Wood burning, burning log, wood burning properties

Fuel Wood Burning Properties

The fuel wood burning properties of different wood types are given in the following table. The Density column gives an indication of how hard a wood is to split. In general the higher the density, the harder a wood is to split. It is generally recommended to split wood when green as the split logs will season more quickly.

Common NameHardwood/ SoftwoodCommentsDensity
Kg/m3
AlderHProduces poor heat output and burns quickly.400 – 700
AppleHA very good wood that burns slow and steady when dry, it has small flame size, and does not produce sparking or spitting. It produces a disappointing flame.650 – 850
AshHOne of best woods for burning. It produces a steady flame and good heat output.710
BeechHBurns very much like ash, due to its high water content it can take much longer to season the other types.700 – 900
BirchHProduces good heat output but it does burn quickly. Bright flames and a pleasing smell. The sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use.670
BlackthornHHas a slow burn, with good heat output.
CedarSIs 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.380 – 580
CherryHA slow burning wood that produces a good heat output. Cherry needs to be seasoned well.630
ChestnutHA poor burning wood that produces a small flame and little heat.560
Douglas FirSNot a very good firewood, produces little flame or heat.530
ElderHA poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output. The sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use.420 – 490
ElmHBurns well but slowly so it generally needs a faster burning log to support burning. It should be dried for two years for best results.550 – 600
HawthornHBurns well with with little smoke and good heat output. Can be difficult to split.
HazelHIs a good but fast burning wood but still produces a good heat.
HollyHIs a fast burning wood that produces good flame but little heat output. Holly will burn green, but best dried for a minimum of a year.750
HornbeamHGood firewood. Burns well700
Horse ChestnutHA low quality firewood, spits a lot.510
LaburnumHA very smokey wood with a poor burn. Do not use can be poisonous.
LarchSProduces a reasonable heat output, but it needs to be well seasoned. The sap can cause deposits to form in the flue with prolonged use.550
LaurelHBurns with a good flame but only reasonable heat output.
MapleHIs a good burning wood that produces a good flame and heat output.600 – 750
OakHOne of best woods for burning. Because of its density, oak produces a small flame and very slow burn, requires time to season well.740
PearHBurns steady with reasonable heat output. It produces a disappointing flame. Similar to apple wood.
PineSBurns fast 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.510
PlumHA good burning wood that produces good heat output.650 – 800
PoplarSNot a good fuel wood. Slow burning with black choking smoke even when seasoned.450
RowanHIs a good burning wood that has a slow burn with good heat output.
SpruceSProduces a poor heat output and it does not last very long, ideal for starting fires.400 – 700
SycamoreHProduces a good flame, but with only moderate heat output.400 – 600
WalnutHIs a moderate to good burning wood.650 – 700
WillowHA poor fire wood that does not burn very well even when seasoned.400 – 600
YewHA good burning wood as it has a slow burn, and produces a very good heat output.670

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