What Kind of Firewood?

What Kind of Firewood

“Birch is often used”

Here is the easy answer… any kind as long as it’s dry. But, there’s a bit more to it than that.

First things first… Green firewood is a bad thing. Green wood still has too much moisture in it and burning this stuff will cause your chimney or stove pipes to build up with creosote. And, that damn stuff can easily combust and start one hell of a fire. Burning your house down because you used the wrong kind of firewood is about as unrugged as it gets!

Rule one: No green wood!

In North America there are two main categories of trees. Deciduous trees are mainly the hardwoods like maple, oak, birch, ash and beech, just to name a few. Deciduous trees lose their leaves every fall and grow new ones in the spring. The other category of trees, coniferous trees, mainly the soft woods, are also known as evergreens. Pine, spruce and balsam are the main types and they do not shed their skin in the fall. They remain “ever green.”

Softwood normally burns faster and hotter than hardwoods, so if you want a quick fire on an October morning just to “take the chill off” but don’t want the house to get too hot, sure, toss in a few pieces of dry pine or spruce. If you want a quick fire to cook a few eggs on, go ahead and use softwood. But, for longer burn times, like throughout the night or during the winter, I would use any of the hardwoods. But, again, it must be dry… Sometimes, I’ll mix it up a bit, using softwood and dry at the same time.

Off the Grid Why

“Firewood stacked IN the kitchen? Rugged!”

Again, the only really important part to all of this is that wood you burn must be dry. If you were to cut down a maple tree, split it and stack it, it won’t be what I would call dry or “seasoned” for at least 10 months to a year. If you were to do the same with pine, you’d be looking at an even longer period for the wood to “season.”

Be careful if you buy firewood. They might tell you on the phone that their wood is “well-seasoned” and after they dump five cords in your yard, you discover that they either don’t know what the word “seasoned” means, or that they’re just full of shit. If the wood is dry, you’ll see the ends of each piece splitting and cracking. This is known as “checking.” I recommend you go to the place where their firewood is piled or stacked up, waiting to be delivered. See what their wood is like before they dump the goddam stuff in your driveway!

Whether you buy your firewood, or cut it yourself, plan ahead…

Dry firewood – RUGGED! Freezing your onions off all winter long – unrugged.

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