Salvaging & storing wood

Apologies if this is something that people ask all the time, but as I’m fairly new to woodturning, I thought this was the best place to come!

I’ve recently stashed a few unwanted Christmas trees, plus some other random salvaged wood.

My question is what to do with the wood - I’ve trimmed all branches and removed most of the trunk needles, but wondered if I should chop the trunks into what I hope are the general required lengths I’ll want to use, and then what…?! Should I paint / seal the cut ends, before stashing somewhere to dry, or should I not chop the trunks at all yet?

I understand wood dries at approx 1" of thickness per year, so the trees will need 1-2 years to dry out, depending on the trunk thicknesses, before turning, to avoid cracking.

I’ve asked the question based on Christmas tree trunks, but I’d also appreciate any advise on any salvaged wood in general.

Also would anyone recommend purchasing a moisture content meter?

Thanks in advance.

I started wood turning during the pandemic and what I know I learned from YouTube. The one thing I have learned is process the wood in some way. If it is for bowls cut the wood into bowl blanks and seal the end grain with end seal. I use Chestnut end seal. If for hollowing make it round and end seal the end grain. My understanding is if you do nothing it will split etc.
Also I bought from Amazon a Brennenstuhl moisture gauge, about £20. May not be the best but it gives me an idea of the moisture level.
Hope this is of help. We all learn from mistakes, mine was covering rough turned bowls with end seal completely. I then learned that my bowls would never dry. Only cover end grain. I had to re-turn them all.

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Thanks John - think that was going to be my plan - cut the wood to roughly the required lengths, seal the ends, then stash somewhere until the moisture level drops sufficiently.
I have heard of microwaving small pieces to draw the moisture out… not sure if my wife would be too keen on that! :laughing: