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"All Light And No Heat..." Why you should steer clear of 'ton bags' from your local tree surgeon.

Trees and branches cut by your local tree surgeon is basically free right? A waste product. You are doing the world a favour by burning it in your home? Well... not really. Sure its a waste product and its good for the environment that somebody should make use of it. Just do yourself a favour, don't let that someone be you.

Preparing firewood is labour intesive. It takes time to split and cleave the wood and stack it for drying for up to two years. If pressed tree surgeons will say its the customers job to season their wood. Do you store your wood in a dry shed for two years? When wood crackles and spits as it burns it may as well have been cut yesterday. The wood isn't burning efficiently. Most of its energy is used boiling off water and going up the spout making your stove, flue and the outside word sooty in the process.

In purpose farmed, managed forests the process of splitting and stacking is mechanised and the seasoning takes place in low temperature kilns which use dehumidifiers as much as heat to draw out moisture resulting in a product that delivers over 3 times the energy to your home than badly seasoned wood. You will be amazed at how little you need and how long it lasts.

Also lets look at the maths of the 'ton bags'. That's just an expression to mean a 1 cubic meter bag. It may weigh a tonne if filled with with wet builders' sand but filled with wet logs it is more like 250kg. And these are loose packed. Our close packed logs fit twice as much in the same volume. So 1m3 from us is equivalent to 2 ton bags. We can guarantee that calorie for calorie our properly prepared wood is cheaper than anything you will get from a tree surgeon.

Our fire wood is a waste by product of the timber industry and comes from sustainable, managed forests. As growing trees capture 100% of the carbon they later release when burned they are considered a green carbon neutral alternative for domestic heating.

Our hardwood forests contain a mixture of trees. Largely ash, oak and birch but from time to time we cut other species. Here is a guide to the good, bad and ugly of trees for burning.

Common Name Botanical Name Comments
Alder Alnus Poor quality firewood. Poor
Apple Malus Needs to be well seasoned. Burns well with a pleasant smell and no sparking or spitting. Good
Ash Fraxinus One of the best firewoods. It has a low water content and is easily split with an axe. Burns best when seasoned but can be burned green. Excellent
Beech Fagus Beech has a high water content and will therefore only burn when seasoned. Good
Birch Betula An excellent firewood that will burn when green. However, it burns quickly so should be mixed with a slower burning wood such as Oak. Very Good
Cedar Cedrus A good firewood which burns with a pleasant smell. Gives a good lasting heat and does not spit much. Small pieces may be burned green. Quite Good
Cherry Prunus Must be well seasoned. Burns with a pleasant smell without spitting. Quite Good
Elm Ulmus A good firewood but due to its high water content of approximately 140% (more water than wood!) it must be seasoned very well. It may need assistance from another faster burning wood such as Birch to keep it burning well. However it gives off a good, lasting heat and burns very slowly. Larger pieces of wood will prove difficult to split. Quite Good
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus  Allow to season well since the wood is very sappy when fresh. Can be difficult to split due to stringy wood fibre. Best method is to slice into rings and allow to season during the summer, the rings will start to split themselves. Burns fast with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Quite Good
Hawthorn Crataegus

A good firewood. Very Good

Hazel Corylus An excellent wood when seasoned. Burns fast without spitting. Excellent
Holly Ilex A good firewood that can be burned green. Good
Hornbeam Carpinus Burns well. Good
Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum A fairly poor firewood. OK
Larch Larix A very poor firewood which spits excessively while burning and leaves an oily soot in the chimney. Provides a good heat. Poor
Lime Tilia Poor quality firewood. OK
Oak Quercus One of the best firewoods. When seasoned well, it gives off a good, lasting heat. Burns reasonably slowly. Excellent
Pear Pyrus If well seasoned it burns nicely with a pleasant smell. Good
Pine Pinus Burns hot but needs to be well seasoned. Leaves an oily soot in the chimney and spits excessively. Poor
Plane Platanus A reasonable quality firewood. Good
Poplar Populus Very poor firewood. Burns with a poor heat and only usable when well seasoned. Poor
Rowan Sorbus aucuparia Burns well. Good
Spruce Picea Low quality. OK
Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa Burns when seasoned but spits continuously and excessively.Not for use on an open fire and make sure wood-burning stoves have a good door catch! If you must
Maple (including Sycamore) Acer Burns well. Good
Walnut Juglans Poor quality firewood. OK
Wellingtonia Sequoiadendron Very bad quality. Poor
Willow Salix A high water content means it needs to be well seasoned. Good if seasoned
Yew Taxus Usable. Quite Good