Different Types of Firewood

Posted: 2020-10-13

If you’re looking to save some money on fuel, you might want to consider going for firewood. It’s economical, renewable, and eco-friendly. However, not all types of firewood are the same because each has its own features. Some are better than others, and you need to consider their characteristics to choose the right firewood for your needs. The type of firewood is defined by the tree from which it was taken. With that in mind, here are some of the most common firewood types in the United States.


Because of its abundance in the U.S., oak is arguably the most common firewood type in the country. There are approximately 600 species of oak found in North and South America, Asia, Europe, and some parts of Africa. Ninety of the species of oak are found here in the United States.

Oak is categorized as a hardwood, meaning it will burn hotter and provide the most heat for the weight. It’s excellent for firewood because it creates a lot of heat, burns clean, and, as mentioned earlier, is abundant in the U.S. What makes oak popular is due to its long, slow burns.


The first two things that come to mind when the word maple is mentioned is perhaps pancakes and syrup. Not only does maple provide a yummy partner to your pancakes, but it is also a great source of firewood for your home.

Same as oak, maple is a hardwood, burns good and slow, and is readily available. It provides a lower density than oak, but is overall an excellent firewood to use because it splits well, burns clean, and don’t forget its great aroma!


A broad-leafed tree, birch is a good source of firewood. It burns well and produces a moderate amount of heat. It also splits well and dries fast. Its bark is useful as a fire starter because of its similarity to paper.

Birch firewood has a distinctive smell. Yellow birch, also known as Swamp Birch, gives off a wintergreen aroma when it is burning. When seasoned well, birch doesn’t have a lot of smoke and won’t throw many sparks.


Ash is abundant in the United States and Canada. There are 16 different species of this tree, and all of them make for good firewood. This type of wood splits very quickly and has a low moisture content. A freshly cut ash tree has a moisture content a little higher than seasoned ash, making it a good option if you’re running low on firewood and need to fell a tree during winter.

Its low moisture content makes ash available for use immediately after harvesting, although letting the wood season before burning is the best. The white ash is considered to be the best among the ash species. It grows rapidly and is famous for making baseball bats and tool handles, thanks to its strength and flexibility.

Ash is an outstanding tree for firewood as it splits easily and provides good heat. It’s often a top choice for anyone who burns firewood because of its ease of use.


The cedar trees found in the United States are considered “New World Cedars” and are part of the cypress family. 

Cedar is regarded as a softwood and presents a unique, spicy scent. It is good firewood because it splits fairly quickly, burns hot. However, it sparks a little, so be sure to have a protective screen if you choose to use it in your fireplace.

Cedar trees are popular among firewood consumers because they split easily, whether green or dry. Some prefer to leave cedar firewood in rounds instead of splitting them because rounds last longer than breaking them into small pieces.

Firewood from cedar is very stable; it doesn’t expand or shrink even when there’s moisture or temperature change. Well seasoned cedar is considered one of the cleanest burning evergreens and presents a moderate amount of smoke. It burns quickly and produces high-intensity heat.

These types of firewood are readily available and are great for burning. For effortless log splitting, consider using a log splitter. Whichever suits you, any of these types will surely warm up your winter nights.