best kind of firewood

The Best Kind Of Firewood + Best Tree Species For Firewood

best kind of firewood

In this post we’re going to talk about what the best kind of firewood is as well as talk about what I believe to be the best tree species for firewood. 

Whether you’re new to burning firewood as a source of heat in your home, or you’ve been doing it for years, you should know that there’s a major difference in the level of heat you’ll be able to produce based on different species of wood.

For example, the last house I purchased had about a cord of walnut as well as a cord of fir that came with the house.  You wouldn’t believe the difference in not only how hot one burned than the other, but also how long the firewood lasted.  

The Best Kind Of Firewood

In my opinion, the best kind of firewood is hardwood.  Hardwood will burn hotter and will burn longer. An example of hardwood firewood is oak or walnut.

Soft wood on the other hand will burn significantly faster compared to hardwood.  It might take twice or even 3 times as long to reach and maintain the level of heat that you would using hardwood firewood. An example of softwood firewood is fir or pine.

The Best Tree Species For Firewood

Chemically, all species of wood are very similar in what they’re made up of. This is true regardless of the species of the tree, or wood.

What’s different in all of the various species of trees is how dense the wood is and how much moisture is in the wood.  It’s these two things, the density and moisture content, that play the largest role in determining how well a tree species will work as firewood.

Hardwood Species Of Firewood

Dense hardwoods like maple, oak and walnut have a higher energy content per cord. This is a result of the woods dense composition and minimal moisture. Because of this, these dense, harder species release much more heat per firebox load.

The other benefit to using these hard kinds of firewood is that they last for a very long time and is why they’re often times used as “over-night” logs.

Softwood Species Of  Firewood

Softer species of woods like birch, pine, spruce, poplar and fir are significantly less dense. As a result, these types of firewoods burn fast and do not produce a long-lasting coal bed when burned.

You’ll quickly find that by using these softwoods as firewood, you’ll continually have to fill the firebox with firewood just to maintain a relatively high level of heat.

best wood species for firewood

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You can burn both softwood and hardwood species of trees as firewood and both will definitely keep you warm.  But if you’re looking for a long, hot slow burn, then you’ll want to use harwoods like oak, maple and walnut.

While at the same time, softwoods like fir, alder and pine will burn and keep you warm, you’ll just need a lot more of it.

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