people will say pine should never be used as firewood and some will say that it burns fine. We wanted to set the record straight and say that pine does make good firewood when used in the appropriate places. Pine is considered a soft wood and when dried or seasoned properly it burns hot and rather fast. Since it is not a hard wood it does not provide the amount of heat output or the nice coal bed a typical hardwood fire provides. If you would like to try using some pine as firewood we are going to go over how to identify pine trees and places you should and should not burn pine firewood.

 

How To Identify Pine Trees

 

Pine trees are probably one of the easiest trees to point out thanks to their unique foliage or pine needles and inevitable presence of pine cones that are always on the ground close by. There are roughly 6 different species of pine tree that are native to NC. It can be quite difficult to spot the differences between the species unless you become familiar with the differences in the bark on tree. All six different pine species grow to heights of 80-140 feet in North Carolina. Below are a few pictures of the bark patterns of the three most common species.

Mark's Firewood Tree Identification

Longleaf Pine

Mark's Firewood Tree Identification

Eastern White Pine

Mark's Firewood Tree Identification

Loblolly Pine

Places It Is Ok And Not Ok To Burn Pine Firewood

 

Pine firewood should only be used in open air outdoor areas. Pine trees in our area contain large amounts of sap. If you ever cut a pine tree you can actually watch the sap begin to run out of the tree. When the wood is dried or seasoned and ready to burn the pieces of pine firewood are no longer sticky but still contain large amounts of the dried sap. When the firewood is burned the sap is released into the air and can cling to the inside of your chimney creating creosote build up. Creosote build ups are a major fire hazard and can cause your home to be at risk! So if you would like to burn pine keep it separated from your hardwoods so you will remember to only burn it outdoors.

 If you have any questions about the article or would like to order some of our all hardwood seasoned firewood email us at Mark@MarksFirewood.com or call 704-661-0947.

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Simple Steps To Avoid Firewood Pests

Avoiding firewood pests

Earlier this month our friends over at Triangle Pest Control wrote an article with some great tips on how to keep your home and firewod pest free. We thought since we are right in the middle of firewood season here in North Carolina it would be a great time to share these simple steps with all of you!

Use local, dry firewood

Aside from benefiting the Charlotte economy, shopping local for firewood also decreases your chances of carrying home a non-native insect. Here at Mark’s Firewood  we only sell the best seasoned hardwoods that have been dried for at least six months. We also dry our firewood in stacks that are raised off the ground. Our seasoning process ensures the firewood has a very low moisture conent which doesn’t promote the growth of mold or the damp enviroment most pest thrive in.

Store the firewood outdoors

One of the easiest way to reduce your family’s exposure to pests and the dangerous pathogens they carry is through prevention. By stacking firewood several feet away from your home, wood-boring pests won’t stand a chance of finding their way indoors. It’s also a good idea to elevate the firewood to allow for airflow. This reduces the moisture that attracts bugs in the first place. You can use inexpensive concrete blocks, or invest in a more attractive firewood rack.

Burn the oldest wood first

We always encourage our customers to burn the oldest wood first. This will automatically re-organize your firewood stack, making it a less desirable breeding zone. By practicing the first in/first out method, you will effectively eliminate the chances of a problematic infestation. However, prior to bringing any firewood inside, we recommend giving it a good shake. Even though you plan to throw the wood immediately into the fire, there could be a few stragglers that choose to detach themselves rather than being engulfed in flames.

By practicing these three preventative measures, you and your family are likely to have a happy holiday, with pests far from your mind.

We would like to thank Triangle Pest Control for the great pest control tips!

If you would like more information about their services, give them a call today.

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Great Local NC Web / Logo Design

We are quickly approaching the one year anniversay of starting our online presence here at Mark’s Firewood. It has been a incredible learning expierence that has become much more successful than we had ever hoped for. We are very thankful for all of our customers in the greater Charlotte area. None of this would have been possible without the help of a friend who happens to be a excellent web and graphic designer.

Canary Design Studio was started by Alexa in 2012 in Chapel Hill, NC. Having grown up knowing Alexa and how talented she was at her work, there was no question about who I was going to contact when we decided that we need quite a bit of web design and logo design help. Alexa was extremely helpful is guding us through the process of designing a company logo and website in a way that made it a very pleasant expierence. She takes pride in her work and it shows becuase she isnt happy until the customer is happy.

