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9 Completely different Varieties of Firewood

There are a number of components to contemplate for what firewood to make use of. All wooden burns and this text discusses what firewood burns finest and the way lengthy it lasts.

Chopped firewood piled for burning.

There are a number of components to contemplate whenever you purchase firewood. All wooden burns, however which burns finest?

One of the best firewood is hardwoods like hickory, ash oak, birch, maple, and most fruit bushes that burn hotter and longer. Well-liked firewood is softwood like fir, balsam, pine, spruce, tamarack, cedar, poplar, and alder are good selections. One of the best firewood is hardwoods that burn scorching, producing extra warmth.

Right here we clarify what kind of wooden is finest to make use of to maintain your property heat. Harvested and naturally grown wooden is assessed as both hardwood or softwood. Let’s have a look at the variations.


Seasoned hardwood used as firewood.

What makes sure sorts of firewood higher than others? It boils down to 2 components: density and water content material. The drier and denser the firewood, the higher it burns and produces warmth. Not all wooden burns on the identical charge.

Some wooden burns slower, hotter, and cleaner than different wooden. Some wooden smokes quite a bit, and others have a number of resin and sap that may clog your chimney.

Varieties of Hardwood

  1. Hickory
  2. Ash
  3. Oak
  4. Alder
  5. Aspen
  6. Elm
  7. Eucalyptus
  8. Ironwood
  9. Mesquite
  10. Birch
  11. Maple
  12. Cottonwood
  13. Beech
  14. Fruit Timber, Cherry and Apple
  • Hardwood takes longer to develop than softwood
  • Hardwood has a better density
  • Hardwood burns longer and produces extra warmth
  • Hardwood takes longer to the season however is extra moisture-resistant than softwoods
  • Hardwood has a better ratio of heartwood than softwoods
  • Hardwood is heavier and more durable to separate than softwoods

Hardwood burns quite a bit hotter than softwood. Warmth is without doubt one of the causes for constructing a fireplace; this alone is an enormous good thing about utilizing hardwood are your firewood. Your hearth will burn hotter hearth when burning hardwood, creating heat to your residence or cooking your meals.

A fireplace with firewood burning.

Hardwood has the least sap and pitch and is cleaner to deal with. Sadly, hardwoods are extra pricey than softwoods and sometimes go away a tough residue within the ash.

When burning birch firewood, watch out of the thick internal brown bark; it retains a number of moisture and often prevents wooden from drying correctly.

It is suggested to combine birch with one other hardwood that may burn cleaner with much less smoke. Lots of smoke will accumulate creosote, a byproduct of wooden combustion consisting of tar, the main explanation for chimney fires.

One kind of firewood could also be beloved by one particular person and hated by one other. Eucalyptus wooden is an efficient hardwood selection for firewood. Eucalyptus wooden produces warmth corresponding to oak, and it supplies a pleasant mattress of scorching coals. Eucalyptus firewood is understood to burn very hotly.

The oils in eucalyptus wooden can create an intense flame and prompted some wooden range distributors to advocate not burning eucalyptus wooden in a woodstove.

Some sorts of hardwood burn higher burn than others. Hickory, oak, or cherry firewood is usually most popular due to its lengthy burn time, minimal smoke, scorching flame manufacturing, and nice aroma.

Combining Hardwoods and Softwoods

Drying a pile of hardwood as firewood.

Typically your best option is to burn a mix of hardwood and softwood. Begin a campfire utilizing softwood and swap to a longer-lasting hotter burning hardwood. Then add the occasional softwood log to your hearth to look at the flames develop giant and crackle loudly.

Finest Firewood by Warmth Worth

Listed here are a number of the finest firewood rated in response to warmth worth, which measures how a lot warmth they produce.

Excessive Warmth Worth

One wire = 200 to 250 gallons of gasoline oil

  • American beech
  • Apple
  • Mesquite
  • Ironwood
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Sugar maple
  • White ash
  • Yellow birch

Medium Warmth Worth

One wire = 150 to 200 gallons of gasoline oil

  • American elm
  • Black cherry
  • Douglas fir
  • Silver maple
  • Purple maple
  • Tamarack
  • White birch

Low Warmth Worth

One wire = 100 to 150 gallons of gasoline oil

  • Hemlock
  • Aspen
  • Cottonwood
  • Purple alder
  • Western purple cedar
  • Redwood
  • Lodgepole pine
  • Sitka spruce
  • White pine

Take a look at Utah State College Extension Forestry for an in depth chart from Utah State College. The chart lists the warmth produced by various kinds of wooden, which produce coals, sparks, and smoke.


A piece of log use for camp fire.

Softwood bushes develop extra shortly than hardwood bushes. It takes about 10 or 20 years to mature a softwood tree, whereas hardwood can take about 25 to 100 years to mature.

