Does Firewood Dry in the Winter? (YES or No?)

Suppose it is the winter season, and you could see beautiful snowfall outside, and in this weather what you need to do is, you need to keep yourself warm. However, what if your firewood does not dry? Are you going to freeze to death? A big NO, right? 

Exactly, I also do not want that to happen to you, thus, let me tell you A to Z about drying firewood in winter. 

Does Firewood Dry in the Winter? 

The short answer to this question is Yes! Firewood does dry in the winter however; it is going to be a very slow process which means firewood dries quicker in the summertime.

In addition, some other factors play a great role here such as where you live, the kind of wood you want to dry out, the time of the year (wood cutting time), the duration of the drying out time, etc. 

You must be wondering why drying out woods take more time in winter and how the other factors play a crucial role here. Well, do not worry my friend, I will not leave you alone in this maze! 

Is Your Firewood Ready to Burn? 

 Well, you cannot just cut a tree and burn the firewood, can you? You have to check whether the firewood is ready to be burned or not. 

There are some simple ways to do it. The less moisture in firewood, the better firewood burns. If you are wondering how to figure out the moisture percentage then just buy a moisture meter and you are sorted! 

Is your firewood ready? (Without Moisture Meter) 

What if you do not have a moisture meter and forget to buy or bring one? Sometimes we forget to keep the most necessary thing with us and that is completely fine because I am here to tell you some alternative solutions! 

  1. Color (Blue, purple or yellow?)  

Well, if you want to burn firewood then please do not go for the mentioned colors above (giggles)! 

When you cut a tree in the first phase the wood is of green or brown color and it has moisture to it thus, it will not burn properly. However, if you give time and let the firewood dry then it will take a grey color and look dull. So, in this case, the grey color is your buddy! 

  1. Bark 

Well, when I hear the word bark the first thing that comes to my mind is to let the dog bark however, my friend here, will be talking about leaves instead of dogs (chuckles)! 

If the firewood is ready to burn, then you will notice that the barks are easily separable and that should be your prime focus! If you notice that the barks are half separable and it is greenish inside, then that means your firewood needs more need time to be prepared for burning. 

  1. Sound

The sound of the music? Woohoo! I am not talking about the movie here. 

If you bang on the firewood and hear a damp sound, then your firewood is not ready. However, if you bang on the firewood and hear an empty but crisp sound then just start preparing to burn the firewood! 

How to Make your Firewood Ready?

If you want to make your firewood ready to burn, then you have to keep the moisture level at a low rate. The process through which you can make the firewood reach a certain moisture level is known as, seasoning

To complete the seasoning process well, what you have to do is, you have to keep the firewood under sunlight for a long time through which your firewood can lower its moisture level and turn into a grey color from green color

Seasoning time may vary depending on the weather, wood type, and condition. However, in every situation the main factor will be the moisture level, if your wood has more moisture then it will take more time to complete the seasoning process. 

Now, I will tell you a few seasoning tips and tricks: 

  1. Dry Place

Place your firewood in a very dry place, make sure the place is not wet. 

  1. Sunlight

Be cautious about the fact that there is enough sunlight. Even if it is wintertime, make sure that your firewood is exposed to the atmosphere. 

  1. Snowfall and Rainfall, a Big NO!

Keep one side of the firewood completely exposed to the atmosphere (as previously mentioned), however, do save your firewood from snowfall and rainfall. 

Should You Cover Your Firewood in Winter? 

No, you should not cover your firewood in winter. However, when it is snowing, keep your firewood away from the snow but exposed to the atmosphere. 

Because of the humidity level, it of course takes more time for the firewood to dry in winter than in the summertime. However, as long as it is exposed to the atmosphere which means there is sunlight/air/oxygen your firewood will dry. 

Please be careful about the fact that you cannot place your firewood in a damp or moist place even during the summertime, because moisture acts as an obstacle when it comes to drying firewood. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Long Does Wood Take to Dry in Winter?

Answer: The drying or seasoning process depends on a lot of things such as the time of the year, weather, the type of wood and also, and the condition. On average, it could take around six months to two years for the firewood to dry completely. 

How Do You Dry Your Firewood Quickly?

Answer: First of all, place the stack of firewood in a dry place. Keep it away from snowfall and rain. It is better if you keep the stack small. Keep one side completely exposed to the atmosphere and last but not least, the more sunlight, the better! 

Can You Burn Freshly Cut Wood?

Answer: Burning freshly cut wood is not something that I would recommend. Because it might emit more smoke and in addition, it does not burn the way dry firewood would because a freshly cut firewood has more moisture making it difficult to burn.  

What Happens to Wet Wood When It Freezes?

Answer: During winter the humidity level in the atmosphere tends to be low, as a result, it affects the wood also causing it to shrink. However, when the humidity level increases it can go back to its original size. So, nothing to worry about!

Can I Put the Wood Item in the Freezer?

Answer: If you buy secondhand wood items and are worried about the woodworms and pets then do not worry! You can put your wood items in the freezer for at least two days to kill the potential harmful animals such as woodworms and pets. Your safety is in your hands!  


If it is winter and you are worried about the fact that your firewood will dry or not, then please be assured. Because even in winter firewood does dry, however, it is a slower process than in the summertime. 

To figure out if your firewood is ready to burn or not, always pay attention to 3 factors. 

  • Color 
  • Bark 
  • Sound 

In addition, to make the firewood ready and complete the seasoning process, 

  • Keep the stack of firewood in a dry place
  • Make sure the stack gets maximum sunlight
  • Keep the stack away from rain and snowfall 

If you pay attention to the things mentioned above, then I can assure you that the fire in your fireplace will never be extinguished. 

So, folks, keep yourselves and your family members warm even in winter! 

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