Best Fire Wood Species: Why Oak, Birch, and Ash Stand Out

Best Fire Wood Species: Why Oak, Birch, and Ash Stand Out

Not all logs are created equal. If you’re an experienced user of firewood, then you know that already. But if you’re newer to wood heating, then this might come as a surprise.

You might not know this, but the type of logs you use can greatly affect your wood-burning experience. 

This is because different tree species offer different:

  • Heat output profiles.
  • Burning temperature.
  • Burn time.
  • Ease of lighting.
  • Smoke and ash production.

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What Are the Best Wood Species For Firewood Logs?

There are three tree species that are regularly heralded as the best options for firewood in the UK. Those are oak logs, birch logs, and ash logs.

  • Oak burns the longest, has a great heat output, and is the only type of log you’ll find used in authentic Italian pizzerias.
  • Birch is incredibly easy to light, burns with beautiful flames, and is stunning to look at.
  • Ash is considered the gold standard of logs, combining the ease of lighting of birch and the heat output of oak.

Kiln-Dried Oak Logs: Long-Burning, Hot-Heating

White oak is often cited as the most aristocratic of all firewood log materials. And for a good reason. Oak is a very dense hardwood tree species. It has an excellent heating value of as high as 25,700,000 million British thermal units (BTUs) per cord.

Thanks to its density, oak can burn longer and hotter than most trees. Oak’s high heat output, clean burn, and long burn time make it perfect for winter heating, searing steaks, and cooking pizzas

The heat output profile of oak is steady and consistent, so you don’t have to worry about constantly tending to your log burner. This makes it an excellent choice for heating for extended periods of time, although it’s still not enough for keeping your home warm the entire night. Instead, we recommend customers use ultra-economical 8-hour Night Briquettes for overnight heating.

Buy the best kiln-dried oak logs in the UK.

Kiln-Dried Birch Logs: Beautiful, Popular, Easy to Use

Birch trees, on the other hand, are valued for possessing a completely different set of burning properties.

This hardwood tree species is much less dense, which makes it very easy to light. It’s perfect for starting fires, which makes it great for outdoor fire starting. Some people even use birch as makeshift kindling, although experts agree that it's always better to use speciality softwood wood kindling for starting your fires.

With a heat output of  20,300,000 BTUs per cord, it doesn’t have the ultra-high heat output of birch or oak. However, its ease of ignition, beautiful looks, bright flames, and comparatively lower price make it the UK’s most popular choice.

One thing to note with birch is that it burns out quite quickly, so you’ll have to add new logs to your stove more often.

Buy the best kiln-dried birch logs in the UK.

Kiln-Dried Ash Logs: The UK’s Gold Standard

The most commonly recommended type of logs by industry professionals, ash is renowned as a universal choice for firewood. It’s easy to light and has exceptional heating properties.

In terms of energy output, ash is quite energy dense, typically around 23,600,000 BTUs per cord. This makes it the perfect middle ground between birch and oak. 

Additionally, ash produces very little smoke and doesn’t spark when burned. This makes it great for both indoor and outdoor fires.

If you don’t know what type of wood to buy, purchase ash logs. They’re never a bad choice.

Buy the best kiln-dried ash logs in the UK.