Preparing burr maple

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8 May 2021
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I have a mate who is a tree surgeon and he frequently drops branches and tree rings onto my drive for me to cut up and use as firewood. Yesterday he delivered some hazel, ash and quite a lot of maple, some of which has burrs. Most of the branches are fairly straight and around 2m long but vary in width from 15-30cm.

I am 5 years away from retirement and would like to build up a stash of wood to work when that happy day arrives. Would it be possible for this to be prepared for use in a few years time?

I assume that I’d have to cut to size and then seal the cut ends with something, but I have no idea what. I also have no idea how to store them but they could be kept outside in the open or in a log store. I’d be prepared, but reluctant, to keep them in my shed because I already struggle for space.

I’d be very grateful for any guidance which could be provided. If this is a non-starter then instead of seasoning for working it can go into the log pile.

Seal any ends with plastic, wax or even any gloss paint. Best put in a log store, as being so fresh they would likely cause moisture in your shed.
If your firewood is stored under cover and out of the sun with good ventilation then thats as good a place as any. Branch wood can be a problem for furniture making but its great for turning. As said above seal the ends with something as soon as possible.
Thanks for your comments. They have been cut and the ends sealed with Zinsser stain block before being stacked in the wood shed, ready to emerge in 5 years time.
I remember watching a programme of an old chap out in USA that was running a wood yard as a business. He just had basically a roof on 4 posts over the stack of wood being dried. This allowed the air to circulate all around the wood. I don't know how our weather with driving rain would work but if you had space in your garden, it would be quite easy to make.

The other interesting thing I can remember was that place your stickers as close to the ends of the boards as possible. Any checks starting on the end of the board will normally stop at the sticker. At work we had at the time quite a bit of wood we were drying, and each board with a check stopped at the sticker!

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