Softwood is appropriate for burning, however like all different wooden, gasoline softwood should be dried accurately to under 20% moisture content material. Whereas softwoods have the identical calorific worth as hardwood by weight however are much less dense, you might use as much as twice as many softwood logs for a similar weight.

As for smoke with softwood, similar to every other wooden, it can smoke quite a bit if not dried correctly. A softwood log can burn for lower than an hour, whereas a hardwood log of the identical measurement can burn a number of hours longer.

One of the crucial vital benefits of softwood is that it dries shortly and takes half the time to dry, and it’s nice for kindling. Most kindling offered as we speak is softwood because of this, and the opposite profit is that it will get the hearth or woodstove as much as temperature shortly, which helps efficiency, will increase’ draw’, and reduces smoke.

Hardwood is extra environment friendly to make use of as firewood however maintain some softwood shut by for kindling and campfires.

Varieties of Softwood

  1. Cedar
  2. Fir
  3. Hemlock
  4. Pine
  5. Redwood
  6. Spruce
  7. Tamarack


  • Softwood grows faster and has a decrease density
  • Softwood has a lesser ratio of heartwood to sapwood than hardwoods. When burnt heartwood provides extra warmth than sapwood
  • Decrease density means it’s simpler to mild and begin a fireplace with softwood. Softwood is less complicated to separate and lighter to deal with
  • Softwood burns faster than hardwoods and doesn’t give off as a lot warmth
  • Softwood drier faster than hardwood however is vulnerable to taking moisture again on when dry

Cedar is taken into account probably the greatest selections for kindling. Cedar is fast to mild and smells pretty.

A cedar tree in the green forest

Aside from kindling, softwoods are nice for campfires as a result of they’re resinous, permitting softwood to catch hearth shortly, burn sooner and produce giant flames that spark and crackle. Use a mix of hardwood and softwood when that you must revive a slow-burning hearth.

Inexperienced vs. Cured Wooden

At all times burn cured wooden when doable. Cured or seasoned wooden is wooden that was dried for a yr or longer. Inexperienced wooden is wooden that was reduce lately. Greenwood incorporates a variety of moisture and won’t burn effectively. Greenwood may also smoke quite a bit.

It’s simple to distinguish between cured and greenwood. Cured wooden has a lighter inside shade, cracks, and the bark will likely be unfastened. By no means burn handled or painted wooden as it may be poisonous.

Normal Firewood Ideas

How a lot wooden is in a wire? A wire is the usual measure of quantity used to calculate stacked wooden. A wire of wooden is 128 cubic ft of stacked wooden. Often, a wire is piled out in rows that measure 4 ft vast, 4 ft tall, and eight ft lengthy.

Due to the air area between the stacked wooden, the amount of strong wooden in a wire might be solely 90 cubic ft.

What’s the warmth worth? The warmth worth of firewood refers back to the quantity of warmth the wooden produce when it’s burned. Warmth worth can differ based mostly on wooden. A wire of wooden with excessive warmth worth can present warmth equal to that produced by burning 200 to 250 gallons of heating oil.

Slicing wooden: Inexperienced wooden or freshly reduce wooden incorporates 50 % moisture and ought to be dried to twenty % moisture content material earlier than getting used for burning. Firewood containing greater than 25 % moisture is inexperienced or moist and may by no means be utilized in a wooden range or hearth.

Splitting wooden: Inexperienced or moist wooden is extra easy to separate than dry wooden. Firewood should be cut up and stacked in a dry place for at the very least six months to dry accurately.

Seasoning firewood: When steam bubbles or hisses out of the grains on the fireplace, it’s a good indication that the wooden is inexperienced or moist. Nicely-dried-seasoned firewood sometimes has darker ends with evident seen splits or cracks. Nicely-seasoned firewood is light-weight and makes a pointy, clink sound when two items join.

Firewood seasoned for 5 years turning black.

Storage: To correctly retailer your firewood, stack your firewood that permits environment friendly air circulation, cowl the wooden on the high solely, and ensure the firewood is completely dry earlier than burning. It’s good to rotate your firewood, like burning the older dryer wooden first, to keep away from wooden rot and waste.

Attempt to purchase native: Attempt to purchase firewood from native sources. When shopping for and transferring firewood from elsewhere, like from state to state, it’s frowned upon, however it might even be unlawful. Transporting firewood from one place to a different will increase the prospect of spreading invasive pests and ailments that would arrive with the firewood.

Firewood that journey is the first motive invasive bugs and ailments quickly unfold. Pests journey slowly on their very own however transferring an contaminated log places new forests in danger. Tens of millions of bushes and hundreds of acres of forest have been significantly broken by non-native pests.

