Good Firewood

Anybody who has burned a significant amount of firewood develops some favorites. Some of the more popular firewood species found in Frederick County, along with some pointers to maximize the value of this wood as a heat source, include: A pile of firewood near Union Bridge Ash: Ash is an excellent choice for firewood. It cures quickly, is easy to start, burns hot, stores well, and burns for a long time. Ash should be split soon after it’s cut, otherwise wood boring insects get into it and make the wood punky. Once split, the insects are usually not a problem. Now that emerald ash borer is active in this region, there is an abundant supply of dead and dying ash trees available for firewood.

Credit: - Mike Kay

Locust: This stuff lasts forever on the firewood pile, burns hot, and burns for a long time. The only negatives are that it takes a while to cure, and doesn’t have a real pleasant odor. Locust is a good choice for wood stoves.

Hickory: Hickory is easy to cure, lights easily, and burns hot and for a long time. Hickory also has a very pleasing aroma. Hickory becomes real punky after one season on the firewood pile, so it should be used by the end of the winter. Hickory also has a habit of popping, so if it is used in a fireplace, a screen or glass enclosure should be used to deflect any flying embers.

Fruit Wood (Apple, Pear, Cherry): Fruitwood is easy to start, lasts for a long time, and has a pleasing aroma. This is real nice wood for fireplaces. Sometimes local orchards will sell fruitwood after they prune their trees.

Oak: Oak is the standard and much of the firewood for sale is oak. It burns hot and lasts for a long time. Oak takes a while to cure, so any green wood should be left to cure for six months or longer.

Birch: There is an abundant supply of black birch locally, and it is excellent firewood. It burns long and hot with a pleasant aroma. Birch is a very good choice for fireplaces.

Article by FCFCDB member

Nature Note for 12/25/2016