Wood Burning Guide

Wood Burning Guide

Here you can find a guide to the most well-known trees and we have given them a rating for their burning quality when used in a Woodburner or Log Fire.

Wood Burning Guide - which wood is best for logs?

When it comes to choosing the type of timber for your Wood burner or fire, we thought it would be helpful to know which trees make the best wood burning logs.

Below we have made a guide to describe and show the most well-known trees and given them rating for their burning quality.



Alder Tree


Low Quality. Although Alder wood tends to burn quickly when fully seasoned, it gives off little heat.

Wood Burning Scale 1


Apple Tree


Extremely hard stuff once seasoned. Applewood burns with a gorgeous aroma and doesn’t tend to spark or spit.
Wood Burning Scale 5



Ash Tree

One of the best woods for fuel producing lovely flames and great heat, even when green. Use the branches for kindling.
Wood Burning Scale 5


Beech Tree

Very good firewood which produces both heat and flame. Beech can sometimes give off a few sparks. Best seasoned for a year.
Wood Burning Scale 4


Birch Tree

Good firewood producing a great fire and burns fairly quickly, even unseasoned. Can use the bark as kindling.
Wood Burning Scale 4


Blackthorn Tree

Although the logs are small, Blackthorn burns slowly and gives off lots of heat and little smoke.
Wood Burning Scale 5



Cedar Tree

Not a good wood to burn on open fires as it spits and sparks. Lovely aroma. Ideal for kindling. Needs long seasoning. Good heat if used in Woodburner.
Wood Burning Scale 2



Cherry Tree

Season well. It burns slowly without spitting. Pleasant smell.
Wood Burning Scale 4


Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir Tree

Produces little flame or heat and burns very quickly.
Wood Burning Scale 3



Elder Tree

Smoky quick burner. Not much heat and not commonly used for firewood.
Wood Burning Scale 3



Elm Tree

Huge water content so needs long 2-year seasoning. Good firewood, burns slowly, giving constant heat.
Wood Burning Scale 3



Eucalyptus Tree

Not commonly used as firewood. Burns quickly without spitting. Needs seasoning as oils can start chimney fire. 
Wood Burning Scale 3



Hawthorn Tree

Excellent firewood burns hot and slowly. Even the smaller twigs are worth using.
Wood Burning Scale 5



Hazel Tree

Excellent firewood when seasoned. No spitting, burns quickly.
Wood Burning Scale 4



Holly Tree

Good firewood when seasoned.
Wood Bunring Scale 3



Hornbeam Tree

Good firewood, producing a hot slow-burning fire. Tip – prepare before seasoning as it is a very hardwood.
Wood Burning Scale 4


Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut Tree

Lots of spitting but good flame and heat. Needs long seasoning.
Wood Burning Scale 3



Larch Tree

Tendency to spit and produces an oily soot in chimneys.
Wood Burning Scale 2



Laurel Tree

Produces a lovely flame, little heat.
Wood Burning Scale 2



Lime Tree

Poor, low-quality wood for fuel with a dull flame.
Wood Burning Scale 1



Maple Tree

A good quality fuel-producing wood. Good flame and heat.
Wood Burning Scale 4



Oak Tree

Excellent firewood. It burns slowly, giving off plenty of heat. Oak that hasn’t been seasoned long enough, 2 years ideal, can give off an acrid smoke.
Wood Burning Scale 5



Pear Tree

Good heat, as well as a gorgeous aroma. Season well.
Wood Burning scale 4



Pine Tree

Good flame and scent but spits and leaves an oily soot in your chimney.
Wood Burning Scale 2



Plum Tree

OK as firewood, good heat and scent.
Wood Burning Scale 3



Poplar Tree

Poor quality firewood. Lights quickly and burns quickly so generally not worth the effort in cutting it up. Black smoke.
Wood Burning Scale 1



Rowan Tree

Good firewood. Produces a good, hot, slow-burning fire.
Wood Burning Scale 4



Spruce Tree

Not a good firewood, burning too quickly and producing lots of sparks.
Wood Burning Scale 1


Sweet Chestnut

Sweet Chestnut

Not suitable for an open fire as it spits excessively all the time. Needs seasoning but burns quickly.
Wood Burning Scale 1



Sycamore Tree

Good firewood, burning well but produces only moderate heat. Needs seasoning.
Wood Burning Scale 3



Walnut Tree

Burns well with a pleasant smell.
Wood Burning Scale 3



Willow Tree

It burns slowly even when seasoned properly. Little flame, can spark.
Wood Burning Scale 3



Yew Tree

One of the best. It burns slowly and produces lots of heat.
Wood Burning Scale 5



Further reading

Now you've decided on your firewood, what you need is a proper Dorset Log Store to season the logs and keep them in tip top condition for burning.

For more hints and tips on using logs and how to make a fire burn for maximum efficiency visit our sister website OutWoodly.co.uk to read about Buying & Seasoning Logs.