Which Wood Burns Best

When you rely on a wood-burning stove for heat, using quality firewood is the key to convenience, efficiency and safety. Good planning, seasoning and storage of your firewood supply are all important factors, but so is stocking up on the right type of wood. Our list below will help you determine which woods are the best choice for you, along with guidelines on how long to season and store.

AlderBurns fast
Poor heat output
Sweet burning aroma
Best when seasoned at least 1 year
AppleSlow and steady burn
Small flame size
Does not spark or spit
Best when seasoned at least 2 years
AshSteady flame
Good heat output
Best when seasoned at least 1 year
BeechDense wood
Burns clean and hot
Best when seasoned 1-2 years
BirchQuick to burn
Burns bright and hot
Good choice for kindling
Black Locust (Robinia)Slow to burn
Burns clean and hot
Good heat output
Best when seasoned at least 1 year
CedarEasy to burn
Low heat output
Heavy smoke and spark
Good choice for kindling
Cherry (Recommended)Slow to burn
Burns at medium heat
Sweet burning aroma
Best when seasoned at least 1 year
ChestnutBurns easily
Burns at low heat
Heavy smoke
ElmDense, hard wood
Slow to get going
Best when seasoned 2 years
HawthornSlow to burn
Good heat output
Oak (Recommended)Dense wood
Slow to burn
Low flame
Best when seasoned 1-2 years
PineHigh sap content
Messy to burn
Good choice for kindling
PoplarPoor burn
Heavy smoke
SycamoreGood flame
Moderate heat
Best when seasoned at least 1 year
Sugar Maple (Recommended)Burns efficiently
Good heat output
Good flame
Best when seasoned at least 1 year
WalnutSlow to burn
Limited smoke
Best when seasoned at least 1 year
Yew (Recommended)Slow to burn
Good heat output
Sweet burning aroma
Best when seasoned 2-3 years

For more expert tips on burning wood, check out:
Tips for Burning Wood
Making the Most of Your Wood Stove
How to Use a Moisture Meter

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