BTU Ratings

Firewood BTU Ratings Charts for Common Tree Species

The firewood BTU rating charts below give a comparison between different firewood types. This can help you decide what the best firewood type is for your needs. You can click on the different types of firewood in the chart to learn more about them. Please leave your comments or questions on those pages if you have experience or questions about those types of firewood.

A cord is 128 cubic feet of stacked wood. Because of the air space between the pieces of wood, the amount of solid wood in a cord may be only 70-90 cubic feet, even though the volume of the stack is 128 cubic feet.

Western Hardwoods Figures from California Energy Commission BTU Rating Based on 90 cubic feet of solid wood per 128 cubic foot cord
Contains some non native species that can be found in the West.
Species HeatContentMillion BTU’s per Cord WeightPounds Per CordGreen WeightPounds Per CordDry
Live Oak 36.6 7870 4840
Eucalyptus 34.5 7320 4560
Almond 32.9 6980 4350
Pacific Madrone  30.9 6520 4086
Dogwood 30.4 6520 4025
Oregon White Oak  28.0 6290 3710
Tanoak 27.5 6070 3650
California Black Oak  27.4 5725 3625
Pepperwood(Myrtle) 26.1 5730 3450
Chinquapin 24.7 4720 3450
Bigleaf Maple  22.7 4940 3000
Avocado 20.8 4520 2750
Quaking Aspen  18.0 3880 2400
Red Alder  19.5 4100 2600
Cottonwood 16.8 3475 2225
Western Softwoods Figures from California Energy Commission But Rating Based on 90 cubic feet of solid wood per 128 cubic foot cord
Species Heat ContentMillion BTU’s per Cord WeightPounds Per CordGreen WeightPounds Per CordDry
Western Larch (Tamarack) 28.7  5454  3321
PinionPine (Pinyon,pinon) 27.1?
DouglasFir  26.5 5050 3075
Western Juniper 26.4 5410 3050
Western Hemlock 24.4 5730 2830
Port Orford Cedar 23.4 4370 2700
Lodgepole Pine  22.3 4270 2580
Ponderosa Pine  21.7 4270 2520
Jeffery Pine 21.7 4270 2520
Sitka Spruce 21.7 4100 2520
Red Fir 20.6 4040 2400
Incense Cedar  20.1 3880 2350
Coast Redwood 20.1 4040 2330
White Fir  21.1 3190 2400
Grand Fir  20.1 3880 2330
Sugar Pine  19.6 3820 2270
Western White Pine 
Sequoia Redwood
Eastern Hardwoods Compiled from various sources Consistency between charts will vary due to different variables between different data sources.
Species Heat ContentMillion BTU’s per Cord WeightPounds Per Cord Dry
Osage Orange 32.9 4728
Shagbark Hickory 27.7 4327
Eastern Hornbeam 27.1 4016
Black Birch 26.8 3890
Black Locust 26.8 3890
Blue Beech 26.8 3890
Ironwood 26.8 3890
Bitternut Hickory 26.5 3832
Honey Locust 26.5 4100
Apple 25.8 3712
Mulberry 25.7 4012
Beech 24.0 3757
Northern Red Oak 24.0 3757
Sugar Maple (Hard Maple) 24.0 3757
White Oak 24.0 3757
White Ash 23.6 3689
Yellow Birch 21.8 3150
Red Elm 21.6 3112
Hackberry 20.8 3247
Kentucky Coffeetree 20.8 3247
Gray Birch 20.3 3179
Paper Birch 20.3 3179
White Birch 20.2 3192
Black Walnut 20.0 3120
Cherry 20.0 3120
Green Ash 19.9 2880
Black Cherry 19.5 2880
American Elm 19.5 3052
White Elm 19.5 3052
Sycamore 19.1 2992
Black Ash 18.7 2924
Red Maple (Soft Maple) 18.1 2900
Box Elder 17.9 2797
Catalpa 15.9 2482
Aspen 14.7 2295
Butternut 14.5 2100
Willow 14.3 2236
Cottonwood 13.5 2108
American Basswood 13.5 2108
Eastern Softwoods
Compiled from various sources. Consistency between charts will vary due to different variables between different data sources
Species Heat ContentMillion BTU’s per Cord WeightPounds Per Cord Dry
Rocky Mountain Juniper 21.6 3112
Eastern Larch (Tamarack) 20.8 3247
Jack Pine 17.1 2669
Norway Pine 17.1 2669
Pitch Pine 17.1 2669
Hemlock 15.9 2482
Black Spruce 15.9 2482
Eastern White Pine 14.3 2236
Balsam Fir 14.3 2236
Eastern White Cedar 12.2 1913
Eastern Red Cedar

These charts will give you the amount of energy per cord of wood for some of the most common firewood species. The data for these charts was compiled from various sources with different firewood types. There is some conflicting data between different sources due to different calculating variables. As with most BTU charts I have seen available some of the numbers may be a little off but are in the general ballpark. I have put together the best data I could find but consider the figures to be approximate.

Much of the inconsistencies are from different variables such as how much actual solid wood is assumed to be in a cord. A cord is 128 cubic feet but in any stack of wood there will be air space between the pieces. As a result a cord of wood may only have 70-90 cubic feet of actual solid wood. This varies with the size and shape of the wood and how tightly it is stacked.

BTU’s or British Thermal Units are a measure of the amount of heat energy available in any given substance.

Opinions of firewood can vary with personal preferences and individual burning needs. You are welcome to discuss this topic and share your experience and your best firewood tree species below and in our forum.

All firewood has about the same BTU per pound. Non resinous wood has around 8000 to 8500 BTU per pound and resinous wood has around 8600 to 9700 BTU per pound. Less dense softwoods have less BTU per cord than more dense hardwood but they also weigh less per cord. Resinous wood has more BTU per pound because the resins have more BTU per pound than wood fiber has

125 thoughts on “BTU Ratings”

  1. Live Oak,Chinquapin,and Dogwood are eastern species,not Western.Live Oak is limited to Southeastern States.
    Chinquapin and Dogwood are common here in Ohio.
    Thanks for the listings.I burn 3-4 cords every Winter,and burn all but the softwoods.I was looking for BTU content for
    Walnut and Mulberry,having quite a plentiful supply of those.
    The ongoing extinction of the Ash,all species,is supplying
    all our needs now,and for a few more years,sad business.
    In my lifetime I have seen the end of the Chestnut,the American elm,and now the Ash, Dick Ashton

  2. There are varieties of those species in the Eastern US but there are also varieties on the west coast. The ones in the western hardwoods chart are for the west coast varieties. Western dogwood grows along the west coast and canyon live oak is common in California and Oregon. I was just cutting some live oak in California last week so I do know it is there.

  3. Richard,
    Mulberry has a rateing of (1) unit million btu, 25.80/cord
    Walnut (black) rates at 21.50/cord, my information is provided by Pocket Reference by Thomas J Glover printed in September 2006 ( 18th edition ).
    hope this helped you.

