Useful Information

Firewood is the oldest and cleanest fuel for heating and cooking known to man. It has been used since the dawn of history and is still used throughout the world today. Still one of the most important and easily the cleanest from an environmental viewpoint! Its use is increasing by about 9% each year in the British Isles, and in Ireland it is more popular now than ever before.

Firewood is a renewable resource and in the UK is mostly produced as a by-product of other activities. Eg. Forestry, Land Development, and Arboricultural Operations. Environmentally it is a clean fuel. It does not add to the "Greenhouse Effect" like fossil fuels (oil, coal, etc.) as any carbon dioxide released by burning is less than the tree used in growing and would have been released anyway during decomposition.

It is also healthier than most other fuels. How often do you hear of someone being killed by fumes while sitting in front of a log fire? Wood in the traditional form of logs still has a very important role in today's Hi-Tech world.

Firewood supply can create local, rural jobs and revenue and can play a major role in reversing rural economic decline. Firewood is also a renewable resource and using it today will not prevent our children and grandchildren from using firewood in the future. Cutting firewood through thinning and coppicing can re-establish traditional woodland management. It is a decline in this type of practice that has led to the loss or decline of some of our most attractive woodland wildlife.

Seasoning and storing logs.

Because trees contain a lot of water, freshly cut logs will contain around 50% water and are difficult to burn without some drying or seasoning taking place. Wood felled during one winter should be seasoned over the following summer and burnt the next winter when they should have around 33% moisture. If possible, two years seasoning is best to bring it to 25% moisture content. Some trees contain naturally less water than others. Freshly felled ash for example contains only a 33% moisture content while fresh poplar has a moisture content of sixty six percent.

A reputable firewood merchant should only sell you seasoned logs, unless you specifically ask for fresh or green wood to season yourself. Logs are best stored outside but under cover where air but little rain can get to them. If possible bring your next weeks supply into the house and store somewhere warm like near but not next to the fire, stove or boiler.

Burning Logs

Some types of tree make better firewood than others. Broadleaved trees are denser than softwoods such as pines and provide more heat per similar sized bag or trailer load. In general ash, oak, beech, birch, sycamore, hornbeam are all first class firewoods. All conifers such as pine, plus sweet chestnut, and turkey oak are liable to throw sparks but can be used if very dry in a closed wood burning stove or boiler. Alder, willows and poplars are considered poor firewoods due to their high moisture content.

Firewood4U Logs & Equipment