How To Split Green Wood (Safety, Equipment & Manual Splitting)

How To Split Green Wood

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I won’t waste your time describing what green woods are because I’m certain you have some idea. Or you wouldn’t have stopped by this article, right? 

However, the question is not about the basics, but it’s about how to split green wood without exerting too much energy. 

There are several ways you can carry out the process. I’ll take you on to those steps so that you don’t feel too lost. It’s a great start for beginners too! 

Shall we proceed? 

Safety First Fellows!

Yes, I know you can’t wait to start with the steps but wait! You’re forgetting one essential aspect of splitting green woods, seasoned woods, whether with a tool or a machine. 

The wood-splitting tricks mean nothing if you neglect your safety. No matter how young and brave you might be (or overflowing with experience), be sensible. 

Hence, check the three accessories below and learn why you should have them:

1. Safety Glasses

I get that green wood tends to spit fewer wood pieces but come on! Don’t overlook this crucial add-on that can save your eyes from temporary blindness. 

2. Gloves

When you work with woods/log rounds – dry or wet, the first thing you do is, put on those thick gloves. Splinters are honestly pretty annoying when the minuscule materials are stuck. Abolish them with the mighty gloves!  

3. Capped Boots

Even your superior will bark at you if you don’t wear safety boots, aka capped ones. You will have to interact with axes, mauls, large/small log rounds, and so on. The potential injury threats are everywhere, so wear them without a grumble. 

Splitting Green Wood: Manual

The prime trick is the way you stand, given that you followed my advice and garbed yourself with safety items. 

Now, can you split green wood with an axe? Technically, sure, why not? Nevertheless, this will exhaust you quicker as the axe head slope is gentler. It sticks into the wood a lot. 

We need something that does the opposite while being efficient at the same time. A maul, for example, offers that feature due to its steep slope. Consider the tool a big wedge. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Pick a lightweight wedge; they tend to deliver a faster swing.
  2. Prop the log round before you on something flat.
  3. Position yourself – feet apart at shoulder width, extended arm (facing the bull’s eye of the round where you will strike)
  4. Hold the maul – one hand at the lower handle, whereas the other hand should be near the base (near the maul head). 
  5. Make sure the palm of this hand faces towards you – place the thumb close to the maul head; it helps with stability. 
  6. The maul should be around waist level as you bend the elbows slightly. 
  7. Bend your knees and lean over a little.
  8. Lift your maul high (about over your head), straighten up, and extend the arms high. This is the swing peak.
  9. While focusing on the impact point, strike with a downswing.
  10. It will produce a powerful blow, hitting where intended on the wood round. Hammer down the maul till you hear cracking (if the log round is large). 
  11. That’s it, folks. 

Splitting Green Wood: Equipment

Labor-intensive tasks are lengthy to explain, but is it that complicated? No, still, some of us prefer the use of log splitters. What’s that? Do you want to know how to split large green wood? I’m getting there. 

Log splitters literally split the larger logs for a person to handle. It’s a piece of the necessary equipment in the timber industry where massive amounts of freshly felled trees are transported.

How do you operate it? Simply power up the machine, place the log round on the empty track (you can’t ignore it, it’s right against the wedge), and use the safety bar to initiate the splitting action. 

Remember, you have to pull the bar first, then push it for the green woods to split. 

Firewood Type Explained

You classify the wood into two groups – hardwoods and softwoods. Most hardwoods burn easily without emitting too much smoke. On the contrary, softwoods are alright for fire fuel but not a wise choice unless they’re Cedars. 

Split Woods When Green or Seasoned?

Now, the query about splitting firewood green or seasoned relies on the tree type availability in your area. 

Seasoning the firewood indicates drying them for at least 6 months before use. Or else the logs will be too wet to burn efficiently. They will emit more smoke than warmth. 

My suggestion tells splitting the large wood rounds after they are recently cut/felled because they crack easily. Hardwoods, when seasoned, are tough to split, so early splitting should be your best option. 

Next, stack those green split logs – they’ll dry quicker than whole log rounds on the ground. In short, you take advantage of the wet wood and then utilize them after drying with ease. 


Should wood be split before seasoning?

It’s highly opinionated but splitting before seasoning is more effective. They speed up the drying process (seasoning) to 6 months, while whole logs necessitate 12 months of drying. 

Does green wood split easier?

Yes, most wood types split faster when moisture is still within the logs. They are easy to sawing as well.

Do I require superhuman strength to split green wood?

No, but the first swing against the log will need some muscle when using a maul. It may have to be more forceful with an axe, though. So you’re okay with regular human strength. 

Is there a particular trick to splitting green wood?

The trick is about your standpoint from the log round and the force with which you swing the maul. As long as they correspond, you’ll achieve higher split green wood output.

Final Verdict

That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now that you know how to split green wood, you must be wondering why on earth you were so nervous.

This is a simple task that many in the timber industry benefit from, as long as the right tricks are applied. Also, never forget to hold out when your safety is in question. Be safe and split away!

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