Firewood: Things You Need to Know for a Clean, Long-Lasting Fire

Winter in Australia has well and truly set in, and while many people ramp up the electric or gas heating, nothing is better than curling up next to a cosy open fire on those icy cold nights. If you are looking to buy firewood to get you through the cold winter months it’s important that you receive wood that will ensure a long, slow burning, clean fire for maximum warmth and comfort. At Bittern Garden Supplies, we are the firewood experts on the Mornington Peninsula. Here’s our tips for picking the best firewood.

Choose Dry, Seasoned Wood

Seasoned firewood is dry and cut into pieces that will be easier to carry and build a fire with, it is dry to touch, has cracks in the ends and loose bark. When it comes to firewood, the drier it is, the better it will burn. Freshly cut (or green) wood has a high moisture content, and this moisture can last for months after the wood has been cut. Moist wood will not burn properly or efficiently. The smoke that comes off green wood is energy that’s going up the chimney instead of being translated into heat. The smoke and fumes from green wood create a strong, unhealthy pollutant and can also create a dangerous situation, since excessive smoke is the number one cause of the build-up of creosote, which causes chimney fires. Green wood needs to be seasoned (left to dry out) for approximately nine months before it should be burned.

Hardwood is Best for A Long, Hot Fire

Hardwoods are much denser than softwoods. A load of hardwood weighs much more than the same sized load of softwood and provides twice the heat. Hardwood burns slower and produces a hotter and more intense fire, perfect for keeping your home warm for lengthy periods. Starting a fire using hardwoods may be more difficult so softwood kindling is best to get the fire started, then add hardwood to keep the fire burning.

How to Tell If Firewood Is Seasoned and Ready to Burn

There’s a few easy tips you can follow to ensure you pick the best firewood for your open fire:
• Look for dark to grey coloured wood, this signifies older and drier wood.
• Bang a few logs together. If they sound hollow, that’s a sign they aren’t waterlogged or filled with moisture.
• The wood should be light to pick up, this signifies little to no water.
• Look for wood with cracked ends, which means it’s dry.

When purchasing firewood from a retail store or garden centre:

• Make sure the firewood is stored is a dry and well-ventilated location. It can be outdoors as long as it’s covered and not in an area that can get flooded.
• Pick the pieces with the bark missing or pulling off. Bark needs moisture to adhere to the wood.

Store Your Firewood Correctly

Firewood needs to be stacked and stored properly to ensure it stays in peak condition for burning. Ideally, firewood should be stored in a shed that is protected from the weather, if it has to be kept outside, the wood should be covered by a tarp and raised off the ground. This will ensure the wood does not become waterlogged after heavy rainfall. Stacking in a crisscross pattern will create a stable and well-ventilated wood pile that is easy to access all winter.

If you are looking for firewood in Mornington, Hastings, Frankston or surrounding areas, choose Bittern Garden Supplies for the best firewood the Mornington Peninsula knows and trusts. We harvest our own red gum firewood and 90% of our firewood supplies come from clean-up operations, meaning no green or live trees are harvested throughout our operations. Contact us today to find out more.