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Steve Nix

What Wood Burns the Best? - The Firewood Poem

By December 18, 2012

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The Firewood Poem

Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year,
Chestnut's only good they say,
If for logs 'tis laid away.
Make a fire of Elder tree,
Death within your house will be;
But ash new or ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold

Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last,
it is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E'en the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke,
Apple wood will scent your room
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom
Oaken logs, if dry and old
keep away the winter's cold
But ash wet or ash dry
a king shall warm his slippers by.

Sent by Tam, UK - Author Unknown


January 19, 2013 at 5:09 am
(1) Muhammad R. Bhatti says:

Appreciate the lnformation disseminated through this versatile POEM. Is there any such poem about firewood value of Hardwoods of Asian origin like Acacias. eucalyptus,Rosewood etc?. Normally higher the the density of wood,the more calorific value it .Regards!

January 19, 2013 at 8:31 am
(2) forestry says:

Asia is an extremely large area of which I know practically nothing about preferred firewood – tropical to temperate to desert etc. Most countries have excellent forestry information available through their forestry agencies. FAO http://www.fao.org/ can also help. Good luck!

April 26, 2013 at 11:36 pm
(3) Shirley Brandie says:

Are there any good poems describing the danger of inhaling wood smoke or the damage it does to the environment?

April 27, 2013 at 12:34 am
(4) Clive Stott says:

I would like to read a poem coming from someones lungs or heart when they are subjected to smelly, toxic, woodsmoke.
Would be an eye opening wouldn’t it?
Doubt it would rhyme except for all the #@*@##@*@^!!!!

September 6, 2013 at 9:58 am
(5) Ben Bass says:

My Goodness!
You do get some grusome gloomsters. What a load of drivel. I dare say they do their bit to poison the atmosphere.

January 1, 2014 at 9:11 am
(6) Si says:

The Firewood Poem was written by Celia Congreve and was first published in The Times on 02-03-1930

What about crack willow? It’s flameproof for sure.
Crap willow more like it.

January 1, 2014 at 9:15 am
(7) Si says:

Poem for Shirley Brandie and Clive Stott :

There was an old *^$$%^ from $£**^*
who inhaled some wood smoke from a %£**^*
He said *&&^% crap *&^^
And “^*^*& bum “£”£$
And ^%& and *%&& and then died

Will that do?

January 1, 2014 at 9:20 am
(8) Si says:


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 wood 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.

January 1, 2014 at 9:21 am
(9) Si says:

Note that all woods burn better when seasoned and some burn better when split rather than as whole logs. In general the better woods for burning that you are most likely to come by (including non-native species) are:

Apple and pear – burning slowly and steadily with little flame but good heat. The scent is also pleasing.

Ash – the best burning wood providing plenty of heat (will also burn green but you should not need to do this!)

Beech and hornbeam – good when well seasoned

Birch – good heat and a bright flame – burns quickly.

Blackthorn and hawthorn – very good – burn slowly but with good heat

Cherry – also burns slowly with good heat and a pleasant scent.

Cypress – burns well but fast when seasoned, and may spit

Hazel – good, but hazel has so many other uses hopefully you won’t have to burn it!

Holly – good when well seasoned

Horse Chestnut – good flame and heating power but spits a lot.

Larch – fairly good for heat but crackles and spits

Maple – good.

Oak – very old dry seasoned oak is excellent, burning slowly with a good heat

Pine – burns well with a bright flame but crackles and spits

Poplar – avoid all poplar wood – it burns very slowly with little heat – which is why poplar is used to make matchsticks.

Willow – very good – in fact there is growing interest in biomass production of coppiced willow as a fuel.

January 1, 2014 at 9:22 am
(10) Si says:

Okay Guys – I can’t take credit for the info in my last two posts; it’s from :

© Piers Warren 2006 from the book:
British Native Trees – Their Past and Present Uses

Cool book though (and I’m getting nowt for plugging it here)

January 1, 2014 at 10:52 am
(11) Si says:

Apologies – the crack willow was in fact poplar – hmmph, no wonder it burns like asbestos

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