5 wood burning tips


Only burn fully seasoned ready to burn logs

After all, you can’t burn water! And if you try to burn wet logs your fire will spit and you’ll have a house full of smoke.

Keep your logs dry

To lower the moisture content even further and prevent them from getting wet protect your logs from the rain and keep them off the ground. If they’re a little bit wet on the surface when on delivery they will need drying out in the warmth of your own home before burning.

Burn wood on ash

Wood actually burns best on a bed of ash. So when you think your stove needs cleaning don’t empty it out completely. Leave up to 2 inches of ash from the base of your stove – but become familiar with your wood burning appliance to see what gives you the best results. Use a shovel and metal bucket to remove excess ash when it gets too high.

Do not keep adding more logs

If you keep adding logs to an already roaring fire you can reduce your stove’s burning efficiency by as much as 15%. This is because cool air gets in each time you open the stove door and new wood needs to heat up before it burns – which is where you lose the burning efficiency.

The best time to add more logs to a fire that’s already lit is allow it to burn down to a bed of embers before adding any more.

Burn safely and efficiently

Wood is the cleanest fuel around – but pollutants can be produced if it’s not burnt efficiently. To avoid problems you should:

  • always burn fully seasoned wood
  • have a stove professionally fitted by a HETAS registered stove fitter
  • sweep your chimney at least once a year
  • install a carbon monoxide detector
  • never burn rubbish, plastics, glossy paper, polystyrene or painted/treated wood or plywood.
  • store wood outside and off the ground

Some log burning folklore

To launch my new website and Log Blog here’s a classic piece of writing which you may have come across at some point:

Oaken logs if dry and old,
Keep away the winter’s cold;
Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke;
Elm wood burns like graveyard mould
Even the very flames are cold;
Apple wood will scent the room
Pear wood smells as flowers in bloom;
But ash wood wet and ash wood dry
A King to warm his slippers by.

Beech wood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs be kept for a year;
Chestnut’s only good they say,
If for years, ’tis stored away.
Birch and firwoods burn too fast
Blaze too bright and do not last;
But ash wood green and ash wood brown
Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown!

The author is unknown but clearly they knew their firewood.

Burning Logs

and other of similar ilk:

Logs to Burn,

Logs to burn, Logs to burn,
Logs to save the coal a turn,
Here’s a word to make you wise,
When you hear the woodman’s cries.
Never heed his usual tale,
That he has good logs for sale,
But read these lines and really learn,
The proper kind of logs to burn.

Oak logs will warm you well,
If they’re old and dry.
Larch logs of pine will smell,
But the sparks will fly.

Beech logs for Christmas time,
Yew logs heat well.
“Scotch” logs it is a crime,
For anyone to sell.
Birch logs will burn too fast,
Chestnut scarce at all.
Hawthorn logs are good to last,
If you cut them in the fall.

Holly logs will burn like wax,
You should burn them green,
Elm logs like smouldering flax,
No flame to be seen.

Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room,
Cherry logs across the dogs,
Smell like flowers in bloom

But ash logs, all smooth and grey,
Burn them green or old;
Buy up all that come your way,
They’re worth their weight in gold.