Buying firewood is not just a simple process of picking a random stack of wood, you need to take into consideration if it has been seasoned or not, if it’s a hard or soft wood, whether or not it burns for a long time, and if it leaves coals behind or not. All these factors play a role in how well you’ll be able to start your fire and whether or not it will burn for a while.
Most of the woods you buy are seasoned, which means that they have been split properly and for hard woods, dried for a year or 2, and soft woods take up to 6 months. Seasoned wood burns easier than unseasoned wood because it is drier and produces less smoke making it more ideal to use to start a fire. Seasoned wood also burns at a warmer temperature than unseasoned wood as unseasoned wood has a lot of water therefore a lot of energy is spent on burning the water away. After ensuring that your wood is seasoned the next thing to consider is what are the purposes of your fire as both hard and soft wood are used for different purposes.
Hardwood is often used for maintaining fires. The density of hardwood makes it the ideal firewood for long-burning fires as most hardwoods leave behind very hot coals which makes it easier to start a fire again and makes it the perfect firewood to cook over. Both Black Birch and Apple firewood are highly sought-after firewoods because both produce a pleasant aroma and both burn for a long time. Apple wood is more commonly used for cooking as it produces a smoke that is flavourful, while Black Birch, also known as Cherry Birch, is used for a warm night fire as it leaves behind very hot coals.
Softwoods are lighter in density and therefore are easier to split making them the perfect wood to use as kindling. Softwoods such as Douglas Fir and Larch both burn easier and produce a large flame that doesn’t last too long, these woods are perfect for campfires and produce less smoke and sparks compared to other softwoods. These two softwoods are also part of a higher density of softwoods which allows them to burn longer than other softwoods and produce hotter coals. Softwood is more commonly grown as it takes less time to season and is easier to split and so you will always find softwoods like Douglas Fir and Larch to be in abundance.
Now that you have checked if your wood is seasoned and determined whether you want to buy a hard or softwood, you should then determine how much you want to buy. All firewoods are measured in cords which is a measurement of 4ft by 4ft by 8ft. When buying firewood you can buy it in thirds, quarters, halves, three quarters, and a full cord allowing you to buy as much or as little firewood as you need.