How to Dry Leyland Cypress Wood

Written by cat mccabe
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How to Dry Leyland Cypress Wood
Dry out Leyland cypress before burning it. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Seasoning Leyland cypress firewood means drying the wood so that it produces less smoking and sparking when it burns. Leyland cypress can be considered dry when its moisture content is below 20 per cent of its weight, according to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Splitting cypress logs will help speed drying by exposing inner surface areas of the wood to air. Seasoning usually takes about a year, when done properly, and Leyland cypress is considered to be medium-quality firewood.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pallets
  • Clear plastic tarp
  • Utility knife
  • Stakes

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut and stack Leyland cypress for drying in the fall, one year ahead of use. Wood split the same year will smoke and spark because of high moisture and sap content. If you cut down a Leyland cypress in summer, leave it lying on the ground for a couple of months, intact. Twigs and foliage will pull large amounts of water from the trunk, drying it quicker.

  2. 2

    Put pallets in a clearing. The pallets will let air circulate beneath the woodpile you're about to build. Keep the woodpile well away from your home, where it can be a fire hazard.

  3. 3

    Stack rows of cypress wood on top of the pallets. Make each layer perpendicular to the one below, to maximise air circulation through the woodpile

  4. 4

    Pull a clear plastic tarp over the stack of Leyland cypress. Drive stakes to secure the bottom edge on all sides. Poke small holes in the sides of the tarp with a utility knife to let water vapour out while not letting rainwater in. Solar heat trapped under the tarp will cook insects and their eggs and help the stack dry out.

Tips and warnings

  • A "cord" of wood is a stack 4 feet tall, 8 feet long and 4 feet deep.
  • Keeping firewood indoors year-round increases the chances that bugs will infest your home. Take firewood outdoors in the sun for the summer and fall.

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