Advice, Burning Wood

Advice, Burning Wood

Burning wood and it’s properties


Advice, Burning Wood - Wood burning stove installations, fireplace installation, hearths, flue liners, chimney sweep, stove installation, stove maintenance


There are a myriad of wood types to choose from, all of which have their own burning qualities and properties and although there are references to burning green wood in this guide, we would stress that for the most efficient and effective burn in your wood burning stove only very dry wood and has to be below 20% moisture content! 

If you have the space, we would recommend a three year cycle of wood storage. Buy green wood to reduce the cost dramatically compared to Kiln Dried (around 7 – 10% moisture content) and use it in year three if it reads below 20%. 

We have listed below a brief but by no means comprehensive guide. 

In addition there are of course the compressed reclaimed 'eco' type of logs and briquettes. Theses tend to burn well and for a decent length of time because they are dense and very dry. Try to choose a product that does not break apart too easily. 

Alder: Produces poor heat output and it does not last well: - Poor


Apple: A very good wood that burns slow and steady when dry, it has small flame size, and does not produce sparking or spitting: - Good


Advice, Burning Wood - Wood burning stove installations, fireplace installation, hearths, flue liners, chimney sweep, stove installation, stove maintenance

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: - Very Good


Beech: Burns very much like ash, but does not burn well when green: - Very Good


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: - Good


Blackthorn: Has a slow burn, with good heat production: - Good


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: - Good


Cherry: Is a slow to burn wood that produces a good heat output. Cherry needs to be seasoned well: - Good


Chestnut: A poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output: - POOR


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: - POOR


Elder: A poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output: - POOR


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: - Medium


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: - POOR



Advice, Burning Wood - Wood burning stove installations, fireplace installation, hearths, flue liners, chimney sweep, stove installation, stove maintenance

Hawthorn: Is a good traditional firewood that has a slow burn with good heat output: - Very Good


Hazel: Is a good but fast burning wood and produces best results when allowed to season: - Good


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: - POOR


Hornbeam: A good burning wood that burns similar to beech, slow burn with a good heat output: - Good


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: - Good (for Stoves)


Laburnum: A very smokey wood with a poor burn: - Very POOR – Do not use.


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: - Medium


Laurel: Burns with a good flame but only reasonable heat output. It needs to be well seasoned: - Medium


Lilac: Its smaller branches are good to use as kindling, the wood itself burns well with a good flame: - Good


Lime: Not a good wood for burning as it produces very little flame or heat output: - Poor


Maple: Is a good burning wood that produces good flame and heat output: - Good


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: - Good


Pear: Burns well with good heat output, however it does need to be seasoned well: - Good


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: - Good (with caution)


Plum: A good burning wood that produces good heat output: - Good


Poplar: A very smokey wood with a poor burn: - Very POOR


Rowan: Is a good burning wood that has a slow burn with good heat output: - Very Good


Rhododendron: The older and thick stems can burn well: - Good


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: - Good (for Stoves)


Spruce: Produces a poor heat output and it does not last well: - Poor


Sycamore: Produces a good flame, but with only moderate heat output. Should only be used well-seasoned: -Medium


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: - Medium (for Stoves)


Thorn: One of the best woods for burning. It produces a steady flame and very good heat output, and produces very little smoke: - Very Good


Walnut: is a moderate to good burning wood: - Medium


Willow: A poor fire wood that does not burn well even when seasoned: - Poor


Yew: A good burning wood as it has a slow burn, and produces a very good heat output: - Very Good