Don’t cover the stack of firewood completely with a tarp. This traps water vapor and makes it nearly impossible for wood to dry.

It’s best to install some stakes and rope at the sides of the tarp to extend the tarp away from the stacked wood, much like a camping tent rain fly. These tarp wings ensure the sides of the wood stack don’t get wet from all but the worst driving rain.

It’s vitally important that you do everything possible to promote the movement of air through the wood if you want it to dry rapidly.

Firewood pros stack and cover their wood for at least a year before they intend to burn it. This means you typically have two years’ worth of wood on site at the beginning of each wood-burning season.

Don’t forget that some wood is easier to split when it’s partially dry. Other wood is best split as soon as it’s cut into links from the fallen tree. Talk to a professional woodsman to determine when it is best to split your wood. A hydraulic wood splitter will become your best friend if you intend to burn lots of firewood. I love my 27-ton hydraulic wood splitter.

— Tim Carter