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Choosing the right wood to burn

Anything that burns is suitable for a fireplace, right? Wrong! Knowing which kind of wood you need for your stove or open fire could save you heaps of money and give you a crackling fire!
- Gives a poor heat output and does not last very long.

Apple - Has a steady slow burn when the wood is dry and a good heat output with a small visible flame and pleasant odour.

Ash - Excellent burning wood. It gives a great heat and flame output and also burns when green. Best heat output gained when wood is dry.

Beech - Good heat output but only fair when wood is green. This wood is prone to shoot embers whilst burning.

Birch - The heat is good but the wood burns quickly, however a pleasant odour is produced.

Cedar - Produces little flames but great heat and a wonderful odour. Provides a splendid noise when burned.

Cherry - A slow burning wood that produces good heat and a pleasant odour.

Chestnut - Produces small flames and normal heat, prone to shooting embers.

Douglas Fir - Poor. Little flame or heat.

Elder - Generates a lot of smoke and burns very quickly, not much heat.

Elm - Commonly offered for sale. To burn well it needs to be kept for two years. Even when dry it is liable to smoke.

Eucalyptus - Good dense hardwood, should be properly seasoned before use but will produce good heat.

Hazel - Good.

Holly - Good, will burn when green but best when kept a season to dry out fully.

Hornbeam - Comparable in many aspects to Beech.

Laburnum - Totally poisonous tree, acrid smoke, taints food, best avoided altogether.

Larch - Crackly, scented and fairly good for heat.

Laurel - Has a brilliant flame.

Lime - Poor. Burns with dull flame.

Maple - Good.

Oak - Does not produce very good flame and the smoke is acrid. However, dry old oak is excellent for heat, burning slowly and steadily until whole log collapses into ash.

Pear - Provides good heat and an extremely pleasant scent.

Pine - Burns with a splendid flame but is liable to split.

Plane - Burns pleasantly but is naturally given to throw sparks if very dry.

Plum - Good heat and aromatic.

Poplar - Not recommended.

Rhododendron - The thick old stems, being very tough, burn well.

Robinia (Acacia) - Burns slowly with good heat, but is unfortunately accompanied by an acrid smoke.

Spruce - Burns at an extremely fast rate and creates many sparks.

Sycamore - Burns with a good flame, with moderate heat - unless green.

Thorn - Quite one of the best woods. Burns slowly, produces great heat with very little smoke.

Walnut - Good, and so is the scent. A very aromatic wood.

Willow - Poor. In a dry condition burns slowly, with a little flame. Liable to spark.

Yew - Has a slow burn with great heat and a pleasant scent.

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