To Bark Up or Down? The Great Firewood Stacking Debate

Have you ever wondered whether stacking the logs with the bark up or down makes a difference? It might seem like a trivial question, but it is a topic that sparks debate among homeowners and firewood experts alike. So, what’s the right way to stack firewood?

Some swear by one method, while others swear by the other. So, what’s the deal? The answer depends on a few factors, such as the type of wood you have and how seasoned it is. If you’re using logs that are freshly cut or not fully dry, it’s best to stack them bark-side down. This way, the moisture in the wood will continue evaporating from the wood.

The risk of stacking unseasoned firewood bark-side up is that it can create a barrier and trap moisture inside. This can potentially lead to rot and other issues.

On the other hand, if your firewood is fully seasoned – meaning it’s aged and dry – you have more flexibility in how you stack it. You can choose to stack the logs bark-side up or down, depending on your preferences. Stacking the logs with the bark side up can be beneficial because it provides natural protection from rain and snow.

Ultimately, the best way to stack your firewood will come down to understanding how seasoned your logs are, and then you can decide whether to stack it with the bark up or down.

Benefits of stacking firewood bark up and down

Let’s now look in more detail at the pros and cons of stacking firewood bark up or down.

do you stack firewood bark up or down

Stacking Firewood Bark Up


  • Provides natural protection from rain and snow, reducing risks of rot
  • Aesthetically pleasing for outdoor living spaces
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  • If your firewood is not fully seasoned, it won’t dry out properly.

Stacking Firewood Bark Down


  • Allows unseasoned wood to dry out faster due to a larger area of your firewood being exposed to air.


  • Can be more difficult to move logs if they slide on the ground when you try picking them up.

Why Bark Placement Matters

If you usually store your wood outside and it rains, the bark can act as a natural shield, preventing the water from penetrating the wood. When you stack your wood bark up, it can provide better air circulation. This can also help prevent mold and fungi growth, which can be a problem if your wood is not properly dried.

do you stack firewood bark up or down

However, there are also some drawbacks to stacking bark up. One typical example is that it can be harder to stack. The bark can be uneven, making it difficult to create a stable pile. Also, bark can be a haven for insects and pests. If you plan on moving your wood indoors, you may not want to risk attracting unwanted guests.

Now, let’s talk about stacking bark down. Some people prefer this method because it can be easier to stack. When the bark is facing down, it provides a flat surface for your wood to rest on, making it easier to create a neat and orderly pile.

When you stack bark down, any water that gets on the wood will run off more easily, preventing it from accumulating in the troughs of the bark.

However, as with stacking bark up, there are also some drawbacks to stacking bark down. One of the biggest concerns is that this method can make your wood more susceptible to rot. This is especially the case if your firewood is not properly seasoned. If water does get underneath the wood and is unable to evaporate, it can lead to decay and rot over time.

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There is also a school of thought that believes that stacking bark down can prevent proper air circulation, which can make it harder for your wood to dry out.

Final Thoughts

So what is the best way to stack firewood? As with most things, it really depends on your specific situation and the current state of your wood.

do you stack firewood bark up or down

If you’re storing your wood outdoors and want to protect it from moisture, stacking bark up might be the better choice. If you’re stacking your wood indoors and want a tidy pile that’s easy to manage, stacking bark down might be the way to go.

In the same vein, if your firewood is properly seasoned, then stacking it bark-side up will act as a shield from the elements while stacking it bark-side down will give you a flat surface that’s easy to work with.

No matter which method you choose to go with, just make sure you take into account the state of your firewood and where it’s going to be stored when deciding whether to stack bark up or down. This will help make sure that your firewood remains dry and burns quickly and efficiently.