When it comes to fueling your fire, the type of logs you use is a major determinant of the fire’s longevity, heat intensity, smoke production and the charm it will offer. It also impacts the degree of effort required in starting the fire and keeping it burning.
In collaboration with Firewood Farm we made a list of 16 different logs with unique traits for you to consider. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses allows you to pick the perfect log for your ideal fire.
One of the favorite options for many people when picking logs to light their fires is Ash. Known for its exceptional burning quality, ash is comfortably burned in both its green and seasoned states. It produces a steady blaze and provides considerable heat output, making it ideal for cold nights where warmth is needed most.
If you’re looking for something reliable with a high heat output, Beech might be an excellent solution. Beech logs require proper seasoning as they hold a great deal of moisture initially. Once dried out properly though, they create a fantastic source of warmth with steady embers sustaining the flame.
Hawthorn might not be as popular or known as other log types like Ash or Beech but due to its super slow burning characteristics, Hawthorn provides dependable long-lasting heat during those colder months. Keep in mind that this wood type may take longer to ignite compared with other woods.
Very similar to Hawthorn, Blackthorn is another excellent choice for fueling fires due to its slow-burning nature. Blackthorn logs offer a steady, warm, long-lasting fire. Delayed ignition is a feature of blackthorn as well but its longer burning duration more than compensates for the wait.
Having a more aesthetic appeal due to their beautiful aroma when burnt, Cherry logs add a unique touch to your fireplace, especially during events or dinners. However, they can produce sparks so it’s preferable to use them in closed appliance stoves.
Like Cherry, Apple logs are known for having a pleasant scent when burned. They’re an ideal consideration if you want to add some olfactory charm to the surroundings along with warmth. The heat output from Apple logs is medium and they burn fairly slowly.
A renowned fuel wood, Oak is especially favored due to its high heat output and long burn time. It does require thorough seasoning because of its high moisture content, ideally over two years or more.
Birch can burn even when wet because of the oils it contains, which can be a very useful trait. It burns quickly and very hot but does not last as long as other types of hard wood.
Though needing a very long seasoning period because of its water resistance and uneven grain, Elm offers a slow burn with splendid heat output once sufficiently dried and prepared.
Holly is an excellent choice for warming up small spaces with quick heat as it burns swiftly and intensely. The pitfall is that Holly needs to be properly seasoned since it decays rapidly when left outside.
Pine, particularly when kiln dried, creates an extremely hot quick fire which is great for kindling but not for prolonged fires as it burns out quickly.
Known for its smokeless quality when seasoned, Willow wood can be a good choice to keep the air cleaner around your fireside. It does require proper seasoning due to its high sap and water content.
Larch produces an excellent heat output and burns relatively quickly. But this type of wood has a high resin content which can lead to oily deposits building up in the chimney or flue with frequent usage.
Cedar has an enchanting smell when burned. The wood burns with small flames but puts out a good heat nevertheless. Although this wood type tends to spit quite a lot when on fire, it still can provide pleasantly warm, aromatic fires.
If a slower-burning log with lesser heat output is what you’re looking for, consider Poplar. This wood type is mainly used for supporting other types of logs in prolonged burning.
Alder provides a moderate heat output and burns fairly quickly, making it less suitable for long-lasting fires but perfectly alright for short durations or combined with other longer-burning woods like Oak or Ash.
Understanding the various types of logs suitable for burning is crucial to achieving the perfect fire experience desired. Make your selection based on factors like how long you want the fire to last, the heat intensity you require, how quick you need the fire to start and whether there’s any aesthetic appeal you’d like from the burning woods such as scent or low smoke production.