All wood needs to be seasoned before being burnt. This means after cutting the wood should be left for at least six months - and preferably for at least a year - in order to dry out thoroughly.
Burning "green" (freshly cut) wood or wet wood on your stove can lead to several problems, the most serious of which is probably a tarred-up chimney - which could result in a chimney fire.
Wood which has been well-seasoned will burn much more efficiently, giving off more heat. If you buy your logs in, your supplier may sell you seasoned or un-seasoned wood: always check when you make your purchase.
To season logs, it is best to cut them to size (they should be at least six centimetres shorter than the width of your stove door so they fit in easily) and split them before stacking in a sheltered place. Splitting the logs exposes more of the surface area to the air, and so helps the wood to dry more quickly. You can tell when wood is seasoned and ready to burn: the logs feel lighter and the ends become dark with visible cracks or splits.
So, you've just had a wood-burning stove installed. But what is the best wood to burn in it? Read our quick guide to firewood to find out
Little Green Space November 2016
Kiln dried logs are another option - and will be drier, and burn better, than wood that hasn't been seasoned properly. Logs For Sale provides excellent quality, FSC-certified kiln dried ash logs. Ash is one of the best woods for burning on a wood burning stove (see below).
Not all log supplies are equal: a cubic metre of ash logs will last much longer than a cubic metre of mixed logs that can sometimes contain poorer quality fuel such as sycamore, birch or pine.
The Logs For Sale small crate should last all winter if you're using your woodburner just in the evenings and at weekends, and can be delivered to your driveway - or garage or garden if access is good. As it's neatly stacked in a sturdy crate, it's more convenient than having a lorry load dumped in the driveway - allowing you to stack your logs into your log store when you have time.
Firewood needs to be stored properly. There are a number of wood stores on the market - these tend to be open to the elements on one side to allow the air and wind to circulate and speed up the drying process, and have a sloping, rainproof roof. The Logs For Sale small log store (pictured left) is made in the UK and is solid, long-lasting and very neat - just the right size for storing a small crate of logs.
Or you can make your own wood shelter. Four upright posts rammed into the ground and a builder's pallet, covered in roofing felt, set at an angle for the roof will make a basic shelter. The wood needs to be stacked off the ground - builders' pallets are useful here, too, but a row of longer logs, a layer of gravel or a few paving slabs will also work. You can also stack wood in a barn, garage or garden shed. Stored wood could deteriorate or rot after four to five years, so be sure to use up your oldest wood first.
Here are our top 10 woods to burn on your stove:
Ash is generally considered to be the best firewood. It burns well, gives out plenty of heat, and tends to season more quickly than other woods.
Oak needs to be well-seasoned but will give off a good heat and burns quite slowly.
Hazel also needs to be well-seasoned, and burns quite quickly with a good heat.
Hawthorn is a very dense wood which burns slowly and without much smoke.
Birch is a good firewood but burns very quickly so it is best to mix it with a slower burning wood.
Sycamore is a good firewood that burns well.
Apple also burns well, and produces a pleasant smell.
Holly and Rowan aren’t bad, but Beech has a high water content so will only burn if well-seasoned.