How do I choose the perfect firewood?
There are so many different options out there when it comes to firewood! Finest Firewood are here to help you to decide what suits you best. Finest Firewood Bristol offer firewood supply and delivery to Bristol, Chepstow, Forest of Dean and surrounding areas. We work with local wood, ethically sourced and control the natural firewood drying process to ensure we only deliver well-seasoned, local firewood.
Softwood or hardwood?
Softwood can really come in handy to get the fire started, as hardwood can be difficult to light, especially in the extreme cold. Soft wood is great for kindling, and you can add hardwood once the fire’s already well established. Softwood is actually cheaper, but it burns fast and leaves more creosote and tar in your chimney.
Therefore, we really recommend hardwood. Hardwood doesn’t leave so much tar, has a much longer burning time, and makes more heat. Spend a little extra and save in the long run! There are so many different hardwoods to choose from that will all give you long burning times, but all of them have different properties.
Which kind of wood should I choose?
Wood needs to be extremely dry to burn efficiently. Naturally seasoned (dried) logs are generally cheaper. They should have a moisture level of less than 20%, and should be seasoned professionally for at least a year to be ready to burn.
Which wood burns for the longest time? Which wood has the best heat?
This guide lists the UK’s most common firewood types, giving details about their different properties:
Alder – Less dense than oak, but gives off a great yellow flame, with lots of heat.
Apple – Apple burns slowly with hardly any smoke and a decent amount of heat.
Ash – Ash even burns green! It gives off good heat and is easy to chop up.
Beech – Beech is extremely dense and therefore a long burning hardwood, but it needs to be seasoned for a lot longer than other woods.
Birch – Birch burns really fast and needs to be stored correctly otherwise it rots. It gives off an average amount of heat, but it can be good if used in combinations with other woods such as oak and ash.
Cedar – Cedar doesn’t give off high amounts of heat, but has a wonderful therapeutic smell, as well as beautiful flames.
Cherry – Cherry burns really hot, and slowly! It will spit a little more than other woods, so it’s better not to use it for open fireplaces.
Elm – Elm isn’t highly recommended, giving off little heat with average poor levels of smoke. It’s hard to cut through too.
Hawthorn – Hawthorn is great – it burns slowly with a really high heat output. Definitely recommended!
Hazel – Hazel doesn’t spit much, and gives off good heat. Make sure it’s been properly seasoned or it will be hard to burn.
Holly – Holly can burn green, but it’s better to season it. It’s not recommended as it spits and doesn’t have good heat properties.
Hornbeam – Hornbeam gives off great heat and catches easily. It’s got a beautiful flame and it suitable for open fires.
Horse Chestnut – Horse Chestnut burns way too fast, doesn’t give off great heat and spits too much. Not recommended at all.
Lime – Lime wood isn’t recommended at all. It’s hard to keep it lit, and only works if you mix it with other wood that burns better.
Oak – Oak is one of the very best firewood types available. Most people agree that it’s number 1 wood in terms of burn time, and it doesn’t give off too much smoke or tar, which is also a major benefit.
Pear – Pear needs to be well seasoned to burn well, and has a great smell with average heat output.
Rowan – Rowan burns slowly with a good heat output.
Sweet Chestnut – Sweet Chestnut needs to be seasoned for two years! It’s not very dense, and not recommended.
Sycamore (Maples) – Sycamore wood takes a long time to season, and doesn’t give off much heat. Not recommended.
Walnut – Walnut doesn’t have the highest heat output, but it lights easily, smells good and has a medium density.
Willow – Willow firewood will coat your chimney with thick creosote, and isn’t recommended.
Yew – Yew burns slowly, gives off massive amounts of heat, and smells good. Highly recommended.
Larch – Although Larch is a soft wood, it gives off great heat and is easy to burn.
Pine – Pine has a wonderful aroma, but can only be used for kindling because of the high resin content.
Spruce – Spruce burns really fast, with huge amounts of crackles and sparks, so it can’t be used for an open fire. Not recommended at all.
Poplar – Poplar makes terrible firewood and very little in the way of coals. Burns extremely fast, so it can be good for kindling only.