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Firewood Q&A

One of the most common questions asked by people who are looking to buy firewood is;

"What's the best wood to burn?"

The short answer is seasoned wood containing 15-20 per cent moisture or less.

Properly seasoned wood is cut and split before early spring and allowed to dry from approximately mid winter through September.

After multiple drying seasons, fuel wood will have a moisture content of about eight to 10 per cent, similar to that of hardwoods used to build fine cabinetry.

Whether it is worth seasoning wood for a few extra years to squeeze the maximum number of BTUs from a cord is debatable, the main considerations being the amount of storage room available and the deterioration of the wood after a few years.

Ideally, a woodpile should be stacked in an open area facing south and covered with a structure that allows the end grain to breathe and release moisture. (Wood wrapped tightly with a tarp will not dry because moisture will remain trapped inside the cells.)

Deciduous or hardwood trees produce the most BTUs because they are denser than softwoods or conifers.

As for softwoods, I think most people who heat with wood in Manitoba will agree tamarack is far and away the best in its class.

 

Type of wood                        Heat Output in BTU’s

Ash                                         23

Birch                                       21

Pine                                        18

Poplar                                    18

Tamarack                               22

 

Birch

Classified as a hardwood. The bark surrounding the firewood is practically air-tight and it must be split in order to season. Birch bark has white powder that coats the bark that is primarily composed of a chemical called betulin. This same betulin is what makes birch bark such a good fire-starter. It is highly flammable. Betulin is a hydrophobic (water-fearing) molecule - giving birch bark its superior waterproofing abilities. So birch bark is waterproof and flammable — terrific for getting a fire going on a rainy day.

Our birch firewood is seasoned under large open ended canopies that provide cover from rain and gives the seasoned wood a clean unspoiled appearance. You will be tempted to leave a nice stack beside the fireplace just for that look.

Pine 

All around good firewood for indoor or outdoor fires. It seasons quickly and smells great and crackles nicely. As a fuel wood, pine has a medium rating because of its low density (about 30 pounds per cubic foot) and its fast burn rate, creating a lot of immediate heat that dissipates quickly as the wood is consumed. It grows prolifically in most areas of the province so it is readily available any time of the year. This is our best priced firewood.

Tamarack

Tamarack bark is pinkish and somewhat flaky, with reddish inner bark. Tamarack grows in low, wet areas. This deciduous conifer is the only tree with needles that fall in autumn. It’s something of an oxymoron in the evolution of trees as it is still deciding whether to be coniferous or deciduous. Also called larch, tamarack firewood is dense and has a very high heating value producing a hot fire, very little ash, and in the morning coals remain in the stove that can be used to rekindle a fresh fire. The supply of tamarack from year to year is unpredictable because harvesting the timber usually needs to wait until mid winter.

We have a limited supply of tamarack for 2019.

Check out all our Firewood for sale! http://eldadproducts.com/products-category/firewoods/

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El'dad Ranch is a  program of Initiatives For Just Communities. Since 1980, we've been providing Vocational Training and Independent Living services to individuals with intellectual disabilities. El'dad Products, launched in April 2016, has been creating wide variety of products that are competitively priced, innovative, and unique. El'Dad strives to remove the stigma about people with intellectual disabilities by enabling full participation in creating and marketing all of our products.