Terran's Tips

Firewood Facts

Firewood is rated as Hardwood or Softwood. Hardwoods tend to give more heat and less smoke in a long, hot burn; which equates to less Creosote, the culprit in many chimney fires. But if you enjoy cutting Firewood and loading the Wood Burner, or if you want to warm up the house in a hurry; then Softwoods may be just right for you.

It may be best to cut Firewood when the trees have shed their leaves. Chances are that the sap has migrated down from the trunk and limbs. That should make it lighter to handle and quicker to dry or "season". Seasoned firewood develops checks or splits which radiate out from the heart as hands on a clock. Firewood gathered one winter should be adequately seasoned and ready to burn the following winter. Be aware that longer pieces take longer to season. Wood cells are like a bundle of random straws with open ends. It is from these cut ends that most drying takes place, rather than from the sides. So, removing the bark aids drying only minimally.

These Hardwoods are commonly available,
easy to split and burn.
Listed in order of BTU output.
Species BTU/cord
Black Birch/Blue Beech 26.8
Beech 24.0
White Ash/Yellow Birch 23.6
Paper Birch/White Birch 20.3
Black Ash 19.1
These have a hard-to-split nature.
Hickory 27.7
White Oak 25.7
Red Oak 24.0
Hard Maple 23.1
Fruit Tree are not commonly available, but may be found
at many homes.

If you want a spectacular outside fire; these species make lots of sparks:
Hemlock, Chestnut, Tamarack, Larch, Spruce, Red/white Cedar, Yellow Poplar.

A cord measures 2 feet deep X 4 feet high X 16 feet long, or any configuration that equals 128 Cubic Feet. A cord of Hardwood weighs from 1 to 2 tons.

BTUs: A cord of most Hardwoods produces heat in the same range as a ton of coal (about 21 to 25 million BTUs). Weight equates to BTUs more than volume does; A pound of seasoned Hardwood produces about the same BTUs as does Softwood. Split wood has more total surface area to catch fire, so it burns quicker and hotter than unsplit Firewood. It may also stack tighter which would give more weight and consequently, more BTU's per cord. Healthy living trees produce compounds which protect them from insect and Fungus damage, much as humans develop immunities. A cut, broken, or uprooted tree loses this protection and is soon attacked.

Please click on this audio file to learn more about ordering firewood from Woodland Tree Service.

As always, if we can be of any service with your tree needs, please call or email us.
Posted by Mark Allen at 14:32
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