Firewood, it’s not all the same


The burning properties of wood depend on the type.

Hardwoods are generally denser than softwoods, and therefore burn longer and produce more heat. Hardwoods are also less resinous than softwoods and, therefore, less likely to result in a build-up of tar deposits.

Despite being more efficient, hardwood can be difficult to ignite. Softwood, with its resinous and fibrous nature, is best for starting fires.

Once a fire has been established, it’s best fueled with hardwood to maintain a slow-burning fire with good heat output.

So, It would be best if you took the time to learn about the wood in your area. You will be glad you did if you ever have to start a fire in the rain.

Some common ones are listed below:

Alder is a hardwood that gives off poor heat and does not last very long.

Apple is a hardwood that burns slow and steady, with little flame, but good heat.

Ash is a hardwood with low moisture content. It can be burned green and gives off good flame and heat.

Beech is a hardwood that has a high water content but gives off good flame and heat.

Birch is a hardwood that gives off good heat but burns quickly, good for starting fires.

Blackthorn is a hardwood that gives off good heat with little smoke, and burns slowly.

Cedar is a softwood that has little flame but gives off good heat.

Cherry is a hardwood that burns slowly and gives off good heat.

Chestnut is a hardwood that has little flame and does not give off good heat.

Douglas Fir is a softwood that has little flame and does not give off good heat.

Elder is a very smoky hardwood, burns quick, and does not give off good heat.

Elm is a hardwood that has a high moisture content but gives off good heat and burns slowly.

Hawthron is a hardwood that has good flame good heat and gives off little smoke.

Hazel is a hardwood that gives off a good flame, burns quickly, and gives off good heat.

Holly is a hardwood that will burn green, has a good flame, and gives off good heat.

Hornbeam is a hardwood that gives off good flame and heat and will burn when green, but not as good as beech.

Larch is a softwood that has good flame and gives off good heat.

Lime is a hardwood that has a dull flame and does not give off good heat.

Maple is a hardwood that has good flame and gives off good heat.

Oak is a hardwood that has a dull flame, and the smoke is acrid, but it burns slow and steady.

Pear is a hardwood that has good flame and gives off good heat.

Pine is a softwood that has good flame and gives off good heat. It is good for kindling due to the resin.

Plane is a hardwood that has good flame and gives off good heat.

Plum is a hardwood that has good flame and gives off good heat.

Poplar is a softwood that has little flame and does not give off good heat.

Rhododendron is a hardwood that has good flame and gives off good heat.

Robinia is a hardwood that has an acrid smoke but burns slowly with good heat.

Rowan is a hardwood that has good flame and gives off good heat. 

Spruce is a softwood that burns fast with lots of sparks.

Sycamore is a hardwood that has a good flame but has moderate heat output.

Walnut is a hardwood that has moderate flame and heat.

Willow is a hardwood that has a high water content with little flame, and burns slowly.

Yew is a hardwood that burns slowly and gives off good heat.

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