There are a myriad of wood types to choose from, all of which have their own burning qualities and properties however for the most efficient and effective burn in your wood burning stove only very dry wood should be used. Never use green or ‘live’ wood as this is damaging the environment and produces excess smoke and gases. We have listed below a brief but by no means comprehensive guide. 

 

Very Good:

  • Ash:  Reckoned by many to be one of best woods for burning. It produces a steady flame and good heat output. It can be burnt when green but like all woods, it burns best when dry.
  • Beech:  Burns very much like ash, but does not burn well when green.
  • Hawthorn:   Is a good traditional firewood that has a slow burn with good heat output.
  • Rowan: Is a good burning wood that has a slow burn with good heat output.
  • Thorn:   One of the best woods for burning. It produces a steady flame and very good heat output, and produces very little smoke.
  • Yew:   A good burning wood as it has a slow burn, and produces a very good heat output.     

Good:

  • Apple:  A very good wood that burns slow and steady when dry, it has small flame size, and does not produce sparking or spitting.
  • Birch:  Produces good heat output but it does burn quickly. It can be burnt unseasoned, however the sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use.
  • Blackthorn: Has a slow burn, with good heat production.
  • Cedar: Is a good burning wood that produces a consistent and long heat output. It burns with a small flame, but does tend to crackle and spit and the sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use.
  • Cherry:  Is a slow to burn wood that produces a good heat output. Cherry needs to be seasoned well.
  • Hazel:   Is a good but fast burning wood and produces best results when allowed to season.
  • Hornbeam:   A good burning wood that burns similar to beech, slow burn with a good heat output.
  • Horse Chestnut: A good wood for burning in wood stoves but not for open fires as it does tend to spit a lot.  It does however produce a good flame and heat output.
  • Lilac:  Its smaller branches are good to use as kindling, the wood itself burns well with a good flame.
  • Maple:   Is a good burning wood that produces good flame and heat output.
  • Oak:   Because of its density, oak produces a small flame and very slow burn, it is best when seasoned for a minimum of two years as it is a wood that requires time to season well.
  • Pear:   Burns well with good heat output, however it does need to be seasoned well.
  • Pine Species:   (Including Leylandii) Burns with a good flame, but the resin sap can cause deposits to form in the flue and can increase the risk of a chimney fire must be well seasoned.
  • Plum:   A good burning wood that produces good heat output.
  • Rhododendron: The older and thick stems can burn well.
  • Robinia (Acacia):   Is a good burning wood that has a slow burn with good heat output. It does produce an acrid and dense smoke but this is of course not a problem in a stove.

Medium:

  • Elm:   Is a wood that can follow several burn patterns because of high moisture content, it should be dried for two years for best results. Elm is slow to get going and it may be necessary to use a better burning wood to start it off. Splitting of logs should be done early.
  • Larch:   Produces a reasonable heat output, but it needs to be well seasoned. The sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use.
  • Laurel:  Burns with a good flame but only reasonable heat output. It needs to be well seasoned.
  • Sycamore:   Produces a good flame, but with only moderate heat output. Should only be used well-seasoned.
  • Sweet Chestnut: The wood burns ok when well-seasoned but it does tend to spit a lot. This is of course not a problem in a stove.
  • Walnut:   is a moderate to good burning wood.

Poor:

  • Alder:  Produces poor heat output and it does not last well.
  • Chestnut:  A poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output.
  • Douglas Fir:  A poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output and the sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use.
  • Elder:  A poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output.
  • Eucalyptus:   Is a fast burning wood. The sap can cause deposits to form in the flue and can increase the risk of a chimney fire if burned unseasoned.
  • Holly:   Is a fast burning wood that produces good flame but poor heat output. Holly will burn green, but best dried for a minimum of a year.
  • Lime:   Not a good wood for burning as it produces very little flame or heat output.
  • Spruce:   Produces a poor heat output and it does not last well.
  • Willow:   A poor fire wood that does not burn well even when seasoned.

Very Poor:

  • Laburnum:   A very smokey wood with a poor burn.
  • Poplar:   A very smokey wood with a poor burn.

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