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The Best types of firewood to use in England (an expert’s perspective)

As a professional forestry business, we know wood. We know firewood. As customers learn more about choosing high quality firewood, a natural question to ask is “what’s the best type of firewood?”

We’ve already written about seasoned vs kiln dried firewood on our blog, and this blog will focus on the types of trees which grow to give us firewood. For example, iconic British species like oak, ash, or beech. Alistair, owner of Black Dog Forestry has 20 years experience in forestry, and in this blog he shares his expertise:

What type of wood?

You might be familiar with the idea of hardwood. This is an important factor in choosing firewood because not all wood is hardwood - some of it is softwood. For example, fir, cedar, larch and poplar are all types of softwood. These tend to make poor choices for firewood because it can burn smoky or leave a lot of residue.

In short, always choose hardwood for your firewood. Alistair says; “You’ll get more fire for your money and a cleaner burn.”

What species of tree makes the best firewood?

Oak and ash are two of the top species for firewood, and they’re what we manage and harvest at Black Dog Forestry.

Oak as firewood

Oak trees are a hardwood tree native to England. The wood itself is dense which means it takes a longer time to season to become firewood, but here at Black Dog Forestry, we know that quality can’t be rushed.

Once seasoned, oak firewood produces a burn which is consistent, with a low flame. If you’re interested, read all about the timber seasoning process we undertake.

Ash as firewood

Similar to oak, ash burns clean once seasoned. It doesn’t have much of a smell which some people really like. It also doesn’t throw many sparks and can make a great choice for firewood.

How to choose between oak and ash?

Well you don’t need to - here at Black Dog Forestry, we sell firewood log mix bundles which contain a mix of species of firewood. These bundles contain a mix of seasoned timber and cut to 9 inches length. We’ve recently added an option where we can cut to size if you have a different length requirement.

What else do I need to know about firewood?

There’s so much more to firewood than just choosing by species. Once you have your firewood, consider where you’re storing it to keep it in its best condition before you use it. We also have people ask a lot of questions around building the perfect fire - which we’ll be talking about in our next blog!

We love talking about all things firewood, forestry and forests so if you have any questions, feel free to comment below and we’ll write about it in a future blog.

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