New outbreaks all the time originate in or close to public campgrounds or hyperlink again to a house owner who purchased firewood from an infested space.

Normal Hearth Security Ideas

Verify for Hearth Situations

A family on a camping enjoying coffee.

When utilizing your firewood to start out a fireplace when tenting, step one to stopping wildfires is to know hearth situations. Every nationwide or provincial park can have post-fire situations. Typically, you obtain this info whenever you register at entry.

There may also be park indicators indicating whether or not the fireplace hazard is low, reasonable, excessive, or excessive. There could be hearth bans in place relying on the situations.

When planning a fireplace outdoors a park, it’s simply as important to test and perceive the fireplace situations in your space. Every county has a chosen authorities web site with this info available.

Selecting a Accountable Campfire Location

A couple in a camping in front of a campfire.

One other important level to recollect is to decide on a accountable appropriate location to your campfire. If obtainable, use a chosen hearth pit. When no hearth pit is offered, make sure that you construct your hearth on a non-flammable floor. Non-flammable surfaces embrace cement, gravel, sand, and rock.

Utilizing a firepit or non-flammable floor is essential as a result of tree root techniques and vegetation can ignite, resulting in underground fires which are tough to detect. These underground fires can smolder for months and even years. Finally, these underground fires can floor and may trigger devastating forest fires.

One other dependable possibility to your campfire is a fireplace pan. A fireplace pan is a steel container that may comprise the fireplace, coals, and particles. A fireplace pan can develop into highly regarded. Take care when utilizing a fireplace pan in order to not ignite the bottom round it by chance.

Maintain the bottom round your hearth pit space clear and void of supplies that may simply ignite. This contains decomposing forest litter, leaves, needles, and different plant supplies. Typically, it’s suggested to clear a meter round your hearth pit.

Additionally, test for overhanging branches and leaves close to your campfire that would catch hearth when the flames leap into the air.

Maintain Your Campfire Small

A family in a camping beside the river.

Maintain your campfire comparatively small. This ensures that no surrounding vegetation will catch hearth when a gust of wind blows via the campground. Having a smaller campfire will make it simpler to regulate and extinguish. It’s best to keep away from constructing campfires altogether on windy days.

One other important tip to recollect is to maintain a pail of water close to your campfire in an emergency. It’s a fast strategy to extinguish sparks or assist management a fireplace.

At all times attend your campfire and if you’re tenting with kids, train them the worth of fireplace security.

How one can Safely Extinguish a Wooden Campfire

Ensure you comply with these steps to extinguish your campfire earlier than safely leaving the tenting website.

  • Cease feeding the campfire a couple of hours forward of leaving camp. As an alternative use a canister range for last-minute meals.
  • When you’re reaching the tip of your hearth use, use fast-burning wooden.
  • Begin making use of water to your campfire a few hours earlier than you count on to interrupt camp.
  • Soak coals effectively with water. Be certain that they’re effectively cool earlier than you allow.
  • Apply water to the bottom across the campfire till it stops steaming, and you may safely stick your fingers into it.
  • Solely go away the campsite when you find yourself positive the fireplace is totally extinguished.

Varieties of Wooden NOT to Burn

Don’t even take into consideration throwing any kind of log in your hearth. Listed here are a couple of sorts of wooden you need to by no means burn.