  4. I have a rather large Bradford pear that I need to take down. It is quite old and is hanging over mine and my neighbors drive ways. Iv’e only ived here for the last 4 years, It should have been pruned back many years ago but now to late and needs to be cut down. I have not found it listed anywhere as rated for firewood and was wondering if it would produce enough heat to make it worthwhile for use in the fireplace. The fireplace is not our primary heat source but we enjoy a fire each evening in the winter.

  5. I can’t find any information anywhere on bradford pear btu either. According to wikipedia bradford pear trees originally come from China. So you are probably not going to find much information about it as far as btu or about its wood in general since it is not a common source of firewood outside of Asia. But in my opinion any kind of wood is worth cutting up and burning as long as it isn’t totally rotten or anything. Some have more heat than others but if you already have it you might as well cut it up and burn it. As long as it’s dry it will burn and put out enough heat to make it worth it since you don’t have to buy the wood.

  6. Everyone has these charts but none of the wood listed is available here in Southern Cal. with the exception of oak (usualy scrub oak), all the firewood vendors here have is Eucalyptus (no rating), Avacado (no rating), Almond (no rating) and “mixed hardwood”.
    We bought cedar this year and it burns slowly and puts out little to no heat.

  7. I added the BTU of Eucalyptus to the charts but I can’t find consistent data for avocado and almond. If I can find ratings for those I will add them too.

  8. My comment doesnt pertain to btus so much, but would like to say that here in central Ind., I look for elms,not sure if there rock, red or slippery elms.But easy to spot cuz they die avg. 10 – 24 inche in diam. They then loose there bark &; become silver faded color &; will stand dead for yrs. they r clean , no bark or bugs, hard as a rock & burn hot! The inside resembles red or white oak color & grain. They can b very hard to split cuz its stringy. We have many native hardwoods here but this is the best, cleanest stuff Ive found. 🙂

  9. In response to “robert” and his comment about live oak being limited to the south easter united states.

    my back yard, and all of northern california would like to respectfully disagree.

  10. The Btu rating for Almond varies from 29 to 32, why the variance?
    Because Almond has as many varieties as the fruit in which the bare! but it is still the least discovered hardwood/cooking wood around except where they have the Orchards. One of the hottest longest burning Eucalyptus Varieties is the Red Gum, we harvest up to 100 different varieties of Euc and for the heat/Btu factor Red gum is the best by far, Btu is in the mid thirties!
    I do have a question…do they test the btu factor at sea level or in an elevation, i have found that many of the old myth’s to be untrue as far as burn time and heat factor, ash rate… in many different varieties of wood in elevation above 2500′ to 5000′, been doing this for awhile, just wondering if anyone else has found this to be true?

  11. interesting site. just came from the woods. getting mostly ash, some cherry and some oak. (red) just now brought back a load of beech. since i’m now retired it sure is nice to cut on my schedule. i have limited trees myself but know a lot of farmers here in north central Indiana.

  12. I live here in north west tennessee near the miss river . We have tons of the best hard woods in this country . I am courious about the btu of pecan and swamp chestnut oak and which oak burns the best . I farm a good bit of ground and we have about 350 acres of river bottom woods . I am planning on doing a little experiment to find out which wood is best for campfires and fire pits. I already know seasoned oak is gonna be near the top choice because of the hot coals it produces . Campfires need much radiant heat to keep you warm on a chilly night . Hot fires and cold beer!!!!

  13. Out here in the West we don’t have all the great hardwoods that you have there in your part of the country. We have oaks and madrone as our more common hardwoods. Out here people often pass up oak in favor of madrone, where it is available. But you are right about oak making a great bed of coals, and in an outdoor fire the extra ash won’t be so much a problem like in a wood stove. Oak is also great for grilling over an outdoor fire. Great heat as well as flavor. I think you have inspired me to do a test some day of oak vs madrone in a camp fire. Be sure and let us know how your test goes.

  14. Interesting reading. Re Bradford Pear, we had one in our front yard that lasted about 15 yrs., then went the way of many: split in a storm. Still have some pieces, which are quite dry by now. I have no empirical data, but for us they have given decent heat. They also give a pleasant smell, though not as nice as red oak, cherry, or yellow birch. Builders planted them everywhere in Maryland, so talk about an abundant supply of firewood. Like some other fruitwoods, however–particularly mulberry–they are difficult to set on fire.
    As a firewood enthusiast, I read with great envy about “350 acres of river bottom woods”. Here in suburban MD (1/2 way between DC and Balt.), I am reduced to asking neighbors or builders if I can haul away their downed trees. The good news is that virtually all of the time, they say yes. Right now, I have neighbors interested in buying some wood from me, and am waiting for permission to harvest some mulberry (the devil itself to set on fire and man, does it spark, but abundant here and as energy-rich as white oak). Have also taken large quantities of red oak (everyone’s favorite) and red maple (the poor man’s oak), and smaller amounts of cherry (nice smell), beech (hot stuff), yellow birch (great smell), white oak, and sweetgum. The latter is superabundant here, but is the “devil itself to split”. In fact, I’m convinced you can’t, conventionally. I try to split off 1-inch wide slivers all the way around the round, light these (gum is easy to get burning), and then place the reduced size log on whole. Like the man said , if you got it free, it’s worth burning for heat.
    Don’t know much about western woods, except that the citrus groves my wife’s family own in Mesa, AZ make tremendous wood for fires.

  15. Fascinating site! I’m in Melbourne, Australia. Redgum is differentiated from just about all other Australian woods for firewood, for its lasting and heat, and difficulty to get going. Mulga roots are about the only thing hotter/longer/denser. Range of burning properties of the Australian eucalypts covers the full spectrum (and don’t even bother with wattles). (Also, a number whose seed pods are only opened by bushfires.)

  16. I live in WI. I have some Hemlock and I can get some Hickory. Its all from WI. I’m guessing that the Hemlock that I can get is eastern soft wood correct 15.9? I’m also guessing that the Hickory that I can get are the Shagbark or the bitternut 27.7-26.5 correct?

