Which Wood Burns The Longest Let’s Find Out

There are different aspects to consider while selecting and burning firewood, such as whether you are burning the wood inside or outside, in a fireplace, wood-burning stove, or campfire. And whether you are burning it for beauty and atmosphere or heat. Which Wood Burns The Longest When Camping?

Dense woods, such as hickory, ash, and oak, burn for extended periods because there is more substance or fuel per log. Since thick wood takes more time to burn, fire duration is directly related to wood density. Beech, cherry, apple, black locust, maple, hawthorn, and sycamore are excellent burners.

You won’t feel like getting up to add fuel or water until the fire is roaring, and you have a bed of coals in the fireplace with orange, red, and yellow flames rolling over the logs. This article will review the top ten best firewood to burn and how long they last.

All the details given here assume that you are burning wood in a fireplace for either secondary heat or the charm and atmosphere that a warm, bright fire generates.

Not All Firewood Is The Same:

All wood will burn; however, not all wood is suitable for use as firewood. Use improper firewood in your fireplace and you may have a lot of smoke, pops, crackles, deadly sparks all over the place, or a buildup in your chimney, which may catch on fire.

When you start a fire using pine, spruce, or other softwoods, you may have a rapid, brightly burning fire, but all of the initial energy quickly burns up. Because of the resin and heavy sap in these trees, softwoods often sizzle, burst, and smoke.

When the fire in your campfire or in your wood stove starts to die down, it might be entertaining to throw a few sticky pine logs on it to see what happens. They catch fire immediately and burn rapidly. It is a terrific technique to get low-burning coals to catch rapidly. Still, it is not a smart option for your interior fireplace for the reasons stated above.

Hardwoods burn more efficiently than softwoods in a fireplace or woodstove because they are denser, burn slower, and produce a longer-lasting bed of coals. Most will not bombard you with as many burning sparks or smoke. However, this does not imply that all hardwoods are suitable for use in a fireplace.

Consider the poplar tree. It is still classified as a hardwood, but it bursts and crackles loudly when burned. It also produces stifling smoke and may fill your home with hazardous carbon monoxide. So, although hardwoods are superior, they are not all created equal when it comes to burning.

Hardwoods Vs. Softwoods:

Technically, all trees are made of hardwood. Trees produce two distinct forms of wood, known as hardwood and softwood.

Hardwood trees have broad leaves rather than needles and often contain fruit or nuts. Hardwood trees include oak, hickory, cherry, birch, aspen, tulip, and mulberry. Compared to the conifer family, the wood from these trees is thick, has a thinner growth ring pattern, and is “hard.”

Hardwoods are often used to manufacture furniture, flooring, tools, boats, musical instruments, and charcoal. We like the aroma and flavor of grilled hickory-smoked pork!

Softwood trees are less thick conifers, have needles rather than broad leaves, and contain resin channels that convey sap and pitch through the tree. Do you ever buy or chop your own Christmas tree? If so, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the sticky, resinous sap that flows from these trees.

In most cases, softwood lumber is employed in the building. Consider the studs and beams in your loft. These are mostly softwood pines.

Softwood trees, as previously explained, contain resin canals, which is one of the reasons they do not produce excellent firewood. When the resins burn, they make a lot of smoke and leave tar buildup in chimneys, which may lead to fires. Because softwoods are not thick, they burn rapidly.

All firewood, whether hardwood or softwood, emits tar, which may adhere to the sides of your chimney. When softwoods are burnt, they produce a lot of pollution. You should hire a professional chimney sweep service regularly if a wood stove or fireplace is in use in the home.

It is sometimes possible to start a fire using softwood wood. A few little pine twigs will spark quickly and burn fiercely, which is ideal for beginning your hardwood fire but only burn well-seasoned hardwood afterward.

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So, Which Wood Burns The Longest?

Not all woods are appropriate for use as firewood. Depending on the heat required and the desired burning duration, you may select one kind over the others. The following are some of the best kinds of firewood to consider:

1) Hickory:

Hickory Wood, like pecan trees, from the hickory family of trees, is known to emit a lot of heat. It creates high-quality coals and emits little smoke when burnt, making it excellent for campfires and even BBQ grills.

This sort of wood is thick and dry, making it difficult to split and cut. However, because of these qualities, it last longer and burn more efficiently. Because it is a common tree, you may see it in practically every forest.

2) Oak:

Oak is an excellent all-around wood that is pretty prevalent. It has a high heating value and density, which makes it ideal for generating consistent, long-lasting, and high-quality heat. It produces very little sparks and smoke, making it excellent for use inside.

White and red oak are the most frequent oak varieties, making excellent firewood. However, because of their great density, they may be difficult to ignite. As a result, you may start a fire with softwood and then add oak wood to feed it.

One of the most popular firewood forms is oak, which performs well, particularly when properly seasoned.

3) Black Locust:

This wood’s high thermal value makes it a great heat producer. Because it is thick, it may burn for an extended period. When burned, it has a faint aroma and creates little smoke.

