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Choosing the Best Wood to Burn in a Wood Stove

Posted by Northern Cookstoves on 15 May 2020
Choosing the Best Wood to Burn in a Wood Stove

When it comes to your wood stove, not all firewood is created equal. Whether you're chopping down trees yourself or buying pre-cut lumber from a local supplier, you'll want to make the most of it by being aware of the best wood to burn in a wood stove.

What's the difference between hardwood and softwood, and why does it matter?

We could go into a great deal of detail here, but we don't want to bore you! All you really need to know is that hardwood comes from deciduous trees and typically grows at a slower rate than softwood, which means that it has a greater density than its counterpart. Because of this, hardwood generally provides a much higher heat value for the same amount of wood, making it more efficient for your wood burning stove. Not only that, but hardwood generally provides a slower, more even burn, rather than firewood that goes up in flames and dies out as quickly as it ignites.

Best Firewood Types to Burn

Whatever wood you decide to burn in your wood stove, always make sure that it is fully dry. Any moisture in untreated wood can ultimately damage your precious investment and clog up the chimney. Keep in mind that the selection may vary depending on your location.

All of the wood types noted below are local to Ontario, Canada, have a high heat output, offer a slow burn, and are generally awesome choices for burning in a wood stove:

  • Apple
  • American Elm
  • Ash
  • Beech
  • Black Birch
  • Black Maple
  • Black Walnut
  • Cherry
  • Douglas Fir
  • Hickory
  • Oak (all types)
  • Sugar Maple

Best Firewood Types to Burn | Northern Cookstoves and Heaters

Bonus: The Best Smelling Firewood

If you're looking for an added treat of filling your home with an intoxicating, naturey aroma, try experimenting with burning hickory (known for its amazing scent), cherry, apple, oak and walnut. While cedar and pine smell notoriously delicious, they're best left for an outdoor fire.

What Wood is Toxic to Burn

It's important to note that some types of wood are not only worse for your stove, they could also be dangerous to your health. Avoid burning the following types of wood at all costs:

  • Baseboard/plywood
  • Coated/lacquered wood
  • Driftwood
  • Green/untreated wood
  • Oleander
  • Poison ivy, poison oak (really anything with the word "poison" in it)
  • Pressure-treated lumber
  • Wood pallets

Now that you know the best wood to burn, you'll need a high-quality wood stove to match! Browse our selection of handmade Amish cookstoves, and feel free to contact us if you need any assistance.

Author:Northern Cookstoves

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