  17. I did My little campfire experiment to find out the best hardwood for a campfire . I had some mostly seasoned red oak , shagbark hickory , and black locust. Some fully seasoned apple,beech and american elm and some partially seasoned pecan and bradford pear .
    The red oak gave the most bang for the buck .It burned long,hot and gave some great coals that put out some good btu’s . The only draw back is it gives little flame for a campfire . Great aroma too. We have tons of felling oak tree’s pushed up waiting to be cut , fully seasoned too !!!
    Hickory was my overall favorite . It burned very hot with big blue-yellow flames and gave the best aroma . My neighbors complemented on the smell of it .It’s great cooking wood too . I already have my next tree cut and seasoning .
    I had about 10 mid-size logs of the black locust I burned . They put out some tremendous heat . They had a good mid-size flame and burned a long time. The drawback is that the tree’s are small and have thorns .
    The apple is a good secret that most wood burners never thought of . It burns with a big bright flame then turns into a big bed of red hot coals that burn forever . It smells great too . The coals cook a mean hot dog after a few brews.
    I found a big beech limb fully seasoned and cut it up for a try . It burns as hot as h_ll . The metal on our fire pit melted . The beech also burns to a good lasting coal .
    Elm is easy to find around here . Just look for a barkless dead tree in a fence row . It’s a good starter wood . Burns with a big bright flame and burns sorta slow . The drawbacks are the stinky smoke and the fact I had to poke it every 10 min and its hard to split.
    The pecan burned good considering it wasn’t fully seasoned . It was cut 4 month prior to burning in the winter . The small, more seasoned stuff burned with mid flame and burned very slow . I really can’t speak for pecan until I can try it seasoned . The aroma is pleasant too . The draw back is it is very hard to split . I’ll have much pecan to burn this fall , we cut a huge tree .
    The bradford pear burned fast with a mid size flame . It was partially seasoned so I really can’t say if its good firewood or not . I do know the tree I burned had a bad aroma . Maybe the aroma will get better with age after seasoning this summer .
    I found that if you have some green (wet) wood and want to have a campfire go to your local hardware store and buy a duraflame fire log . Light it then put the wet wood on top and watch the water and steam spew out of the ends . After the moisture evaporates the logs burn great .
    I will definitely cut more hickory, beech and oak . If I come across more apple I will cut it . The bradford pear can go to the dump along with the elm .

  18. I seem to remember that all wood has roughly the same BTU content PER WEIGHT. Wood with lots of air in it has a lower BTU content because there is less cellulose (burnable material).
    I take that to mean that seasoned wood, with the same moisture content, will be pound for pound equivalent in terms of heating value but you may need to burn to 2-3x pine vs hickory.

  19. You are correct Bill, wood has about the same BTU per weight. But in many cases softwoods actually have more BTU per pound than hardwoods. This is because softwoods, like pine and fir, contain resins, which have more energy per weight than wood fiber does. But since softwoods are usually so much less dense than hardwoods, the total energy in softwoods are usually much less than hardwoods.

  20. Thanks for the great info Andy! I think many of us are a little envious of the river bottom land you have and the great hardwoods you have access to.

  21. I heard somewhere that most of the ash comes from the bark. So if you remove the bark you have fewer ashes to clean out. I was wondering if anybody knows if this is true? I got a load of osage orange once and while it burned great, lots of coals, it also seemed to produce a lot of ashes.


  23. I just cut down I believe it is sumac? I live in Mn and it smells just like fresh cut oak. Any idea if this is a hardwood and the BTU’s? Thanks

  24. Barry , I think tulip poplar would be similar to cottonwood since they are both in the poplar family . Maybe a little more BTU’s than cottonwood . I think I saw on another btu chart that poplar is 17.0 , but not totally for sure. Be sure to let it season before burning to know how it should truly burn .Funny Story, I had a friend that cut a storm fallen red oak . A week later he tried to burn it and told me to never burn oak , because it burned terrible and smoked bad . I told him that wood had to dry before burning and he said ” its been drying all week long , it should be dry by now ” . True story

  25. Here in South Central Alaska, all we have is Birch, Black Spruce and Cottonwood. Spruce and Birch both probably have about the same BTU rating, however I have found that Birch burns cleaner. Cottonwood (we refer it as Waterwood) is worthless. By time it is dry, there is nothing left.

    Being a transplant from So. Cal., I really miss having Live Oak and Eucalypyus to burn. Both put out considerably more heat than anything we have in Alaska and when it’s -30 outside you can use all the BTUs you can get.

    Stay Warm,

    Someone asked about Avacado. Don’t even bother. I used to have a orchard in San Diego and it doesn’t do anything, but turn to ash.

  26. I live in eastern us, southern ny area
    anyone know if red pine has lot of pitch.
    i think it’s red pine or red elm..

  27. i live in central nm in the foothills of the rocky mtns,our primary firewood is shaggy bark juniper..we just call it scrub cedar..and there are several distinct kinds,yellow-grows extremely slow burns verry hot,red-softer burns up faster-aligator bark juniper-the softest of the 3 less btu…then we have pinyon…i dont burn this wood because it plugs my heat exchange unit up..dosent put out much heat and smokes like crazy..then there is scrub oak…it burns about the same as any kind of oak..pine and heat..chineese elm..hard to split little more heat than red scrub cedar..not as far as firewood goes i would give the shaggy bark juniper the highest rating..i also have a house by lake texoma in tx right in the middle of an emense hardwood forest..oak..hickory..maple..american elm..birch..ect..ect..and when im there i burn mostly yellow oak..and hickory,but i like the juniper from nm much better..i dont think the btu rating this chart has for it is sure its not

  28. i saw a coment on salt cedar above,what you are burning is juniper..or scrub cedar,salt cedar is a completely diferent kind of wood grows along the riverbanks of nm and arizona..and i think its scrub syacamore..sorry about the spelling..but it is a verry hard wood..not sure of its btu rating..but i would still rather burn the scrub cedar..or juniper as they call it..salt cedar grows close to water,along with chineese elm and cottonwood in the lower elivations of the two states it does burn quite hot prety sure its a kind of syacamore..close to the btu russian olive would produce..also fine wood for burning

  29. im fron centeral missouri and our elm american or red will not burn in fact it is called p*** elm for reason

  30. I believe that pecan should be very high in BTU’s and close to the other hickories, only because it’s in the family. Too far north for pecan here. There is nothing wrong with burning well seasoned softwoods, but care should be taken not to over fire with ones that tend to burn fast and hot. I use a LOT of hemlock because I have 10 acres of hemlock woods and trees come down in storms and have to be cleaned up. It is a decent fuel, but very heavy when green and very light when dry. It throws sparks so only should be used in stoves that can be closed. It is impossible to split when green and easy when dry, but unless special precautions are taken it’ll rot rather than season. The answer for me was a wood splitter, which does a nice job with it and the hardwoods I also use. Latest data that I’ve read is that seasoned softwoods causing creosote problems is baloney. Well seasoned softwoods, including the pines, firs and spruces can be burned for heat. It’s not the best, but it will warm you. Hemlock has the strange property of the trunk being soft, but the branches, especially the knots where they meet the trunk are very hard, so bucking the trunk requires planning.

  31. Forgot to mention that the softwoods, including hemlock which is something like 75% water when green, have the property of shedding their moisture much faster than the hardwoods. Hemlock that is stacked in a single stack with plenty of air and sun can be ready to burn in one summer. Hardwoods, ideally should be two years old, but one year is a minimum in the northeast. Maybe less in some places with more sun and less humidity, but still they take a long time.