You may use it as fuel with confidence since it is premium wood. But it doesn’t occur naturally very often and is exclusively found in Arkansas, Missouri, and the Appalachian Mountains.

It is also helpful in building needs while camping in the wilderness because of its significant density or compactness.

4) Beech:

Beech is high-quality firewood that delivers consistent heat for an extended period. The grade of the coals it produces is equivalent to that of oak wood, having very little smoke and sparks during combustion.

Only the high moisture level of this wood is a drawback, and it has to be seasoned and dried out before you can fire it. Furthermore, it is the most challenging firewood to split, even more complex than black locust and oak wood.

5) Ash:

Ash is undoubtedly the best kind of firewood to burn. It has a high heat output and a persistent flame. As a bonus, it’s easier to ignite than the other types of firewood we’ve looked at. Also, Ash tree wood may be used as fuel immediately after being cut down; it does not need to be seasoned or cured.

6) Cherry:

Compared to heavier and denser timbers like Oak and Black Locust, Cherry only produces moderate heat. In contrast, when burnt, it releases a pleasant scent.

In addition to its smell, it produces little sparks when burnt, making it an excellent interior fuel. It’s a great fuel for a fire meant to create ambiance rather than heat.

7) Maple:

Maple provides a large amount of heat that may endure long. Maple, like other varieties of hardwood, is challenging to split. It’s also not easy to light, so you’ll need to use softwood to start a fire before you can use it as fuel.

8) Birch:

Birch merely offers moderate heat and burns rather rapidly, making it unsuitable for use as the primary fuel. However, its flammability makes it excellent for starting and keeping fires. Birch emits beautiful flames when burnt and produces little heat, making it perfect for use inside.

9) Rowan:

Rowan’s finest attribute is that it burns slowly. As a result, it may deliver long-lasting, continuous, and mild warmth. Because it works well in all sorts of fires, it may be your go-to firewood. 

10) Pine:

Pine, while being a softwood, provides excellent firewood, mainly when used for recreational purposes like camping even to scare wild animals away. As well as generating a respectable amount of heat, it emits a substantial quantity of smoke. It’s perfect for outdoor campfires, but you shouldn’t use it inside or for practical uses like cooking.

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How To Make Any Wood Burn Longer?

Whatever wood you use, there are techniques to keep it burning longer to get the most out of your fire.

Provide Adequate Ventilation:

As you are aware, fire needs oxygen and ventilation to burn. In a typical fireplace, open the damper completely to enable cold air to feed the fire while removing hot, smokey air via the chimney. It also applies to any enclosed fire, such as a wood stove. There is not much you need to do to manage the ventilation if you have an open campfire or fire pit.

The condition of your chimney or flue might also impact ventilation. When too much soot or creosote is on fire, the air movement is limited, and the fire does not burn as consistently.

Build Your Fire Correctly:

A good fire is traditionally formed with a fire starter on the bottom, kindling in the center, and logs on top. This strategy, however, will need the addition of larger logs after the fire has grown large enough.

Flipping the stack is one way to make the fire last longer. Your logs will be on the bottom, then by kindling, and finally, a fire starter on top. It implies that the fire burns downwards, and the logs may be more extensive since they won’t suffocate the minor fire on top. Of course, utilizing more extensive logs will extend the life of your fire.

Another thing to consider is placing the kindling and logs in a crisscross pattern. It ensures that the fire is well-ventilated. When burning a fire backward, the bottom logs may parallel one another. Still, any logs added after that should be crisscrossed.

Use Warm Wood:

Heating the wood left out in the cold takes more effort before it can ignite, and it may cause the fire to extinguish too quickly, and some wood may not ignite. Logs kept inside the residence are typically preferable for use in a fire.

Use Dry Wood:

For the same reason, properly seasoned wood can extend the life of your fire. Wood having more than 20% moisture level may be more complex to ignite and may burn out quickly. However, you may utilize ash trees since they have a naturally low moisture content.

Add Multiple Logs At A Time:

Adding extra fuel to your fire will keep it going for longer. When adding logs, do so in groups of two or three. It will also save you from tending to the fire as often. Remember that the size of your logs should correspond to the size of your fire. If your fire has significantly reduced, you may seek to add smaller logs to ignite them before it loses too much heat.

Additional Resources

If you are looking for more tutorials, walkthroughs and troubleshooting about camping and enjoying the outdoors, here are some additional posts to check out:


You should choose the best firewood for heating or creating a friendly atmosphere. Varied kinds of firewood have different burn times and heat intensities. As a result, pick wisely.

Wood that has a high heating value, high density, and low moisture content is preferred. Please don’t use any other wood for fires unless it meets these criteria; you may use the above list as a suggestion. You can use various kinds of firewood; however, be cautious not to choose the worst ones by mistake to prevent unnecessary problems. Hope you enjoyed reading this article, If you think I forgot something or if you simply want to share a story or some advice, please leave a comment in the section below… but for now, Be Safe and Have Fun.!

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