FireWood Seasoning Tips

Freshly cut firewood could have up to 60% water content in it. once the tree has been cut down, it won’t burn that well in your appliance. it could potentially block your chimney up in no time at all, you must let the firewood season first, which will allow the moisture to escape. The drier the wood, the cleaner it will burn. When the wood gets to 20% moisture content or less, it will be ready to burn. Burning unseasoned or partially seasoned wood in your stove or open fire will cause creosote in your chimney, which can lead to dangerous chimney fires. Once creosote starts to form in your chimney it can be very hard to remove and sometimes it can become life threatening to yourself and those around you.

Here are some tips on how to store firewood & how to season it.

Seasoning freshly chopped fire wood depends on when the tree was cut down. The sap from the tree moves down to the roots in the winter, so trees cut down in the winter have a much lower moisture content to begin with, So it will season a lot quicker. In general softwoods require around 6 to 12 months to season properly, while hardwoods such as oak requires around 2 years depending on storage conditions. However, there are exceptions, so knowing the tree type and its water content beforehand is very important.

  • Surface water like rain water will usually evaporate a lot quicker, the concern is mainly the moisture content within the wood itself.
  • There isn’t much point seasoning wood longer than it needs to because over dried wood will have less energy as volatile esters in the wood evaporate. These are waxy substances that contain a great deal of heat energy inside the wood so it is a mistake to think that longer is necessarily better.
  • A special instrument can be purchased that tests the moisture content in wood, its usually known as a moisture meter or similar. you can find these in our After Care Shop
  • Gathering wood at the right time of year. Take advantage of the warm weather so you can start cutting and drying the wood out ASAP.
  • Chopping the wood for storage. It’s best to get the pieces down to no more than 6-8 inches (15cm-20cm) depending on the size of your appliance. If you are unsure of what size logs your appliance or open fire will hold, please seek this information from you manufacturer instructions.
  • Store the wood in a dry place. Do not store wood inside during the drying process.
  • Stack the wood so it is raised up off the ground. If you don’t have a wood store, gather some old pallets to use as a base to keep the firewood from contact with the ground. Or off cuts of 3×2 are also a great alternative. You should have a moisture barrier such as a tarpaulin or a ground sheet below the wood to stop any rising damp penetrating into your logs, you must also have it raised up off the ground sufficiently to allow maximum air flow.
  • Space out the logs to allow for air circulation. Air circulation is a very important part of seasoning logs. Ensure that the wood dries properly by having plenty of air circulating around your logs. Make sure the logs are spaced out correctly instead of just piled on top of each other. this way the logs will take longer to season
  • Ensure that there is a suitable roof over your logs. The top of the wood is recommended to be covered over so rain water will run off the top of it, also keep the ends of the stack uncovered to allow for air circulation and moisture to escape.
  • Check for wood dryness. You can use the wood moisture meter as mentioned earlier to check that the logs a suitable for use.


Guide To FireWood

Underneath we have given you a little guide to which woods are good to burn and which woods are not, Please note that the guide is based on our own experience with the wood and feed back from specialists in the field. 

Tree Type Burning Speed Comment Fire Rated
 Ash Medium Burn Low moisture content – little seasoning needed required – can burn green Very Good To Burn – Good Heat From Log
Beech Medium Burn Season for a year – unique smooth silver bark Very Good To Burn – Good Heat From Log
Horn beam Medium Burn Also known as Iron wood – Leaves appear similar to beech tree Good To Burn
Hawthorn Medium Burn Season for a year – Be careful of the thorns they can make handling more difficult Very Good
Crab apple Medium Burn Smells Amazing – Good for cooking, must season well & Burns steadily Good
Oak Medium Burn Nations Favorite – Best seasoned for two years – excellent for keeping the fire lit Very Good to Burn – Good Heat From Log
maple Medium Burn Season for a year – logs are dense, solid and heavy Okay
Elm Medium Burning Season for 2 years at least – high water content. advise to have a sharp age on splitting Okay
Hazel Fast Burning Season for a year – Burns fast without spitting Okay
Birch Fast Burning Burn with slow burners such as Elm or Oak – Can be burnt unseasoned Okay – Pleasant Heat From Log
Wild cherry Slow Burning Burn with fast burners such as birch, Pleasant smell – Needs to be seasoned well Okay
Blackthorn Slow Burning Season for a year – Mix with faster burners such as birch, Hazel, Sycamore Very Good
Rowan Slow Burning Burn with fast burners such as birch Very Good
Holly Slow Burning Burn with fast burners such as birch and alder can be burnt green No Good
Yew Slow Burning Very dense with fierce heat, pleasant smell Good To Burn – Good Heat From Log
Alder Fast Burning Burn with slow burners such as wild cherry No Good
Poplars Fast Burning High moisture content – season for at least a year minimum No Good
 Willows Fast Burning High moisture content – season for a year No Good
Lime Slow Burning Burn with fast burners such as birch No Good
Rhododendron Fast Burning Dries Quickly and burns fast Okay
Sycamore Fast Burning Dries quickly and gives of an okay heat, Must be well seasoned Okay – Not A Bad Heat From Log

If you are unsure about the water quantity in your wood please take a look for Moisture Meters in our After Care shop. They are an essential piece of kit.

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