  32. i live in orth east ohio we get some cold winters up hear the wood that we burn are hickory,oak,beech,hard maple,cherry,locost wood aroun hear is easy to get people will let u go in there woods and take all the down trees i own ranch 1500 sq feet with burning all these hardwoods i only burn 2-3 cord per winter thats not very muck i know guys that burn 10 to 12 cords but there not burning seasioned wood my wood id been seasioned for 2 to 3 years but my over all fav list around hear in ohio goes like this HICKORY #1 it burns forever i had a fire the other day it lasted 7 hours loved it #2oak #3beech #4 locost #5 hard maple #6 cherry love the coals cherry produses if ther is any other northeast ohio burners let me no what u r burning and how u like it .. burn on be safe

  33. ..i did some investigating and found out salt cedar is actually tammarick aphyla or something like that.comes out of africa..btu rating is close to eucaliptas..or however you spell

  34. Found this site this morning while revising essay on “free heat.” All very interesting, but I think these charts might reflect potential input of these woods. Output is a whole ‘nother cat. Do you split with a maul and wedges, or with a gas powered splitter? How do you burn and what type of stove do you use? Sure, willow’s not much good, and I quit dragging it home years ago. But as one reader noted, all species have roughly the same BTU potential per pound. In Iowa we mix our loads in the stove out of boredom. Stay warm and don’t worry about it so much.

  35. I have a large sweet gum tree blown over by a storm. I have been told that gum trees and pine trees will clog up a chimmney
    Does anyone have any experience with gum? I would like to burn this wood but don’t want any chimmney problems either. Any comments would be helpful.

  36. Live in S/W Missouri, and wood heat is our only source for 3,400 sq. ft. barn/house. White and red oak burn well. Mulberry burns wonderfully, but gets so hot it put a crack in our first cast-iron stove when it was used as a full load, so we only use one piece at a time with other woods. Hedge (Osage Orange) will do the same thing. There was a guy down the road whose stove completely melted when he filled it with all hedge.

    Cedar doesn’t heat well for us, and throws a lot of creosote up the chimney, so we only use it for outside campfires. We raise pecans, and they burn cleanly and well, as do prunings from our apple trees.

    Don’t worry about the ashes your stove produces. So long as you’re only burning good hardwoods and/or clean white (non-glossy/colored) paper stock and kindling, you should spread your ashes on your favorite acreage for the potash. Your plants’ roots will love you for it! However, keep in mind that ashes should have cooled for several days, and it’s easiest to do it during winter snows or before a rain. Sprinkle lightly, don’t dump, and over several years, we’ve seen a material improvement in our plants and soil from recycling everything full circle.

  37. as far as mulberry goes..i live in central nm and at some point in time someone started planting non bearing mulberry trees..the btu output is not even close to what the charts state above..our mulberry trees would be similar to burning elm grows verry fast and requires a lot of water..we dont even use it for cooking wood..of course most native wood in nm is verry hard because it takes hundreds of yrs to grow…the growth rings are so small in some cases it takes a microscope to see them..some of the juniper trees we cut for firewood ive been told were around during the time of it naturaly is going to be extremely hard wood..ive been looking for the btu output for algarita..or desert holly..where i cut my firewood its not uncommon to find these trees from 5inches to two feet takes at least a yr to season..ive seen gunstocks and stair rails made from it…prety wood…anyone know??

  38. Not a native species, but abundant where it has been planted (I have seen it coast to coast) Any idea the BTU of “Tree of Heaven” or alianthus (?sp)

  39. I live in eastern oregon and my main problem is the identification of trees. Some call a tree a Douglas fir while others call it a Red fir. I have found out that no mater what you call it, when it is -12 degrees outside and it will burn—– then it is really Good firewood.

  40. I forgot to mention that I cut and split a Catalpa. Split horribly and had a bad odor and only arround 15.5 BTU/ cord. This is a tree that I will avoid even if it is free!

  41. Well here it is getting to be winter in upstate NY again and the little woodstove in our basement has been running since September or so. It’s already snowed a couple ‘o times and was snowing today (BUMMER!). We burn mostly old-growth sugar maple w some white ash, black cherry, beech and black maple thrown in. I’d like to burn red oak as well but it’s a little too cold for it around here. The maple burns very well though w good hot hard coals that will last the night if I get too lazy to feed the fire at 3am. When it’s cold out, I seem less lazy to get up in the middle of the night to keep the fire hot overnight. When we are burning both stoves say in January, then I’m just a wood-slave the whole day long. Happiness is a full woodbox on Friday night! Cheers fellow wood burners!


  43. I live on the east coast (midatlantic area) and we have a lot of Mimosa trees. I have 4 of them that I want to cut down. Is Mimosa wood good for burning in a fire pit or Chimenea? What wood would you say it is similar to on the b.t.u. rating?
    Patricia in DE

  44. For the very old man. Douglas fir is Pseudotsuga, menzizii for the man who identified it.(Sir Douglas Menzizii) He really didn’t know how to classify it because it had characteristics of fir and also of hemlock so he called it Pseudo(false) tsuga (hemlock)so it is really not fir at all or hemlock? The red fir name comes from the beautiful red color of the heartwood. It does make a nice fire so maybe they should call it “Good Fir Fire”.

  45. I’m out here in southern Oregon, and there’s red fir, which is a true fir, just as white fir, and grand fir are. Douglas fir is a so-called mix of sorts, as stated by others. Anyway, I find it interesting that not one mention of mountain mahogany has been posted-until now. Lots of heat and hot coals-kept us from freezing one late night at 6,000 feet in late October, while we were wasting time patroling a wildfire in NE California back in ’85. The two common types found in these parts are “tall shrubs” or “small trees”, depending on site characteristics… They are in the Rose family. Not a true mahogany at all. But the common name aptly applies due to it’s obvious high density and/or hardness…probably how it got the common name in the first place. We collect it as “down and dead” firewood when we are cutting western juniper (J.occidentalis), mostly on B.L.M. land. It doesn’t seem to put out much ash, but does put out some real heat. I haven’t been able to compare it to madrone, or the oaks (like Oregon white, black oak, etc.). Over the years I’ve heard people in this region say it gets too hot for stoves…if they use only the mahogany I imagine. One final note, as a kid I grew up where the streets where lined with English Walnuts and Shagbark Hickory planted around 1900 or so…kept the red tree squirrels happy (and perhaps a few mean cats).

  46. I live in Oregon(Portland) and have used all the local species for both fireplace and stove heat. I recently was the recipient of some birch I can see what the btu content is, but I was wondering if anyone has burned much. I made the mistake of “scoring” a cottonwood many years ago and don’t want to make that mistake again.

  47. I saw a question about Ailanthus, Tree of Heaven, as to suitability for firewood. I have about a hundred of these that were cut in maintaining a power line right of way. They are 6″-8″ in diameter at the base and ~15′ long. The logs are quite heavy now, but still pretty green. Do you think that it is worthwhile to cut and split this to burn next year?

  48. I have done a lot of research over the last few months on the best wood here in the mid-south (west Tennessee). The information was gathered by internet and talking to old timers. For wood stoves I beleive ash,oak,hickory mix. My grand dad swears beech is king. A few other elders like black locust . Persimmon is a good secret,burns hot and long. I saw were it is in the same family as ebony . Persimmon is one of the most dense wood around this area. Apple is another good secret. Big bright flames and smells good.Also beech is a very clean burning wood according to my grand dad .Smokes very little and burns to a huge coal.

