Properties of Woods for burning

There has been much folklore written about firewood and for those of you who like to sit in front of your fire and read about the characteristics of the wood you are burning, then I have added some  below. Basically all firewood gives off the same heat per weight. The densest gives off the most heat, but this means it will take longer to get going. You would not want to have a fire with just oak, even if you could get it going! We find that a mixture of hard wood works best, especially when mixed with soft wood to establish the fire.

We are supplied by a variety of local farmers, millers and tree surgeons. They bring us what has fallen down or what has had to be brought down. So it is a mixture of different species, reflecting what currently seasoned and ready to go. If it is a specific species that you are looking for, check our website to see what we have available at the moment. We will try and meet your requirements, but single species orders may incur an additional cost to reflect additional sorting and storage.

Common Name Comments Grade (Higher = better)
Alder A low quality firewood Grade: 1
Apple Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well with a pleasant smell and without sparking/spitting. Grade: 3
Ash 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: 4
Beech Beech has a high water content (approx. 90%) so only burns well when seasoned well. Not as good as Oak. Grade: 3
Birch 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: 3-4
Cedar 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 Grade: 2
Cherry Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade: 2-3
Elm 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. Grade: 2-3
Eucalyptus Allow to season well since the wood is very wet (sappy) when fresh. Can be difficult to split due to stringy wood fibre. Burns fast with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade: 2-3
Hawthorn Good firewood. Burns well Grade: 3-4
Hazel Excellent firewood. Allow to season. Burns fast but without spitting Grade: 4
Holly Can be burnt green. A good firewood Grade: 3
Hornbeam Good firewood. Burns well Grade: 3
Horse Chestnut A low quality firewood Grade: 2
Larch Needs to be seasoned well. Spits excessively while it burns and forms an oily soot within chimney’s. Grade: 1
Lime A low quality firewood Grade: 2
Oak One of the best firewood’s. When seasoned well, it gives off a good, lasting heat. Burns reasonably slowly. Grade: 4
Pear Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade: 3
Pine Needs to be seasoned well. Spits while it burns and forms an oily soot within chimney’s. Grade: 1
Plane A usable firewood Grade: 3
Poplar Considered a poorer firewood Grade: 1
Rowan Good firewood. Burns well Grade: 3
Spruce A low quality firewood Grade: 2
Sweet Chestnut 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: 1-2
Sycamore (Maples) Good firewood. Burns well Grade: 3
Walnut A low quality firewood Grade: 2
Willow Willow has a high water content so only burns well when seasoned well Grade: 2
Yew A usable firewood Grade: 2-3