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Guild Of Master Sweeps Certified

Choose the best wood to burn

“Can I burn anything?” Take a moment to look at this list. Knowing the burn effects for different types of wood could save you money and choosing the right wood will give you a cracking fire! Remember that wood to be burnt must have a moisture content of 20 per cent or less (use a moisture thermometer to check).

Alder – Poor heat output and doesn’t last very long.

Apple – Steady slow burn when the wood is dry. A good heat output with a small visible flame and pleasant odour.

Ash – Excellent burning wood. It gives a great heat/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 with little flame or heat.

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

Elm – Commonly offered for sale and needs storing for two years before burning. 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 to use.

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 to use.

Oak – Does not produce very good flames and the smoke is acrid. However, dry old oak is excellent for heat, burning slowly until a 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 and moderate heat, unless green.

Thorn – 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.