Whole-tree chips deteriorate more rapidly than do clean, debarked chips and present a greater hazard for spontaneous ignition when stored in outdoor piles. To prevent ignition, the chips can be stored for only short periods of time and the frequent rotation of the storage piles results in high handling costs. Drying the chips prior to storage will prevent deterioration and heating, provided the chips are stored under cover. In many cases, the costs of drying can be recovered when the chips are burned for fuel. In these instances, drying and covered storage is the least expensive method for maintaining an inventory of whole-tree chips to be used as fuel.