Firewood information


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Does it burn

What does burn best.
Here you will find a list of firewood

A. Good quiality , slow burning, high heat
B. Slow burning, high heat
C. Fast burning, high heat
D. Fast burning low heat

Alder Alnus A low quality firewood.  Grade: D

Apple Malus Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well with a pleasant smell and without sparking/spitting. Grade: B

Ash Fraxinus Considered to be one of the best woods for firewood. It has a low water content (approx. 50%) and can be split very easily with an axe. It can be burned green but like all wood is best when seasoned. Burns at a steady rate and not too fast. Grade: A

Beech Fagus Beech has a high water content (approx. 90%) so only burns well when seasoned well. Not as good as Oak. Grade: B

Birch Betula Birch is an excellent firewood and will burn unseasoned. However, it does burn very fast so is best mixed with slower burning wood such as Elm or Oak. Grade:AB

Cedar Cedrus A good firewood which burns well with a pleasant smell. Gives off a good, lasting heat. Doesn't spit too much and small pieces can be burned unseasoned.

I recently burned a large quantity of unseasoned 'Cedrus atlantica' on my narrow-boat. It needed help from a little coal and kindling to get going but once burning was quite good, with little spitting, a very good heat and a wonderful aroma from the chimney. It also split fairly easily.

Grade: CD

Cherry Prunus Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade: B/C

Elm Ulmus A good firewood but due to its high water content of approximately 140% (more water than wood!) it must be seasoned very well. It may need assistance from another faster burning wood such as Birch to keep it burning well. However it gives off a good, lasting heat and burns very slowly. Dutch Elm Disease is producing a constant & plentiful supply of small dead hedgerow Elm trees of a small diameter. Larger pieces of wood will prove difficult to split. Grade: B/C

Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Allow to season well since the wood is very wet (sappy) when fresh. Can be difficult to split due to stringy wood fibre. Best method is to slice into rings and allow to season during the summer, the rings will start to split themselves. Burns fast with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade: B-C

Hawthorn Crataegus Good firewood. Burns well.  Grade: A/B

Hazel Corylus Excellent firewood. Allow to season. Burns fast but without spitting. Grade: A

Holly Ilex Can be burnt green. A good firewood.  Grade: B

Hornbeam Carpinus Good firewood. Burns well.  Grade: B

Horse Chestnut Aesculus A low quality firewood.  Grade: C

Larch Larix Needs to be seasoned well. Spits excessively while it burns and forms an oily soot within chimneys. Grade: d

Lime Tilia A low quality firewood.  Grade: C

Mulberry Morus Hardwood. Haven't tried this myself but am told that it is an excellent fire wood.  Grade: 3-4

Oak Quercus One of the best firewoods. When seasoned well, it gives off a good, lasting heat. Burns reasonably slowly. Grade: D

Pear Pyrus Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade: C

Pine Pinus Needs to be seasoned well. Spits while it burns and forms an oily soot within chimneys. Grade: D

Plane Platanus A usable firewood.  Grade: B

Poplar Populus Considered a poorer firewood (see comments below).  Grade: D

Rowan Sorbus aucuparia Good firewood. Burns well.  Grade: B

Spruce Picea A low quality firewood.  Grade: C

Sweet Chestnut Castanea Burns  when seasoned but spits continuously and excessively. Not for use on an open fire and make sure wood-burning stoves have a good door catch! Grade:C/D

Sycamore (Maples) Acer pseudoplatanus Good firewood. Burns well.  Grade: B

Walnut Juglans A low quality firewood.  Grade: B

Wellingtonia Sequoiadendron Poor for use as a firewood. Grade: D

Willow Salix Willow has a high water content so only burns really well when seasoned well.  Grade: 2-3

Yew Taxus A usable firewood.  Grade: 2-3




Tip one: Try to avoid buying firewood that is not sold in cords or fractions of a cord. A cord is a legal unit that a seller can be held to if there is some question.

Tip two: Insist that your wood be cut to burning length, split, uniformly stacked and not randomly scattered in a pile.

Tip three: Be prepared to either haul your own wood or pay extra for handling and delivery. Also, firewood value is totally and completely driven by location and availability. Cordwood prices for mixed hardwood can range from $50 to more than $100 but that may not include processing, transport and handling costs. Getting wood to your fireplace and at the correct size is a major part of the expense of firewood.

REMEMBER: A "truck load" of firewood can mean anything from a loaded light-weight short-bed pickup (1/5 of a cord) to a pulpwood truck (4 cords). You need to determine the hauling capacity in cubic feet of any truck used to hold the wood and insure that the stacking is relatively tight and orderly.

Tip four: Pickup trucks generally hold from a fifth to a half of a cord of tightly spaced and orderly split, stacked wood. That is quite a broad range. You can (and should) actually measure your (or the seller's) transport bed to determine volume.

Tip five: Multiply the bed length X bed width X bed height to get the gross volume in cubic feet; then divide by 128. Take that number (probably a fraction) and multiply it by the price per cord to get your wood's value.

Example: You have a pickup bed that measures 6 feet long, 2 feet deep and 4 feet wide. You multiply 6'x 2'x 4' which equals 48 cubic feet. Convert to cords by dividing 48 cubic feet by 128 cubic feet (one split and neatly stacked standard cord) which equals to .38 cords. If processed firewood is selling for $150 per processed cord, multiply that by .38 cords. You will have a truck bed full of firewood valued at $57.