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Which Is The Best Firewood?

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It is a good and important question to ask. There are differences between how different types of firewoods burn. Dense hardwoods and softwoods have different structures and hence will burn differently. Also certain firewoods will produce more ash and creosote build up than other woods.

The main factor that determines how a wood will burn is the density of the wood. Dense hardwoods will burn a lot slower and give off more energy than softwoods because there is more wood fibre per density in them.

Less dense woods like softwoods have less fibre in them and will burn faster and not give off as much heat. They are easier to light though and produce more flames. With these characteristics softwoods prove to be ideal for kindling and the starting of fires. And if it is larger flames you want, then look no further. They also crackle which is quite a nostalgic sound and even romantic. So for ambience sake perhaps softwoods will be your choice.


Seasoned Firewood


This is wood which has been dried out for an extended period of time. Any wood which has been recently cut is difficult to burn and will burn with less heat. Wood needs to be seasoned for you to get the best from it. You should always avoid using wet wood.


BTU - British Thermal Units- Energy Content Of Wood


This is the standard measurement of how much heat is given off by firewood. Hardwoods have a higher BTU content aand are considered to be the best firewood for a high and intense heat. Such woods as rock elm, sugar maple and red oak fall in to this category.


Common Types Of Firewood


Alder - This gives off poor heat and does burn very quickly. Good charcoal can be made from it though.


Almond - A very hard wood that gives a long lasting heat. Excellent for the fireplace and used as cooking firewood.


Apple - An excellent firewood. But rare because it tends to be used for furniture and other decorations.


Ash - Excellent for firewood. Burns very well, even when wet.


Beechwood - Gives good heat but burns too quickly. Gives off a lot of sparks.


Birch - Gives good heat but burns too quickly.


Cedar - Gives a steady heat without a large flame. Smells wonderful.


Cherry - Burns hot with a low flame. A very good firewood.


Douglas Fir - Slow burning and gives off great heat.


Elm - This has high water content and hence tends to smoke a lot. Requires long seasoning.


Hickory - High and long lasting heat. One of the best.


Juniper - Snaps and pops a lot.


Lime - A poor firewood.


Maple - A good firewood.


Oak - Perhaps one of the best firewoods. Does require a lot of seasoning though.


Pine - Burns well but is a softwood. Crackles and pops and does leave soot.


Walnut - Burns well but gives off a lot of smoke.




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