  49. I live in southwest MI and have 20 acres of woods. I burn, wild black cherry, black walnut, elm, hickory and yellow tulip. I burn approximately 20 cords of wood each season. I find black cherry and hickory give the best burning results. We use an outdoor wood burner.

  50. I live in East Kentucky and fire wood is abundant. I consider myself as an expert in firewood as I have heated my home with wood for 30 years. I use Hickory, White or Red Oak,Beech,tulip Poplar,& Sycamore. Dogwood, apple and the “smaller” trees burn good but are only for small fires (late spring or early fall when you don’t want a fire to last all day) If you are serious about heating your home with wood just stick to these trees for the max in BTU’s..they burn hot and clean.

  51. I have found a good way to make charcoal if your a pyro maniac / fire bug like me. First find you a steel bucket with a metal lid . A used asphalt coating bucket or any small metal bucket with lid will work. Then fill it with fist size chunks of natural wood , then put the lid on . Be sure to poke a couple holes to vent the gases .Then get a 55 gal drum or make a small kiln to put your bucket in .Start your fire then put the bucket in. Let it cook for about 2 hrs or until the flames from the gases slow down from spewing out the holes in the bucket lid. Be sure to have a good roaring fire the whole time the wood is cooking and make sure the wood that is being used for charcoal is well seasoned .The greener the wood the less charcoal will be produced and it will greatly increase the production time.My next batch will be made using a 55 gal drum to hold the wood for charcoal and I will make a concrete block kiln to hold my fire.This should make about 50 -75 lbs of hickory pecan mix charcoal. The last batch I made got the temp on my grill to well over 600 degrees with just a small mound. I can’t tell the actual temp because it made the temp gauge go past the max 600 degree mark then go back around to the 200 degree mark . The store bought lump charcoal gets it to usually 500.

  52. I’m in California, about 3800 ft up the west side of the Sierra Navadas. Nice transitional forest on our 20 acres includes black oak, manzanita, live oak, firs, oaks and cedars. Many black oaks lost big limbs in the surprise snow of Nov 2010. I’m still retrieving all the down stuff and will continue for a couple years, at least. The black oaks just had too many leaves in that Nov and the snow was too heavy. The live oaks did just fine since they have such small leaves (unless they got in the way of a falling black oak). Chopped up a few live oaks and boy that is a great wood for the fireplace! Have a lot of ancient dead manzanitas that also burn fantastically in the fp. Have burned fir and cedar from the property, but so far have stayed away from the pine.

  53. Hey John S –

    Throw the Ailanthus away. It’s not worth the time to cut, split, stack and burn. It’s the worst wood I’ve ever encountered. It doesn’t burn, it just smolders and stinks. Probably about 5 btus per cord.

  54. Hey Jim in No Cal –

    Go fast on the oak. I live on the west slope too and have found that oak, even when protected, doesn’t keep that well, unlike cedar, pine, fir, or lodgepole. Keeps for a couple years at best. I have old growth straight grain cedar I cut in the early 90’s for kindling and it’s still as good as the day I cut it. Oak gets borers and starts getting dusty with sawdust falling out. If you leave oak in the woods til you need it, well, there’s lots of bugs and stuff that love to digest it. If you can, sell it and save the $$$ to buy fresh 1 yr old wood later on from someone else.

  55. I live in East Tennessee which has a great variety of hardwoods. Personally, when I am home, I burn alot of Pitch Pine. I know I know I can hear the comments about creosote but as long as it is dry and you give it air to burn it does great. It does burn a little fast but it throws out the heat. Also, their is plenty of it and nobody burns it so is always available and helps to conserve my hardwood. Also, box elm burns decent but it stinks.
    Personally, the best wood in the world is whatever I can get my hands on. Hey Mikee, your right, red oak goes fast and so does beech and elm. White oak is fairly rot resistant.

  56. I live in the midwest southern iowa have burned firewood for most of my life,and have discovered that different woodstove set ups heat better using different wood. I prefer dry red elm and seasoned thorny locust. When the tempreture drops to single digits or below zero the BTU output keeps my home comfortable, I also like the shagbark hickery.

  57. This is my first year heating with wood. We have 2 cast iron wood stoves and a drafty 200 year old house in central new York state. We have burned about 7 1/2 cord and I just ran out. There’s a very large pile of willow butt logs, in a bunch pile from the willow my landlords had cut down, it’s an eyesore and I’m tempted to lop it up and split it, not only to get rid of it but firewood is going for 210.00 per cord here and I’m thinking it’s not cost effective to bother with wood having natural gas for the furnace.
    Long story short, am I wasting my time with that willow? Or would it be worth the heat and not having that pile to look at anymore?

  58. here in washington all the old timers and people that heat there houses just with wood buy douglas fir and the hipsters burn hard wood because they think its better. im a firewood dealer i burn everything but when my house is cold and i want it to get hot fast its doug fir all the way. you will be opening your windows in no time.

  59. Bandit~
    I dug into it and have burned a face cord or so. It’s quite nice really, light to handle, splits like nothing and puts off a nice blue flame at the coals. It’s close to soft maple on the btu chart plus I don’t need to go anywhere or handle it too many times. The cons are , no coal bed in the morning and it burns down a bit faster than the ash but it puts out real good heat. I have some birch and cherry I’ve been mixing it in with that too.

  60. For all the work of cutting and curing any variety of wood, coal is the BEST for heating. At ~$75/ton which is about the same dimension size as a cord of wood, it has about 6-7X the btu value of any cord of wood.
    So the math:5 cords @ $180 = $900 // 5 tonsCoal @ $75 = $375. btuCompare price : $900X7 = $6300 vs $375.
    Do some searching on coal for a closeby source.
    There is more smoke from wood than coal so ignore the GreenFascist/ACORN Brownshirts and their deceits.

  61. I grew up in central Illinois and we had a lot of hedge rows that were being cut. Most of the trees in the hedge rows were Osage Orange. We just called them hedge trees. A lot of them were planted during the dust bowl times to prevent wind erosion. Seems most farmers are removing them now to get more acres in corn and soybeans. Back in the day they used to use the limbs for fence posts and the wood would last decades in the ground with out rotting. The wood from these trees makes the greatest stove wood there is. The only problems with it are that it throws a ton of sparks and is not good for a fireplace for that reason and when cured it is harder than a hub to hell and next to imposible to split by hand. They have a wierd looking fruit that is bright green and and can be as big as a cantaloupe and just as heavy. We used to call them hedge apples. They also have little thorns on the smaller limbs. I live in Wisconsin now and have never seen one up here. Brings back a lot of memories of cutting firewood with my grandpa. Oh, and one other thing. Never park under one when thay have hedge apples on them. If one falls on your truck it’s like having a bowling ball hit it.

  62. I have burned Ailanthus for several years. It is easy to split and burns great. I can’t understand anyone having a problem with it!

