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Firewood performance can differ from one tree species to the next. The type of tree you use for burning can vary widely in heat content, burning characteristics, and overall quality. I have created a table that provides several important burning characteristics for most species used in North America.

A common tree's heating potential can be determined by looking at its wood density and the amount of energy it can produce, usually measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs. I list these facts as well as the wood's ability to retain coals overnight.


January 19, 2009 at 9:11 am
(1) mark says:

Steve..Never found the list of BTU’s that you mention in the promo paragraph…Have already missed something????

January 19, 2009 at 9:53 am
(2) Curt says:

Click on the headline link to see the whole article, including the table

January 19, 2009 at 6:45 pm
(3) forestry says:

Hi Mark and Curt!

Curt is correct that you have to hyperlink from the headline to the article. Even when you get to the article, you have to drop below the ads to see the table.

I hate the intrusive ads but they pay the bills.

January 21, 2009 at 8:13 pm
(4) gerry says:

what about magnolia wood?

February 17, 2009 at 2:06 am
(5) Nash says:

Hi Steve!

I have been subscribing in your daily email on my email address. As a Professional Forester, I am really concerned about the destruction of the environment especially here in our country-the Philippines. Sadly, I am currently UNEMPLOYED due to the NO-HIRING POLICY of our government as of now.

Hopefully, you could give us Unemployed Foresters like me SEMINARS/TRAININGS regarding Forestry for us to be more competitive. Thank You and More Power!

Best regards,
Forester Nash (email add: mc_nsh@yahoo.com)

November 29, 2009 at 8:00 am
(6) Scott Ball says:

I am new to cutting wood and am just now learning the different types of wood and characteristics. The info on this site is very helpful. I started cutting the other day and ran across a tree the bark was similar to locust or yellow poplar, but it had a pink center when I cut into it. I know it wasn’t cedar. I think it is a type of cherry. Any ideas what it could be for future reference?

January 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm
(7) Phorester says:


Come into the forum on this site (click on “My forum” underneath Steve’s magnificient picture). There you can leave a message and post pictures of the wood and we might be able to identify it for you.

February 1, 2010 at 2:00 pm
(8) mike house says:

good stuff i look foward to news letter a always go over news with my grandsons good teaching add–i also share with my friends in the wood business —keep them coming —have a great day

February 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm
(9) mike house says:

how about info on cooking wood —say mesquite vs almond wood etc —cooking wood vs charcoal briquets etc

May 18, 2011 at 9:55 am
(10) Curt says:

Lolz! my name is Curt!!!

August 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm
(11) jim says:

Does privet make good firewood?

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