We found this in a reference book on wood burning stoves and log burners and thought it might be interesting.
We have experimented with various woods and have found this guide to be inexact and in some cases totally incorrect but decided to include it for general interest. Nothing beats free heat!!!
Alder: Poor in heat and does not last,
Apple: Wood burning tends to be slowly and steadily when dry, with little flame, but good heat. The scent is pleasing.
Ash: Best burning wood; has both flame and heat, and will burn when green, though naturally not as well as when dry.
Beech: A wood to burn and rival to ash, though not a close one, and only fair when green. If it has a fault, it is apt to shoot embers a long way.
Birch: The heat is good but wood burns quickly. The smell is pleasant.
Cedar: Good wood burning when dry. Full of crackle and snap. It gives little flame but much heat, and the scent is beautiful.
Cherry: Wood burning tends to be slowly, with good heat. Another wood with the advantage of scent.
Chestnut: Mediocre woodburner. Apt to shoot embers. Small flame and heating power.
Douglas Fir: Poor. Little flame or heat.
Elder: Mediocre woodburner. Very smoky. Quick burner, with not much heat.
Elm: Commonly offered for sale. To burn wood well it needs to be kept for two years. Even then it will smoke. Vary variable fuel.
Holly: Good, wood will burn when green, but best when kept a season.
Hornbeam: Almost as good as beech.
Laburnum: Totally poisonous tree, acrid smoke, taints food and best never used.
Larch: Crackly, scented, and fairly good woodburning for heat.
Laurel: Has brilliant flame.
Lime: Poor. Burns with dull flame.
Oak: The novelist's 'blazing fire of oaken log burning' is fanciful, Oak is sparse in flame and the smoke is acrid, but dry old oak is excellent for heat, wood burning slowly and steadily until whole log collapses into cigar-like ash.
Pear: A good heat and a good scent.
Pine: Wood burning tends to be with a splendid flame, but apt to spit. The resinous Weymouth pine has a lovely scent and a cheerful blue flame.
Plane: Wood burns pleasantly, but is apt to throw sparks if very dry. Plum. Good heat and scent.
Plum: Good heat and aromatic.
Poplar: Truly awful.
Rhododendron: The thick old stems, being very tough,wood burns well.
Robinia (Acacia): Wood burning tends to be slowly, with good heat, but with acrid smoke.
Spruce: Wood burning tends to be too quickly and with too many sparks.
Sycamore: Wood burning tends to be with a good flame, with moderate heat. Useless green.
Thorn: Quite one of the best woods. Wood burning tends to be slowly, with great heat and little smoke. Walnut. Good, so is the scent.
Walnut: Good, and so is the scent. Aromatic wood.
Willow: Wood burning tends to be poor. It must be dry to use, and then it burns slowly, with little flame. Apt to spark.
Yew: Last but wood burning tends to beamong the best. Burns slowly, with fierce heat, and the scent is pleasant.
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