  1. Painted or coated wooden. By no means burn painted, coated, or pressure-treated wooden. Utilizing some of these wooden as firewood can launch poisonous and dangerous chemical substances into the air. Engineered sheets like particleboard, plywood, and MDF shouldn’t be used as firewood.A painted piece of wood burning.
  2. Large wooden. Don’t purchase firewood that’s too large and lengthy to suit inside your hearth or hearth pit simply. If the wooden is greater than 5 inches in diameter, it means you’ll have to recut or cut up it earlier than it’s sized to slot in your woodstove or firepit. That could be a super job and a variety of train.
  3. Non-local wooden. Once you stay in or plan to go to an space affected by wooden pests, ask the vendor the place the wooden is from. If the firewood was reduce or saved various miles away, don’t purchase it.
  4. Driftwood. Don’t use salt-saturated driftwood for firewood. In response to the EPA, driftwood can launch poisonous or dangerous chemical substances when burned. It’s safer to make use of your driftwood seashore finds for décor as an alternative.
  5. Inexperienced or Moist Wooden. The kind of firewood thought-about one of the best firewood for a fireside is seasoned wooden, not greenwood. Most firewood varieties must dry for a yr relying on the wooden species. Inexperienced or moist firewood utilized in a fire will trigger a variety of smoke and creosote buildup.
    All firewood creates creosote, however moist and inexperienced wooden will produce the majority. Creosote is a condensation of unburned particles within the smoke that traces the chimney floor because it escapes. Creosote sticks to the aspect of the chimney and may mild and trigger a chimney hearth. It is suggested to not burn moist firewood.
  6. Toxic wooden. Don’t use any wooden coated with vines. When burning poison sumac, poison ivy, poison oak releases the irritant oil urushiol into the smoke. Respiration this toxic smoke may cause lung irritation and extreme allergic respiratory issues.
  7. Oleander. Each a part of Oleander is poisonous. By no means burn Oleander, don’t even use a department to toast a marshmallow.
  8. Endangered Species. The American chestnut, Blue Ash, and the Kentucky espresso tree are all endangered species. There are greater than 20 endangered native species of bushes in North America.
    They’re uncommon, and you’re unlikely to seek out any of them in a batch of firewood. Nevertheless, all the time double-check any tree you intend to chop down shouldn’t be on the endangered species listing.
  9. Christmas Timber. It may appear that Christmas bushes are odd on this listing, however some individuals burn previous Christmas bushes of their fireplaces. Christmas bushes have dry needles that may ignite shortly; they’ve a variety of sap, which is very explosive.
    Christmas tree sap is stuffed with creosote that may clog up a chimney shortly. The additional sap in Christmas bushes burns quick, and popping embers could rise via the chimney and begin a chimney hearth shortly. It is suggested to keep away from burning Christmas bushes in a fire.
  10. Wooden Pallets. All of us wish to burn any form of wooden we will get our palms on, however don’t burn wooden pallets in your hearth. Most wooden pallets are handled with chemical substances, which you need to breathe or have crammed your property.
    As of late there are such a lot of issues you may make with previous wood pallets to repurpose the wooden. Wooden pallets might be used to make espresso tables, bookshelves, swings, shoe organizers, or swings.

Well-liked Varieties of Hardwood Firewood

The listing of various kinds of hardwood is lengthy, however we give attention to the most well-liked three hardwoods.


A hardwood oak tree with leaves.

Oak is a favourite hardwood used for firewood as a result of it may be discovered nearly wherever. Oak is a really dense wooden that burns for a very long time. Oak is the slowest wooden to dry and is finest utilized in numerous sorts of logs. Oak is nice to make use of as firewood when that you must maintain your hearth going at evening. Count on to pay round $110-130 per wire of oak firewood.


Birch is a wonderful possibility for fires due to its capacity to burn shortly and effectively, even when it’s unseasoned. There are a number of species of Birch like Yellow, Black, and White birch, with various levels of effectivity.

The birch bark will also be used as a pure hearth starter. Birch works effectively when combined in with slow-burning woods like oak. A full wire will likely be round $200.


Ash is a favourite for firewood as a result of it burns effectively by itself. Ash produces a gradual flame and has a sound warmth output. When shopping for a full seasoned and cut up wire of ash, you’ll be able to count on to pay round $170.

Well-liked Varieties of Softwood Firewood

Softwood choices is probably not as many as hardwoods, however some glorious selections can be found. Particularly when in search of some wooden with decrease warmth output.


Small items of cedar might be burned unseasoned; it provides off a nice odor. Cedar firewood provides you with a wonderful, lasting warmth with little flame and a powerful crackling sound. Count on to pay round $220 per wire.


Pine trees growing in the forest.

Pinewood lights are simple and can burn quick with an excellent flame, however it’s essential to refuel the fireplace extra usually. Pinewood is a superb hearth starter due to its excessive sap and resin content material and may solely be used outside. Pine firewood is a wonderful possibility to combine with different firewood. A full wire will price $160.


Larch is the toughest of all softwoods and more durable than some hardwoods. Larch provides a scorching flame when dried effectively. Larch wooden is nice to combine with hardwoods and is appropriate for stoves. A full wire of larch will price you $160.


A pile of hardwood and soft wood for lumber.It’s important to know a couple of issues concerning the sorts of firewood. It could possibly maximize effectivity and prevent bother to your hearth, wooden range, or hearth pit.

Not all firewood supplies the identical outcomes so understanding the traits of various kinds of firewood is significant to picking one of the best firewood to your hearth or woodstove.

There are two sorts of firewood, hardwood and softwood. Most hardwoods are denser than softwood which suggests they burn for longer and produce extra warmth. Hardwoods are much less sticky than softwoods and are much less more likely to trigger tar deposit buildups in your chimney or woodstove.

Hardwoods present lengthy, lingering fires with a number of coals that warmth your own home. Hardwood is one of the best wooden to your hearth.

Softwoods dry rather more shortly than hardwoods and are lighter and have decrease density. They burn sooner than hardwoods and emit extra smoke, making them higher for outside use. It’s good to be choosy whenever you select the kind of firewood to your hearth.

No one needs to trigger a chimney hearth or launch dangerous toxins into the air when utilizing the mistaken kind of firewood.



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