We've talked about the benefits of burning seasoned wood instead of green wood and how to season your wood, but we haven't covered how to tell if your wood is properly seasoned or not. Here are a few things to look at:
- Weight -- Seasoned wood is noticably lighter than green wood of the same species.
- Loose Bark -- When wood dries, the bark tends to fall off more easily. This doesn't mean any wood that still has bark firmly in place is necessarily green, but in a cord of seasoned wood, you can find quite a few pieces of wood where the bark has sloughed off.
- Smell -- Fresh, green wood smells pleasant with a sap-tinted aroma. Seasoned wood still smells like wood, but the scent won't be nearly as strong.
- Color -- As wood seasons, the color of the sapwood on the ends and split sides fades; a cord of seasoned firewood should look dull and subdued rather than bright.
- Cambium -- The cambium is the very thin layer between the bark and the sapwood. If you suspect some wood of being green, peel back a section of bark and check for greenness in this layer. If it's green, so is the wood.
Source: Guide to Wood Heat