Oak. Ash. Birch. Cedar. Pine. There are so many different types of wood you can use in your fireplace or stove and it can be daunting when choosing the best burning firewood. Ultimately you want a hardwood that will be dense enough to burn hotter and slower so that a cord* lasts longer. But, what’s too much? What smells the best and what’s easiest to season? Let us help you out when it comes to picking the best wood for your wood fireplace!
The Best Burning Firewood for Your Fireplace
Apple trees are really pretty fantastic when it comes to having multiple uses. We don’t only use apples for cooking, apple chips can be put in a smoker and apple cider vinegar even has medical uses. But, we’re talking about how you can use the actual wood! Apple burns slower than many other options, so your cord of wood will last a lot longer. Because of that, you use less wood and it’ll smell better too in your wood fireplace.
The reason it is used in smokers is because of the flavor, and the same applies when it comes to your fireplace. You can cook food in your fireplace if you have a fireplace insert and it’ll have some of that delicious flavor!
Though not as good as apple, cherry is still an excellent choice for a wood burning fireplace so we wanted to include it. It needs to be seasoned exceptionally well, but it burns very slowly like apple does and smells amazing. If you aren’t sure about how to season wood properly then you can take advantage of our Ask Chris feature! Chris will be happy to answer your questions about how to season your fire wood!
Any Kind of Maple
Though some maple is better than others (sugar maple, for example, burns hotter than others) maple is a great choice for firewood. In the United States it’s very plentiful, making it a convenient choice and as a hardwood, it’s durable and will burn longer and typically hotter than other options out there.
This firewood is a double edged sword. Ironwood is some of the best firewood for fireplaces, but it’s important to keep in mind that it gets hot. Really hot. Make sure that you don’t try to burn it during a mild winter, but one more appropriate for the intense heat that ironwood can put off. It’s definitely a good, seasoned wood to have around, just make sure it’s around for a blizzard and not a dusting.
The Birch Variety
You can’t really go wrong with birch. Yes, there are varying degrees of quality firewood in the birch family, but overall it’s a good wood for your fireplace. These smaller trees have a shallow root system and grow in areas like swamps or floodplains. Birch trees are a great choice for a lot of North American fireplaces!
Black and Yellow Birch (BOLD) are the best options for firewood as they are hard, dense woods. When seasoning these two, it’s best to get them cut and split as soon as possible due to more sap than other types of firewood. It takes longer to season birch optimally.
White birch(BOLD), in contrast to the other two, isn’t really the best option. You can certainly burn it in your fireplace, but white birch isn’t as dense or strong, so it isn’t ideal as firewood. It also holds moisture more than other birch species so if you do use it, be sure to cut it smaller than other options out there so that it seasons better. It’s also important with white birch that it isn’t stacked directly on the ground; use something that will allow air to circulate around the wood.
We saved the very best for last. Though seasoning oak takes care and a lot of time, it’s hands down the best when it comes to heating your home up quickly and keeping it warm. And, it burns very hot so it helps keep your chimney cleaner than some other hardwood varieties.
The downside is, of course, the time it takes to season. Some oak species take up to 4 years, so it’s a good idea to do everything you can to optimize seasoning and invest in a moisture meter. Or, find someone who sells well seasoned oak.