What is the best firewood?

Finding the best firewood isn't necessarily a "cut and dry" endeavor. Obviously, there are some species of firewood that are more valuable than others from a heating standpoint, but that isn't the only factor that should be considered. Take the time to read the questions below and hopefully you will come to your answer.

Why am I burning firewood?

If the answer is to heat your house, you should be looking for dense species of wood that burn well such as oak, hickory or beech. Species of this nature are the best for burning because they burn longer and hotter than many other lesser firewood species. If you are not sure which species are recommmended, visit my page on firewood types. If you are only burning wood for the sake of enjoying an ocassional fire in the fireplace or outside in your firepit, you don't need to be as choosy with your species. Just about any species of wood will do provided that it is properly seasoned.

How much am I willing to spend?

When you are buying firewood, you'll pay more money for seasoned wood versus green wood. The same thing goes for less attractive firewood species compared to sought after ones such as ash and oak. Does this mean that you should always buy the best seasoned wood available? Well, not really, it mostly depends on what you need right away and why you need it.

Buying green firewood may make the most sense if you have an adequate area to season the wood yourself. And buying lesser species of firewood such as pine or aspen may be the perfect fit if you're only looking to have a bonfire.

Am I going to process the wood?

This is a big one for me. If I am going to be splitting the firewood by hand with an axe or a maul, there is no way you'll catch me cutting elm. It's too hard to split, I'll only tackle that species with a woodsplitter.

If you are going to be cutting the wood yourself, it may not be a bad idea to substitute an easy splitting species such as ash for a species like beech which is a little bit better in terms of heating value but is miserable to split.

So....what is the best firewood?

I can't do all the work for you. Just take into account your intended use, resources, and funds and make the decision yourself. There are plenty of articles on this website to help you make up your mind. Make the best use of them and come up with an educated decision!

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