A Heated Issue: Firewood

A Heated Issue: Firewood

The chill of winter is in the air; and if you’ve got a wood-burning fireplace, you’re probably gearing up to get those fires going. But before you let your inner pyromaniac tell you that wood is wood and all wood burns well, take a few tips from the experts on which types of wood are actually the best ones to use as fireplace wood. Start lighting things on fire without doing your research, and you might end up hacking up a lung or constantly piling up logs that seem to burn away faster than a wad of paper.

Feel the Burn

The types of firewood that are really and truly hearth friendly and should be used as firewood are ones that will burn with the cleanest smell, provide the best heat generation, light well, and have a good amount of coaling left over. Like all wood, firewood is divided into two types: softwood and hardwood. In a consideration of softwood vs hardwood, a hardwood is the best firewood to burn because the denseness of the wood itself makes the fires last longer than they generally do with a softwood. Hardwoods also have the advantage of creating a hotter fire without giving off a lot of smoke or sparks. They are, however, usually more expensive and harder to light than softwoods, so keep that in mind as you make your selection of firewood.

The Burn Factor

So what, in blazes, are your options? Ask a landscape maintenance professional about the best ones to choose if you’re feeling in the dark, but the ones that are most recommended include:

    • Oak, which is usually well-priced and produces a very hot, very slow-burning fire that’s great for use indoors because of its low smoke.
    • Maple, which is great for use in bonfires and fire pits as well as indoor fireplaces and in a wood burning stove because of the consistency of its burn and low production of smoke. It is, however, difficult to ignite.
    • Cherry, which produces an aroma that is pleasant rather than smoky. It burns at a more medium heat level and produces little smoke, though it does generally cause more sparking than other hardwoods and tends to be more expensive.
    • Birch, which has the advantage of being inexpensive, though it burns very quickly. It is best used either in supplement of other woods to increase heat or merely as a fire starter.
    • Pine, which is inexpensive and easy to ignite. The heat it produces is lower than that of hardwoods, and it burns quickly. The sparks and popping sounds caused by its high sap content make it ideal to outdoor applications rather than as firewood indoors.
    • Elm, which is inexpensive and burns at a moderate heat level to produce little ash or smoke. It does, however, produce a very strong aroma.
    • Chestnut, which is well priced and easy to split. However, it does not burn as hot as many other woods and produces a great deal of heavy smoke and sparking, making it best for outdoor usage.

Stay warm and toasty this winter, both inside and out! Call the experts at Executive Landscaping, Inc., to help you with all your outdoor and landscaping needs today!