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So I've lived in places where it gets about 15 to 20 inches of rain a year. I could leave logs out propped up on branches. They would get rained on, but after a year, they would be plenty dry and ready to use.

And now I'm in a spot where it rains 60 inches a year. Double that of Seattle.

So I have a few projects that could use full size logs and I have several green trees I could use.

I'm thinking I could drop the trees, stack them, and put something over them to help keep most of the moisture off.

I have two ideas:

312) Stack the logs on branches so there can be good air circulation. Maybe even stack logs on branches on logs on branches. Then heap branches over the pile. The criss-crossing of branches should continue to allow air circulation and any rain landing on the pile should follow branches to the ground about 10 times more often than dripping onto the logs. So while it won't be water tight, it will push away 90% of the moisture which should be good enough.

355) Rather than cutting the tree down, girdle it. The tree will die and remain standing. It will then dry over the next several months. On a dry day, I can cut down a dry log. The tree will dry faster when it is vertical. And less rain will hit it when it is vertical. In fact, most of the rain will hit its bark and run off - the bark is gonna come off later anyway.

Since I have never heard of anybody doing this sort of thing, I figure there is probably a good reason why and I'm being a fool for even considering it. But I thought I would test the waters here a bit. Maybe everybody does this sort of thing all the time and I just haven't been paying attention? What do you all think?
 

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I would want to take the bark off the trees myself so's it wouldn't hold in moisture of give insects a hiding place. I'd paint the ends over also so they'd dry slower and hopefully check less. If I was storing logs. If I wanted the lumber I'd have it cut green and stack in properly and cover the stack and allow it to air dry, still painting the ends to allow it to dry slower.
 

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A lot of this depends upon the species of tree involved. If you are dealing with rot resistant varieties then outside drying will work fairly well. I had several red oaks die in a freak hail storm a few years back. That happened in the spring, stripping the new leaves and they didnt recover. I waited until the following spring just to be sure they were indeed not going to recover, and there was no new leaves or growth so I opted to use them. Thy had stood for about a year at that time, I let them stand until that fall, about 18 months since they had died. When I cut them the out layer of sap wood was beginning to get a bit soft, but that was ok, as I wasnt planning to use it anyway, that goes in the slab pile when milling. I cut those trees into lumber, 1 x 3s for hardwood flooring. Stacked it on logs up off the ground with some one inch strips about every 18 inches between layers for ventilation. Those set in the field for four years before I got back to them. the top layers had quite a bit of damage but once I got down in the stack the wood was sound, and well cured. I have some of it installed now, and its plumb pretty. :) When I was building the main walls on the log house, I had the logs delivered, (tulip poplar and a few white oak, 20 ft long, 14 to 20 inch dialmeter on the small end)they lay on the ground about 2 months, maybe three, then peeled them and milled planks and 2 by heavies off each side down to aout a 6 inch center, notched the ends with a dovetail notch and set them right in place. Leaving a 2 inch or so chinking gap between them. They settled in and shrunk a little over the next few months but seemed to have dryed and stabilized in around 6 months.
 

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Would renting a storage place and putting in the wood to dry there be feasible?
 

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I'm guessing your location is the Olympic Peninsala & your burning Douglas fir. Doug-fir is good fire wood but tends to hold on to its bark, retaining its moisture, so standing dead, it tends to rot rather then dry. If it is fir, you'd be better off laying it out on stringers. Then, scarify the lenth of each log with your chain saw to help it release its moisture. Then cover it with a tarp. Its really hard to dry wood with that kind of percipitation. Even when its not raining the humidity is still high. Good luck.
 

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Peel the bark off first. Around here if you let a log set around throughout the summer with it's bark on the wood borer worms will make swiss logs out of them by the end of the summer. Plus they'll dry faster without the bark on them.
 

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I have read quite a bit about drying logs, and I have found one thing in common to all:

Use wax to coat both ends of the logs. This will slow drying and resist cracking and splitting. It will force the log to dry more evenly, forcing the moisture out the sides.

Slow drying is the key.

Make sure you get the logs off the ground. Termites will attack them in no time.

Clove
 

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Are you drying logs for using them in a log home.......or drying them for firewood?

If a log home, what construction method will you be using (full scribe, flat on flat, etc)?
 

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I hope to use the logs for a pole structure
oh well then, just peelem, and usem! they will dry fine standin up in the building. They will shrink a bit in diameter but that wont hurt anything. If you use them horizontally, like for rafters they would sag a bit being green but that can be dealt with by building trusses with them. Even green they cant sag used as trusses. :)
 

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Absolutely. Peel them & use them.

Nearly all of the handcrafted log home builders use "green" logs. They do this for 2 reasons. Its easier to work with green logs---they cut so much easier than dry logs. Its less costly to use green logs. One doesn't have funds tied up in logs that are air drying for a year or two.

"Green" logs will shrink and settle. Make allowances for this & you'll have absolutely no problems.
 

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I'm guessing that you are building a log home- we plan on doing that next spring as well, but we are going to use the butt & pass method, which doesn't require the logs to be dried- are you notching?
 

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green logs...just make plans to rework every single door and window and you won't be disappointed.
 

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With a pole structure, won't the log shrink in the hole? Plus, won't a green log be about 5 times heavier than a dry log? Thus, far harder to get upright in the hole?
The amount of shrinkage in the hole shouldnt really be a problem once the building is up unless you are imbedding in concrete, in which case its still not a big issue, once they have dryed well, you can alsways fill in around them a bit with some mortar if needed. They will be heavier to work with, but again, once they are up, you can proceed with your work and have the building finished long before you would have them ready to begin if you were to allow them to dry first. The green log will not weigh 5 times as much normally, I have found them to be about 1 1/2 times as heavy as a cured log. This of course would depend upon the species of tree. I deal with mostly appalachian hardwoods that are heavy even when dry. :)
 
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