Monday, 27 August 2012

Which Firewood is Best for Burning?

It probably seems a bit mad to think about winter firewood when the weather is still warm (and it's August) - but now is the time when we assess the wood we have for our winter fuel.  As David loves nearly all things wood and has worked with it for most of his life; we've made having a log fire a priority.  We have access to wood and we rely on it to save money on central heating, so we want to make sure that if the cold weather comes early, we've got our logs ready.

Our favourite woods for burning are hornbeam and sweet chestnut - they burn well and give out good heat.  Sweet chestnut can spit, although we do have a log burner, so that's not such a problem.  (Conifer, which is one of the woods easily available to us, also tends to spit - and it can soot up the chimney).

The following woods we use take a year to season (dry out) properly before they burn well:

Hornbeam
Sweet Chestnut
Apple
Beech
Birch
Cherry
Conifer
Hawthorn
Hazel
Pear
Sycamore
Ash (This wood can actually be burned almost from felling, but it's better seasoned)

We also burn oak, but this takes a lot longer to season (up to two years).  We don't, by choice, use eucalyptus - because the grain is very twisted, it's difficult to split into logs. 

We store our logs under cover in a small barn (where we also store our straw and hay).  We divide the log piles into two; the first (and oldest) pile is for this winter, and the second is for next winter (2013/14).  The logs are raised off the ground (on pallets) and stacked so air can circulate freely around them.  Mouldy logs will not burn well!

Our wood store

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