Elsie & Fleur

Nothing beats the warmth generated from a traditional log fire. The comforting noise of the wood crackling and the smell of the logs burning are a joy. If you’re lucky enough to have your own open fire or wood burner then you can make the experience as eco-friendly as possible by choosing the right logs to burn and by getting some fire know-how. 

1. Firewood improves with time, so always go for well-seasoned logs. Wood that has been recently cut is known as ‘green wood’ and it tends to contain water and will burn inefficiently and may even just smoulder causing smoke but not a warming flame.

2. If you have a wood burner it is more efficient to keep it closed. An open fire always looks lovely, but, if you’re after heat, then use the stove as a radiator. It’s metal acts as such but only if the door is kept shut. Open fires tend to let all the heat escape up the chimney.

3. If you select a hardwood to burn then you will get much more for your money than you would a softwood. The fibres in hardwoods are much denser so they burn slower and longer. Deciduous trees such as oaks tend to be hardwoods and softwoods are evergreens such as pine. If you want some flame action then a softwood mixed with your hardwoods will deliver a cheery burst.

4. The best tree for firewood is considered to be ash as it will burn without being seasoned. The saying goes: “Ash new or ash old, is fit for a queen with a crown of gold.”

5. Oak makes plenty of heat and lasts a long time, but does need to have been seasoned for at least two years.

6. Apple and pear are great for scenting the room.

7. Elder will burn when seasoned but it is said to unlucky…

Written by Cherry Pullinger — August 28, 2014

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