    My two cents anyway.

  63. About coal. The earth is drwoning in CO2 from burning sequestered carbon. When you grow a tree, you take carbon out of the atmospere. When you burn the tree, you put the carbon back. So there is no net Co2 that goes into the atmosphere. If some of the wood is used for construction, there is a net decrease in CO2 from the activity.

    A well educated, 76 year old, freedom loving American who worries about my children and grandchildren. If you burn coal, you are leaving a destiny of death and starvation for your descendents and mine! You best be looking over your shoulder as you drive home with your coal!

  64. I just split and stacked 4 yr supply of silver maple, so I’m sorry to see how low its BTU rating is. (I’m assuming it rates as a soft maple) Luckily, our home is passive solar with super-insulated walls so it will still be worth burning. I may mix it up with buckthorn which has invaded my woods. However, someone told me that buckthorn burns so hot you have to be careful your wood-burner doesn’t crack. Has anyone heard of this problem? I’ve also heard this about black locust, which I also burn. I’m thrilled to read about mulberry’s quallities–there’s alot of that here in WI

  65. Hi Gang!
    I live in Washington State,and We have a lot of conifers here!
    The tight grained old growth Douglas Fir is as about as good as it gets.Put two big blocks on Your fire at night,button it down good,and when You open it in the morning You’ll find a big,beautiful bed of coals—but stand back,because when the air hits it,it will ignite big time!!!
    Old growth Western Red Cedar,while it makes for the very best kindling,will burn TOO hot and damage a wood stove or insert!!!!
    Then there is Vine Maple—some of THE toughest wood I have ever encountered!!!! It burns like coal,but wreaks havoc on a chainsaw and chain!!!
    I have not tried the Madrona yet,but have a quarter of a cord for sale for $75.00!
    Thanks for all the input!!!!!!
    Brent C. Minard

  66. I will burn some of the lesser wood, ie. poplar and boxelder in the early and late months of the wood burning season but otherwise black cherry,elm, red and white oak, and the hickories. This is also the order I would rate them. I don’t bother with cottonwood as a fuel source. I burn about 12 cords a year using a wood boiler heating house and shop. Love hard maples when I can get my hands on them.

  67. anyone have any experience burning mulberry? i have access to some and i’m wondering if its worth my time to get it.

  68. Northern Cal checking in, renovated an old homestead 5 years ago and have been clearing doug fir and california bay laurel for fire safety zone around the house. It has kept us plenty warm every winter, we ensure we have a chimney sweep come out and check the wood stove and chimney once a year. All the old timer’s around only burn oak and turn their nose up at fir. Like several posters have commented, a big chunk of fir will last for 5-6 hours in the wood stove, and makes for an easy re-start in the morning. After seeing this list, I now understand why live oak dulls my chainsaw blades so quick. It is a hot burning wood and is very heavy to move. Like another poster mentioned, the oaks need to be processed and used quickly, they get bugs and start to rot very soon after coming down. The doug fir gets the bark beetles that work away the outer layer, but if you can get the bark off the wood it will last several years. Another opinion added to the interwebs… Cheers, Happy Burning.

  69. In Kansas we used a wood called hedge. The one that puts on what is called hedge apples, eaten by squirrels. This wood is twice as hot as anything else. My wife even melted a stove once while I was at work when we were younger. Once burning it will not go out, so it is also commonly used for hog roast pits. Caution, cutting dead hedge will eat your saw chain in a heart beat, it becomes so hard and stringy.

  70. Love reading the comments from Andy. I enjoyed the story about his neighbor that let his oak fire wood dry for a whole week and it wouldn’t burn… LOL !!!! Sounds like my neighbor would get along great with yours. The few times he has a bonfire he cooks hotdogs and marshmallows over treated oak pallet wood !!! I have pictures of him with an electric pole saw (he’s deathly afraid of power equipment)cutting 2″ diameter branches on the ground !!! I guess it’s people like these that make for an interesting world. My wife and I just purchased 12.5 acres of old growth hard wood forest in Pembroke, NY (Sugar Maple, Beech, Cherry, Ash to name a few) and will be on my way there today to give the Stihl a work out !!!

  71. Thanks for posting the list of firewood species & specs. We live in the upper Mojave desert (Calif.) and pretty much have to take what wood is available to buy. We’ve been lucky the past years to find eucalyptus but have been offered almond this season. I didn’t find any data about almond wood, in your stats, and thought you might like to include it. Your web site is very informative. Happy burning 🙂 C.

  72. I have 30 acres in northwest Missouri. I look for fallen trees that are gray and smooth. I’ll cut a limb, and if it’s yellow inside it’s hedge. I like to drag it out into the open on a log chain with the tractor. When cutting, I have to sharpen my chain saw pretty frequently. The smaller stuff makes a great campfire for cold weather, putting off a blue flame and tons of heat. If you’re going to load up your wood stove with the big stuff overnight, you might consider leaving the air intake barely cracked open.

    We normally burn red oak in the fireplace. I also recently got some red maple that makes a good fireplace flame, if not a lot of heat.

  73. I have been clearing land of cottonwood for a hay meadow in Central Kansas and I decided to burn it. It burns so well I mix it with red elm, mulberry, or ash. My wood cribs have steel floors to keep the wood off the ground and away from bugs, so the wood stays dry. Anyone who thinks it’s crappy has either failed to keep it dry, not split it small enough or burned it green. I get up in the morning and heat our little berm home from 66-67 to 71-74 degrees with cottonwood and red elm in an hour and a half with cottonwood providing the bulk of the heat.

  74. I live in southwest Oregon. I’ve heard that burning a little cedar occasionally will help remove soot from stovepipes and chimneys. Can anyone confirm this?

  75. Does anyone have any experience with growing and maintaining a small coppice wood? I’m in North Texas and I have a half acre I can devote to renewable firewood. I have been researching on the Net and found some basic info but nothing so far as to how often/what size to harvest different wood species. I have tentatively decided on part native Osage Orange [hedge apple] for the BTU but I see from all the knowledgeable comments here I need more than one type of wood. Any advice as to species, training, harvest and also seasoning of smallish diameter limbs, or direction to such information, would be much appreciated.

  76. I’m new to burning wood in an open fireplace. I’m here in S.E. Wisconsin. I have to say, I’ve tried Red Oak and not impressed. I will say that it leaves very little coals and very little ash. I have Hickory and just love it! It get’s super hot and leaves a hot bed of coals. The smell just get’s me ready for breakfast as soon as I get it going! I picked up some cherry wood and have to say, I’m very impressed. The initial smell is like a sweet-smelling perfume. It does get hotter than the Red Oak and leaves hot coals. I am going to try some Apple wood next to see if it matches up with the hickory. I prefer the hot, sweet-smelling woods. Fire it up…Fire it up!

  77. I live in the White Mountains of Arizona. My husband and I have been cutting alot of Pinyon pine this year…it burns great!! A lot of people don’t burn it so it is plentiful. We love it it burns slower and longer so we don’t have use our wood as fast.

