For those not yet initiated, it may sound like a good idea to fell and split the wood at summertime. However, the optimum season to fell timber is actually in winter when the trees don’t contain that much water. The cutting and splitting should then be done early spring (March-April for the northern hemisphere). At this time of year the weather is still dry but the temperature is rising, which ensures the wood to dry out. By late spring/early summer (beginning of June for the northern hemisphere) humidity increases and it’s best to cover the firewood with a tarp or store it under a roof.
The smartest way to stack firewood is tall and narrow, allowing good ventilation. One should not be too careful when stacking it, so wood surfaces end up too close to each other. You want there to be many air pockets between the logs.
To avoid moisture creeping in from below, it is advantageous to use some form of a pallet at the bottom of the stack. This also allows air to circulate freely under the firewood and makes it dry up faster.
As we all know a fire is a living and ever changing phenomena. Each kind of firewood gives it its own character. What makes the perfect fire then?
The secret is to mix woods. You can use pine splints to ignite and gain speed. If you like your fire to crackle and smell of resin you can add a few pieces of spruce. Finally you mix in some birch so the fire can burn longer and provide that comfortable heat.