I recently cut down 3 Acacia sieberiana (Paperbark Acacia) trees. The trunks are around 30-45cm in diameter. The wood is known for being extremely wet.

I want to use the stunning timber at a later stage.

Is it better to store them stacked in 38mm slabs or should I leave them as logs and only cut after a year??

  • 1
    If you cut them into slabs now they'll dry faster, assuming you've put some spacers between them.
    – MattDMo
    Commented Jun 16, 2022 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


Your trees will maybe begin to decay if stored as logs. When sawmills need to store logs for extended time it is often kept floating in water. Logs can be safely stored in water for years, out of water big chance of fungus attack or drying defect and yield always lower.

If you are lucky and your logs survived 1 year storage drying clock starts after sawing slabs, so wood will not be ready to use for over 3 years!

Saw now, seal end grain very well (most important!), stack with stickers, tie together with strong strap clamps or band clamps. Your slabs ready to use in 24-28 months.

slabbed logs

How To Air-Dry Lumber: Turn Freshly Cut Stock Into A Cash Crop Of Woodworking Woods.

  • 1
    +1 but "Your trees will probably begin to decay if stored as logs." I think is overstating it. In a year drying defects are certainly possible (even likely if the end grain isn't sealed) but noticeable fungal decay, with the bark still on, is unlikely.
    – Graphus
    Commented Jun 17, 2022 at 12:09
  • 1
    I think mills have learned they get less shrinkage overall if they delay cutting by using mill ponds, or cutting almost immediately. If the goal isn't to make money then storing logs (covered, off the ground) is fine for a year or so. You'll potentially lose a little of the potential lumber. Again, if not doing this for profit, cut this safely when you have the opportunity.
    – user5572
    Commented Jun 21, 2022 at 13:49
  • Thanks everybody for your info. The logs are at the sawmill as we speak, with some wild olive (Olea e africana) Not that I would have a spare pool, however if I would find a way of storing them in a portapool, how about discoloration if stored in water? The timber is ivory coloured and that’s the beauty of it?!?
    – Guy
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 6:23
  • @Guy there is Q&A about that very subject (mill ponds and soaking timber before cutting) if you search here. The upshot is that mill soaked timber can be affected by soaking in a variety of ways, but not enough for commercial mills to care all that much. But the private craftsperson, maybe.
    – user5572
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 14:19
  • Txs @ jdv. Will have a look and as said. Keep u all posted. Will add some pics as soon as timber is cut
    – Guy
    Commented Jun 25, 2022 at 19:12

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