  78. Great site!
    Here in MD was 39 today with 20mph wind. Lit my first fire of the season. Burning well-seasoned poplar and maple, with a couple sticks of red oak. The furnace didn’t come on all day. Will burn mostly oak as it gets colder. Just split 3 cords of white oak and 2 cords of red oak to season for next year. Enjoy your fires!

  79. Greetings all.

    George, it’s a bit cooler up here in the lower Hudson Valley, and we’ve been burning in the 18th C. Dutch hearth since Hurricane Sandy. Mostly ash, as all my neighbors here in northeast New Jersey a spit from the Hudson River are culling their ash trees for fear of the borer. Nothing burns green like ash. Also have lots (4 cord) of seasoned oak and cherry on hand. Nothing seasons meat on the grill like the cherry–although I look forward to trying beech based on comments above. And Sandy brought down a dozen beech trees in our town.

    Any thoughts ya’ll on hydraulic splitter (28-ton commercial grade) as against fly-wheel like DR Power with its 3-second cycle? Can the latter possibly split 36″ diameter 2′ drums?

    Best regards all,


  80. It’s a very interesting subject you bring up Audrie that I would also like to hear comments about. A little off topic for this page so you might not get much response here. You could post in the forum and maybe have a better chance of a response.

  81. Being a semi professional firewood dealer here in the Redding area of the State of Jefferson, California I find a lot of mixed wood. As previously stated by others, forget ANY cottonwood, only one or two sticks at a time for Manzanita as it is super hot. Many use digger pine as it is reasonably priced, but requires that yearly clean out. Lots of oak available here, but I still take what I can get. In regards to Splitters, I have a homemade hydraulic 28 Ton that had cycle issues. Had it rebuilt for speed and efficiency but yet to use it. MY PREFERENCE would be the DR flywheel special.. Man that thing smokes with efficiency. Just call them and ask about what it can handle. Nobody seems able to beat 3 second cycle for efficiency for single splitters. The multiple piece splitters seem highly efficient also.

    Burn, baby Burn!

  82. Ash is the only wood I’ve ever been able to burn streight off the tree (dried for 1 week or less) everything else I try to let dry for at least 5 years.

  83. I have always burned anything I can get my hands on; ash, oak, maple, locust, cherry, all types of fruit wood, anything but pine and other softwoods.
    I now have access to a great deal of Poplar. I can’t locate any ratings for this wood. Anyone have any idea of cure times, BTU output etc?

  84. cure time is at least 2 years covered,found a rating of 16 mil btus per cord but it was rated as poor firewood. I’ve burned a lot of it in the last 35 years.

  85. Audrie The wood you are looking for is Black Locust.It is a little thorny but it grows fast and burns long and hot.I sold fire wood for ten years and burned it fo thirty.Black locust was a favorite of my Amish customers.

  86. There are some issues out here in the west that may not be present in other areas, just a heads up if it helps. First is IronWood. Burns hotter than any wood I have ever seen, is becoming rare and may be protected in some areas. But smoke is very dangerous, known carcinogen. Was used centuries ago as a last rite in dwelling of certain Mohave Indian tribes when older people were near death. They died.
    Also warning about the manmade white fruitless mulberry, something wrong with smoke in that too. Not talking about ordinary white mulberry, just the fruitless ones.

  87. My wife and I are renovating an old NE farmhouse in Massachusetts. We hope to purchase a wood stove to heat a portion of the farmhouse / kitchen and family room much as we have done in our other home for 20 years. Wood heat seems to be medicinal especially on cold, wintry days. I have the square footage of space in the house but what zone do i need so I can purchase the right sized wood stove?

  88. I live californnia. I have alot of leelan cypress trees that like to debrach themselves.
    I have burned them in that past and would like to know if anyone knew the BTU value of these trees?

  89. I noticed a lack of information on Hickory.
    I have some upstate PA, that often is recovered when down, and used for firewood. I think it’s high on the calorie scale, as it’s known to get good and hot.

    Any information is welcome. Thanks.

  90. Save it, let it dry for 2 -3 years and you’ll be opening windows to let the cold air in in February 😉

  91. We live in the foothills of North Carolina and heat with a Big Buck wood stove. Something not mentioned yet that I bring from my Georgia heritage is Fat Lighter. This is the resin soaked sticks of pine that will light with a match and makes an excellent starter.

    In the dead of winter find a pine tree that you want to cut. Leave the stump about 36″ high. In mid-summer, after the sap has risen and saturated the stump, cut it. We like to go ahead and cut the stump in 9″ sections. Split these sections into sticks. Have a friend with a fireplace?, bundle about a dozen of the fat lighter sticks with a ribbon and this makes a great gift.

  92. Looked through posts and didn’t see if there was any mention of the BTU’s of a Norway Maple. We call them Rock Maples and they are over abundant in our town in Maine. They are invasive and grow very quickly. Every year we have to cut several down. They usually are 3-4″ around (like I said, they grow quickly!) and we burn them in our fireplace after they are seasoned. Just curious what kind of energy we are getting from them compared to the cords of hardwood we buy.

  93. I don’t have the ratings for that maple, but you can always weigh it and get a general idea that way. If you take a piece of that wood and another same size piece of another type of wood that you know the BTU of, you can get a general idea. With some fairly simple math based on the difference, you can calculate the BTU.

  94. Storms here in Georgia recently took down some large sweetgums. There are mine if I want them. Anyone know how this rates as firewood?

  95. I have a Russian Olive that I cut down about 4 months ago and has been sitting in 100F weather for three weeks. I am allergic to Russian Olive when it is growing. Does anyone know anything about using it for firewood. Is it toxic? Would I still be allergic to it or was that just to its pollen?

  96. Would it be possible to post the btu value for Monterey Pine?

    Around here it is just about the most common tree removed by tree services so lots of firewood guys sell it since they get it for free. If it’s really dry you can get some heat from it but I usually recommend it as a camp fire wood.

    When we’re rigging it out of the tree or hauling it I use the charts for douglas fir since I’ve heard they are about the same density as live wood. I don’t know how that changes as it dries out.


  97. Would it be possible to post the btu value of Monterey Pine?

    Around here it is about the most common tree taken down by tree services, so lots of firewood guys sell it because they get the wood dropped off in their yards for free. If it is really dry it gives off some heat, but I usually recommend it as a campfire wood.

    When we’re craning wood out of the tree or hauling big Monterey pine I use the weight charts for Douglas fir since I’ve read they are almost the same density green. I don’t know how they compare split and dried.


  98. I love this site. I first came here and posted in 2010 . 4 years later I still come here when I need to cut a load of firewood. I think these charts are the more accurate of the many charts.
    Hickory is still my favorite , but I also have learned to find dead standing mullberry thats near seasoned. Mullberry has a short lifespan and is very rot resistant so they are quite easy to find here in west Tennessee. They are in same family as osage orange .