After the project was completed there was an issue with our logo not showing up on the website, which I might add was my fault, Alexa made it a point to take time out of her day after work hours to get the issue fixed. It is this kind of customer service that will keep us coming back to Canary Design Studio for all of our web and graphic design needs!

Here what she was able to creat us for our new logo. We have gotten great feedback on it from our customers!

Mark's Firewood- Cahrlotte's Best Firewood

 

If you need any personal or company design / graphics / or branding work done be sure to give Canary Design Studio a call and see what Alexa can do for you!

Contact Info:

Canary Design Studio

Website: http://www.canarydesignstudio.com/

Email: canarydesignstudio@gmail.com

 

 

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Charlotte NC Hardwood Tree Identification

Charlotte Firewood- Cut Ash Hardwood / Mark's Firewood

For the do-it-yourself people out there here is a little information about the five types of hardwood Mark’s Firewood uses most often and some pictures to help you identify them just in case you have any of these trees taken down on your property or you interested in splitting your own firewood. You could even just be looking for some quality trees to plant around your home. So here is our list:

 

Oak- (Red & White)

Oak, both the red and white variety are very common all over the south east. It is a very hardy tree that grows easily in many climates even in urban areas. They can grow to be 60 to 100 ft tall. They are very popular to use for woodworking and are commonly used for flooring, timber and furniture. The red oak gets its name from the deep red color the leaves turn in the fall.

Charlotte Firewood- Red Oak Bark

Read Oak Bark- Charlotte Firewood

Charlotte Firewood- Cut Red Oak

Red Oak Cut- Charlotte Firewood

Charlotte Firewood- White Oak

White Oak- Charlotte Firewood

Charlotte Firewood- Cut White Oak

White Oak Cut- Charlotte Firewood

Ash- (White Ash)

The white ash tree grows all over the eastern United States from Maine to Florida.  It grows to be anywhere from 50 to 80 feet high. The white ash is a easy to grow tree that grows very well in North Carolina soil. It is commonly use to make things like flooring, baseball bats, tool handles, and furniture.

Charlotte Firewood- Ash Hardwood / Mark's Firewood

Charlotte Firewood- Ash Hardwood

Charlotte Firewood- Cut Ash Hardwood / Mark's Firewood

Charlotte Firewood- Cut Ash Hardwood

 

Hickory

The hickory tree has several different varieties that can all be found all over the eastern United States. the most common is the bitternut hickory, it is also the one we see the most of in North Carolina. It grows well in soil that is low in nutrients. It is a very hard and durable wood with many uses, it is used in furniture, tool handles, ladders, and is the wood of choice for smoking meats.

Charlotte Firewood- Hickory Hardwood Bark

Hickory Bark- Charlotte Firewood

Charlotte Firewood- Cut Hickory Hardwood

Hickory Cut- Charlotte Firewood

 

Poplar- (Yellow Poplar)

The yellow poplar tree grows all across the state of North Carolina but flourishes in the mountainous regions in the moist soils near streams. The poplar trees can grow to heights of over 110 feet tall with a trunk diameter up to five feet. The yellow poplar gets its name from the yellowish green color the heartwood of the tree gets as it matures. It is considered one of the most valuable hardwood trees in the state because it is light, soft and easy to work. its lumber is commonly used for interior trim, exterior trim, and chip boards.

Charlotte Firewood- Poplar Hardwood

Poplar Hardwood- Charlotte Firewood

 

 

If you have any questions about the article or would like to order some of our all hardwood seasoned firewood email us at Mark@MarksFirewood.com or call 704-661-0947.

 

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Best Burning Types of Wood for Firewood

Charlotte Firewood- Hardwood Firewood / Mark's Firewood

When your looking for firewood there are two things you need to look for to be sure you are getting a great load of wood. The most important is the process and time used to season the firewood, which we discussed in our article on how we season our firewood. The second most important thing to ensure you get a great load of firewood is the type of wood. With a wide variety of trees growing  here in North Carolina and all of them tending to look fairly similar we decided to go over which hardwoods we choose to use here at Mark’s Firewood for our seasoned firewood and why.

