Wood logs with bark can be preserved in a number of ways. One option is to use a log splitter to cut the logs into manageable pieces and then stack them in a shed or other covered area. Another option is to coat the logs with a layer of wax, which will help to protect them from moisture and decay.
Cut the stock in the winter when the sap is not flowing. Bacteria or mold growing under the bark will reduce its bond to the wood
Cutting the stock in the winter when the sap is not flowing is the best way to preserve wood logs with bark. Bacteria or mold growing under the bark will reduce its bond to the wood. The cut should be made as close to perpendicular to the grain as possible for two reasons: first, it makes a cleaner cut and second, it provides more surface area for the log to dry evenly. If you are cutting more than a few logs, use a chainsaw for speed and efficiency.
After cutting, stack the logs in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight where they will be protected from rain. If you have access to a kiln, this is the best place to dry your logs as it will kill any bugs or larvae that may be present and speed up the drying process. Otherwise, simply stacking them in an open area will suffice – just be sure to check on them regularly and turn them so they dry evenly all around.
Once your logs are completely dry (you can tell by tapping on them – if they sound hollow then they’re good), you can apply a sealant if desired. This step is not necessary but can help prolong their life even further by protecting against moisture damage and rot. Simply brush on a thin layer of sealant all over each log and allow it to cure thoroughly before storing or using them in your project.
Store your harvested pieces in a cool, dry place. Or, if you can put it in a kiln right away that is even better
If you have cut your own wood or had it cut for you, now it’s time to store it until you’re ready to use it. Here are some tips on how to best preserve your wood.
The first thing you want to do is allow the log sections to dry out as much as possible. If they are still green (hasn’t been cut for a while or recently felled), then this will take a few weeks or even months. You can speed up the process by cutting the logs into smaller pieces and/or splitting them in half length-wise. This will expose more of the inner surface area of the wood to air, hastening the drying process. You can store your dry wood indoors or outdoors, but if stored outdoors, be sure to cover it with a tarp or other waterproof material; otherwise, rain and snow will cause the logs to re-absorb moisture from the air and start the drying process all over again (not ideal). It’s also important that your storage area have good airflow so that mold doesn’t start growing on any of the surfaces of your wood. An ideal storage location would be in a garage or shed where there is some protection from extreme weather conditions but plenty of ventilation.
Once your logs are dry, you may want to consider putting them in a kiln if you have one available. This will further help preserve them by keeping out moisture and insects that could cause damage over time. If not kiln-dried, just be sure to check on your stored wood every few months or so and look for any signs of rot, mold, mildew, etc.; if any is present, remove affected pieces immediately as these problems can spread quickly through an entire stack of lumber/logs.