  99. I’m in Northwest Washington; originally from Southwest PA. We have lots of cedar, fir, hemlock, silver maple, oak, and madrona. I am planting some of the “Eastern” varieties out here that we had in PA. Some do well, others not so well… Any info on Sassafras? I am planting osage orange, black walnut, sassafrass, and black locust. Love this site! Great info! Thanks!

  100. is magnolia on the list of burning trees and where is it and if its not can i have some info bout it,please.

  101. I have a hard time keeping up with the outdoor furnace if I use seasoned wood. I HAVE to burn green to keep from feeding it all day. Green and I feed it one or two times per day. Seasoned and dry and I’m out there every three hours. Ten pieces of green 20″ yellow birch or hard maple last for roughly eight hours and throw tons of heat. I will feed twice that amount of seasoned. We run fans in the winter as much as we run them in the summer.

  102. I really don’t get the obsession with BTU by speicies. Isn’t it just as simple as – the more lbs of wood that your shove in the hole, the more heat you get? The speices discussion boils down to one quantitative parameter, I.e. density, and several qualitative parameters – smell, ash production, fast/slow burn, ease of starting, ease of splitting, color/look of flame, popping/sparking … and probably others. I’d like to see a table with all of these parameters listed by species.

    For me and my outdoor boiler, I prefer the “junk” wood like aspen and spruce. It’s abundent where I live – Northern MN. I can lift a 3′ log of aspen into my fire box – the same oak log is too heavy. The aspen and spruce burn quickly and hot which works well with my boiler’s aquastat and powered vent system – when the water cools below 175F, the fan kicks on and the easy starting, fast burning “junk” wood flames up quickly which works well to maintain a constant water temp at 180F – maintains the set point and keeps the control loop tight. A slower burning wood like oak is too slow to respond and may not flame up when heat is called for.

    So, I’m of the opinion that there is no “best firewood” – it really depends on your application and how you value the qualitative aspects of each speicies.

  103. I live in so. central KS and have been burning Osage Orange for 27 yrs in a Majestic insert fireplace with a blower. FYI, this insert has glass doors and a chain-link curtain inside them. While this cuts down on sparks, it still doesn’t keep smaller ones from escaping thru the gaps in the doors. I added another folding screen to the hearth, plus a stainless steel screen that has 1/32″ holes in it. This keeps all sparks from shooting onto our carpet. The fireplace is rated at a whopping 25% efficient! I have burned about every tree that grows in this county (except cottonwood and willow, which is about worthless), and the best, by far, is Osage Orange. If you look at a BTU chart, it has either the highest or 2nd highest rating of all wood that grows in the US. Burning any other woods is a total waste of time and effort. My chimney has never had to be cleaned because of burning hedge that has been dead for many years, plus the fact that it burns so hot. Creosote cannot form in such an environment.
    I have also burned green osage orange. The greatest downside to using it is the abundance of tree sap that adheres to one’s gloves during the cutting and stacking process. In the fireplace, it is consumed due to the extreme heat of the wood, and the wood burns just as if it has been dead for several years. It will spark quite a bit, however, when the burning logs collapse upon one another during the burning process. As such, glass doors are essential to preventing a fire in your living room. The Majestic fireplace has held up quite well, except for the back wall. About 15 yrs ago, it warped and a 10″ long split developed in it, so I had a 3/16″ steel plate welded over the split, and since then, everything is hunky-dory. I burn 24/7, and use about two cords from Nov. thru Mar., with several 3-day breaks every three weeks or so when the temps are a bit higher. Our house is a 3 BR split level affair. and keep the bedroom doors about a foot from closed to save heat. We also leave the basement door partially open so as not to encourage the water pipes to freeze. The only problem I have now is that I’m having trouble finding trees to cut. They’re all gone around here…..

  104. I heat 5,500 sq ft with 130,000 BTU Franks Piping Wood Boiler from Quebec CDN.
    Superb device .

    I like burning Birch in fireplaces but getrun away fires ( read relief valve blows @ 100 c)
    if it does not stay at – 30,40 C . But have found fore killed spruce / pine that had topsburned off in forest fire but roots kept sending sap to tree gives best heat !

    It is much heavier than air dryed spruce and black burned bark has fallen off after time so it is clean to cut & process … any one know BTU ofthis fire killed spruce v. air dried spruce ?

    My grad parents were pioneers who cooked /heated homestead houses with white popular !
    My grandfather told that with him carrying wood in all winter and grandma hauling out the ashes … he never saw her all winter !! I could turn on electric or gas boiler but the excercise and knowing you are hurting bottom line of Electrical Supply Utility keeps me
    burning solid fuel !!

  105. I own 60 acres here in upstate NY, 2 hours north of NYC. I primarily have Red Oak, Black Cherry, American Elm, Red Maple, Locust, Hickory, Cottonwood, Poplar, growing in the woods. With an abundance of Apple orchards in the area, Apple wood is also readily available. My favorite wood to burn, has always been standing dead elm. It burns very hot,and produces nice heat. Black Cherry, and Apple give off a wonderful aroma,as well as producing nice heat. Red Oak requires a bit of time to season, but burns well after 2 years.

  106. I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where I have 20 acres of mixed hardwoods. Mostly ash, cherry, shagbark hickory, maple and beech. We just felled 12 mature ash trees – 12 to 24 inches in diameter, and are now bucking them up and splitting them. I like ash because you can cut it and burn it the same day and it splits easily. It does have a more bitter, eye burning smoke than most woods. If you’ve ever seen or read the “firewood poem”, the last line is “Ash wood wet and ash wood dry, a king will warm his slippers by.”

  107. I have been looking for the B.T.U. rating for mountain mahogany. but apperntly most people never heard of this VERY HARD AND VERY VERY HEAVY WOOD.

  108. Great site. Really enjoy the contributions.

    I live in Bedford County Va and burn what I have on my property.

    I have been burning Honey Locust, Dogwood, Apple, Black Cherry, Black Walnut, Tulip Poplar(Tulip Tree) and Sassafras.

    Dogwood is by far the hottest. All of them burn well. The tulip poplar is not a poplar, it is in different family. It burns clean and hot.

  109. Apparently Magnolia is very similar to Tulip Poplar. Not good for firewood but great for woodworking.

  110. Just cut down a Shingle Oak Tree here in Ohio. Very unusual leaf pattern for an oak, but just as heavy as all the other oaks. I cannot find any chart that lists BTU’s for Shingle Oak – anyone out there have specific information on that particular variety?

  111. i have burned firewood about 34 years and it is obvious the people who compiled the listings here have never used firewood for heat [ college educated idiots ] and i feel sorry for the people who can’t recognize fools at point blank range!! attributed to mark twain!!!

  112. I burned some buckthorn in 1.5” to 4” diameter unsplit and that stuff burns HOT in our wood stove; it stinks and it’s not the easiest to start. In central MN (east Metro) that stuff is thick and burning the roots gives green-brown smoke.
    Does anyone else have experience burning buckthorn in a wood stove?

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