Dancing flames and the warm glow from wood-fueled fires invoke and create warm n’ cosy memories. Besides heat and ambiance, firewood is cost effective and eco friendly; especially in an eco house. But before you start lighting logs this wood-burning season, discover how to select the best firewood – and perhaps more importantly – find out how to store it appropriately.
Selecting the Best Firewood
The first step in finding the best firewood is knowing the size of your fireplace or woodstove, so you know the length of firewood pieces you require. Too short, and each load of firewood won’t last long. Worse still, logs that are too long and have to be cut to fit.
Log burning fires can create pleasant aromas, which adds to the ambiance and appeal of fireplaces and woodstoves. It’s a good idea to note down the name your favourite firewoods. However, be aware and avoid any woods which aggravate the symptoms of any allergy-sufferers in the household.
Everyone should avoid poison ivy vines. Ivy often wraps around trees, and anyone who touches it faces a nasty rash. Burning of poison ivy also poses the risk of reactions in lungs if you inhale the smoke.
Firewood from storm damaged trees can be safely seasoned and burned – if it is not rotten, diseased or treated with pesticides.
Properly seasoned firewood does not produce unpleasant smoke which green or diseased wood does, as seasoned wood is free of most insects and debris.
British Thermal Units measure firewood energy content. All firewoods contain the same amount of units per weight. But different woods have different densities, so BTUs per firewood cord can vary significantly. For example, one cord of oak or beech each have around double the energy content compared to one cord of pine or spruce.
Where to Buy Firewood?
If you are looking for local firewood near me, or in the Garioch area, Epic Tree Care can provide firewood logs (subject to availability), and woodchips available all year round. All of the firewood we sell is from sustainable sources collected during our main industry of tree surgery.
Firewood Storage and Seasoning
The best firewood has been stored for around one year, in a dry environment with good air circulation. One of the most important aspects of firewood storage is keeping it off of the ground to prevent rot to the lower layers.
Some people use wooden stilts or rails to raise their stack of wood from ground level, however insects can still get to your firewood which is sitting on wooden stilts. A metal firewood rack is the solution, as well as offering a sturdiness to your firewood stack – important for both safety and to ensure your firewood stack is not leaning against the wall of your property.
Properly seasoned firewood looses most of its bark – the part where most insects and debris collect. So there should be very little debris and/or bugs left remaining in seasoned wood, which we obviously don’t intend on bringing into our homes.
The main firewood storage options are….
- Stacking Firewood: How to stack firewood? Stacking between trees or against buildings is possible, although not necessarily advisable, but usually limits the potential for rot to set in to only the bottom layer or two.
- Firewood Rack: Storing your firewood in a metal rack which is raised off the ground – whether purchased or homemade – will keep the bottom safe from most harmful insects and from the effects of mould and rot.
- Store Firewood Indoors: A barn, shed, or garage offers great protection and good air circulation at the same time. This is how we store all of our firewood, as it is the best way to prevent rot and maintain colour to the wood.
* Firewood usually begins to rot after it has been stored for 4-5 years, which significantly degrades its efficiency and ease of burning.
* If buying firewood, purchasing ‘unseasoned’ or ‘green’ wood and seasoning it yourself is the most affordable option. Wood should be seasoned for approximately one year, but green wood bought in spring could be seasoned and used in autumn.
* Do not use firewood treated with pesticides or insecticides.
Check out our upcoming articles for firewood safety and free firewood tips.