We use five kinds of tree’s; red oak, white oak, hickory, ash, and poplar. Our decision to use these five species for our firewood was no easy task. We looked at things like ease of access to the wood, ease of splitting, heat output when burned, the amount of sparking when burned, and the amount of smoking when burning. It took years of trial and error to figure out that the five species we use are the best choices for firewood in the North Carolina area. These days with the abundance of information online we were able to find a great chart from Utah State University that breaks down what we learned from trial and error. Here are the charts from their site:

Firewood Heat Output

Firewood Heat Output-2

 

*Please note that not all of the trees listed are native to or even grow in North Carolina.

As you can see the five types of wood we use all provide a great quality fire with a high heat output. The chart is a great resource because it shows you  there are many types of hardwoods out there that will make good firewood they just are not very prevalent so we do not see them or use them very often for our firewood. The chart does however list three different types of pine as burnable. We strongly recommend that you DO NOT BURN PINE OF ANY KIND INSIDE YOUR HOME! It causes an excess build up of creosote in your chimney which is a major fire hazard. Pine can be burned outside in a fire-pit with no negative consequences.

 As always we hope this article was helpful and at least a little educational.

 If you have any questions about the article or would like to order some of our all hardwood seasoned firewood email us at Mark@MarksFirewood.com or call 704-661-0947.

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How Much Firewood Is In A Cord?

Charlotte Firewood- Hardwood Firewood / Mark's Firewood

It is finally getting cold outside here in Charlotte NC and this means it’s time to start having a nice warm fire in the fireplace to relax around at night. So tis’ the season to start firewood shopping! The big question is how much firewood should you purchase because we all know those little five piece, plastic wrapped bundles just don’t cut it.

We are going to look at some terms we commonly use in the tree industry to describe different quantities of firewood. Normally here at Mark’s Firewood our customers call and say they would like to buy a cord of our seasoned firewood. People seem to normally ask for a cord of wood because it is the most commonly used term in reference to a quantity of firewood. It also happens to be the only official measurement term for specific quantity of firewood.

However we have found that in the Charlotte NC area a cord of seasoned firewood is much more than the average person will burn in a single winter. So just how much firewood is in a cord? A cord of firewood is defined as enough stacked pieces of firewood to fill a 128 cubic foot area. This works out to be a stack 4 ft high by 4 ft wide by 8 ft long.

Mark's Firewood- Cord of Firewood

Dimensions of a cord of firewood

Locally here in Charlotte we have a couple terms we use along with a cord to describe a quantity of firewood. The second most used measurement is a face cord. A face cord is a stacked row of wood that measures 4 ft high and 8 ft long. At Mark’s Firewood if you purchase our truck load of wood you are getting exactly a face cord of wood. Another term we hear is a rick or a rick cord. This is a newer term for us but from our understanding it is just another name for a face cord and also refers to a stack of wood 4 ft high and 8 ft long.

We hope this helps with your decision on how much firewood you need to get you through this winter!

 If you have any questions about the article or would like to order some of our all hardwood seasoned firewood email us at Mark@MarksFirewood.com or call 704-661-0947.

 

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What is Seasoned Firewood?

Charlotte Firewood Stacks / Mark's Firewood

At Mark’s Firewood we get asked almost every day if we have seasoned wood. It is a great question to ask when looking for good firewood supplier, but what does having seasoned wood really mean? There are a variety of definitions floating around out there some true and some not so true. So we decided to give our best explanation!

As we all know trees pull water from the ground through extensive root systems to stay alive, so when trees and cut down they still contain rather large amounts of water in both the base and the branches. Since freshly cut trees have such a high moisture content they are considered to be “green”. A freshly cut or “green” tree is almost impossible to burn. In order to get green wood ready to burn there are three things that need to be done:

  1. The tree needs to be split into firewood. As long as the tree and its branches are in log form they are able to keep a high enough moisture content to make them difficult to burn.
  2. The wood need to be stacked in rows not thrown into piles. This is very important and is one of the ways we at Mark’s Firewood ensure we have the best firewood in Charlotte. The location where the wood is stacked is also important; it should be in an area with good air circulation and plenty of sunlight. This allows the wood to dry our as quickly and evenly as possible.
  3. Be patient! The seasoning process takes time, with the climate we have here in Charlotte, NC we allow our wood to season for five or six months after being stacked. After that amount of time the woods moisture content will be almost identical to the surrounding air and will be easy to burn!

Following these three steps will create perfectly seasoned wood every time!

If you have any questions about seasoning wood or would like to order some of our all hardwood seasoned firewood email us at Mark@marksfirewood.com or call 704-661-0947.

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