Types of Wood

There are many types of wood, below is alist of just some of them to give you a guide when selecting your wood to burn. As a general rule hardwoods are better than softwoods and they burn hotter and longer, some softwoods such as Spruce or Fir should be avoided as they are very 'sappy' and cause excessive tar.

The Golden Rule is "ALWAYS use well seasoned DRY wood". You should NEVER use any Wood which is painted or treated with preservative. The gasses given off during burning are harmful to the environment.

Alder - Gives a poor heat output and does not last very long.
Apple - Has a steady slow burn when the wood is dry, good heat output with small visible flame with a pleasant odour.
Ash - Excellent burning wood, gives great heat and flame output and also burns when green. Best heat output gained when the wAsh Treeood is dry.
Beech - Good heat output but only fair when the wood is green. The wood is prone to shoot embers whilst burning.
Birch - The heat is good but it the wood burns quickly, however a pleasant odour is produced.
Cedar - Produces little flames but great heat and a wonderful odour. Provides a splendid noise when burned.
Cherry - A slow burning wood that produces good heat and a pleasant odour.
Chestnut - Produces small flames and nominal heat, This wood is also prone to shooting embers.
Douglas Fir - Poor. Little flame or heat.
Elder - Generates a lot of smoke and burns very quickly, coupled with not much heat.
Elm - Commonly offered for sale. To burn well it needs to be kept for two years. Even when dry it is liable to smoke.
Eucalyptus - Good dense hardwood, should be properly seasoned before use, but will produce good heat.
Hazel - Good.
Holly - Good, will burn when green, but best when kept a season to dry out fully.
Hornbeam - Comparable in many aspects to Beech.
Laburnum - Totally poisonous tree, acrid smoke, taints food and best avoided altogether.
Larch - Crackly, scented, and fairly good for heat.
Laurel - Has brilliant flame.
Lime - Poor. Burns with dull flame.
Maple - Good.
Oak - Oak does not produce a very good flame and the smoke is acrid, but dry old oak is excellent for heat, burning slowly and steadily until whole log collapses into ash.
Pear - Provides good heat combined with an extremely pleasant scent.
Pine - Bums with a splendid flame, but is liable to spit.
Plum - Good heat and aromatic.
Poplar - Not recommended.
Rhododendron - The thick old stems, being very tough, burn well.
Robinia (Acacia) - Burns slowly, with good heat, but is unfortunately accompanied by an acrid smoke.
Spruce - Burns at a extremely fast rate and with creates many sparks.
Sycamore - Burns with a good flame, with moderate heat. Useless green.
Thorn - Quite one of the best woods. Burns slowly, produces great heat with very little smoke.
Walnut - Good, and so is the scent. A very aromatic wood.
Willow - Poor. In a dry condition burns slowly, with little flame. Liable to spark.
Yew - Has a slow burn with great heat and also has a pleasant scent.

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