Burning Properties of Different Woods

There are a huge variety of woods out there, all with different burning properties. We get most of the following woods in from time to time. Knowing which woods do what can be invaluable information for your fire. By putting fast burners on first and hard slow burners on when you have a good heat you will make the most of the different types of wood.

Apple
A great burner. Lovely scent and slow burn, although must be well seasoned.
Ash
The best burning wood – Low moisture content means it can be burnt green if necessary. Gets better with age. Perfect after 6 months to a year.
Beech
Nearly as good as Ash, but does not perform as well when green.
Birch
Nice scent and good heat, burns cleanly although quite quickly. Grows very quickly making this an excellent sustainable crop.

Blackthorn
Burns slow and hot without much smoke – ideal for keeping in over night and one of the best burning woods.
Cherry
Burns slow with a good heat. Has a pleasent scent.
Douglas Fir
Little flame or heat.
Elm
Due to Dutch Elm disease most elm trees have been standing dead for many years – meaning a very well seasoned hard wood that burns for a long time. Ideal for keeping in over night. When green has a very high moisture content, so needs to be well seasoned.
Hawthorn
Very similar properties to Blackthorn. A good burner.
Hazel
Good clean burn with a good heat.
Holly
When seasoned makes an excellent burning wood.
Hornbeam
Similar properties as beech, although not quite as good. Not as common as beech.
Horse Chestnut
Good heat and flame but can spit a bit. Needs to be well seasoned.
Larch
Nice scent and good heat – one of the better softwoods and if well seasoned can last for longer than you might expect.

Lime
Not a great burning wood. High mostisure content means it needs to be well seasoned.
Maple
A good buning wood.
Oak
Very good traditional buring wood. Very hard and good for keeping the fire in overnight. Smoke slightly acrid. Needs to be very well seasoned, but once it is it’s hard to beat.
Pear
Similar to Apple, not as stront a scent.
Pine
Prone to spitting, but burns with a lively flame due to resin high content. Proper seasoning can greatly reduce the spitting

Plum
Similar to other fruitwoods. A good heat and pleasent scent

Poplar
Burns well when seasoned but burns very quickly. Grows very quickly also – a good sustainable crop when coppiced/polllarded.

Spruce
Burns very quickly and spits a bit – there are better softwoods.
Sycamore
Member of the maple family. A nice flame with an ok heat. Low moisture content.
Walnut
Hardwood with good burning properties, although rare for burning as most goes to furniture etc.
Willow
Poor burning wood, but can perform OK when seasoned for a long time in dry conditions. Quickly deteriorates in the wet. Heat & flame OK.